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Friday, 25 July 2014

Präses Dr Irmgard Schwaetzer: special guest at General Synod

Präses Dr. Irmgard Schwaetzer was the special guest at the recent sessions of the General Synod in York. The Präses chairs the synod of the Evangelical Church of Germany, the EKD, and is the highest ranking lay person in that Church. Prior to her Church career, Dr Schwaetzer was a distinguished German politician and cabinet member, and was largely responsible for overseeing the move of the capital from Bonn to Berlin after reunification.

In her address to the synod, she spoke about the alarming results of survey in Germany where it seemed that the Church is losing touch with young people, and where the number of those openly rejecting the Church appears to be rising. On the other hand, people apparently hold the local parish clergy in high esteem (not the bishops!) and there is an interest in liturgy and "well-designed" worship.

The Church of England and the EKD have an agreement for eucharistic hospitality and cooperation, called the Meissen Agreement.

The Nikaean Club and Archbishop Sentamu hosted a dinner on the eve of the Synod to honour Dr Schwaetzer.

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