Celebrating 500 years of the Reformation

This month’s invitation celebrating the Reformation with one of the British and Continental churches in London comes from the German Christ Church in Knightsbridge.  “Things we really care about:  Tracing the German Protestant heritage”, will be held on Friday 7 April at 7pm.  All are welcome.

The German Christ Church is at 18 Montpelier Place, SW7 1HJ.

“The German Christ Church is home to one of several German Protestant congregations in London.  Our event will consequently be co-hosted by another German Church, St Mary’s, Sandwich Street.  Other German congregations are situated in Forest Hill (Bonhoeffer-Kirche) and Petersham, where the German School is based.

“There had been different German Protestant congregations since the end of the 17th and the early 18th centuries, attended by merchants from the Hanseatic cities, by workers from the sugar refineries in London’s East End, or later by courtiers and servicemen that had come to London when the Hanoverians became British monarchs.

“The “Hofkapelle” had been worshipping for more than 200 years at the Queen’s Chapel, next to St James’s Palace.  When they could no longer use this church, Christuskirche in Knightsbridge was built in 1904, thanks to the efforts and donations by John Henry von Schroeder, a British-German banker.

“Services have been held here throughout times of war and peace.  The congregation is very much aware of its multi-layered history in the years after 1933.  While some favoured the Nazi government, other clergy and members took a very critical stance and actively supported refugees from Germany.  The theologian and member of the German resistance, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, played a major role in this while he was pastor in London between 1933 and 1935.“Today, although sometimes referred to as Lutheran, our church welcomes members and visitors from different Protestant traditions and beyond.  Services are held in German every Sunday, and the German Choir London is a regular guest.  A small Polish Lutheran congregation worships at Christ Church twice a month.  On different areas we cooperate with the German Roman Catholics, based in Whitechapel and Richmond/Ham.

“Christ Church and St Mary’s, Sandwich Street are part of the German Protestant Synod in Great Britain, which has 18 member congregations from Edinburgh to the south of England, and maintain links with the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), the umbrella organization of protestant churches in Germany.”

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