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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Anglicans from the Church of England and the Episcopal Church (USA) share a common life in Germany

Anglican congregations in Germany can be traced back over 400 years. Originally comprised of migrants from England, the congregations now include people of many nations, languages, and even Christian backgrounds. Today some of the Anglican Churches in Germany are part of the Church of England's Diocese in Europe, while others belong to the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe (part of the Episcopal Church, USA). The Council of Anglican and Episcopal Churches in Germany (CAECG) is a body bringing together the congregations of the two jurisdictions, for prayer, worship, to take counsel together and to plan joint activities. CAECG is thus a unique body in the Anglican Communion and a provides a creative forum for our churches from distinct Anglican Provinces to celebrate their shared heritage and forge a common life and mission in Germany.

Canon Christopher Jage Bowler and Area Dean Canon John Newsome
Two meetings are held each year, one more "business" orientated and one more educational. This March's sessions were of the "business" type, and included a robust discussion, among the clergy in particular, regarding the Common Fund increases for 2018 and 2019. Some work was done in small groups setting out a plan for some learning and exploration as a synod over the next years. This will include looking at issues of communications, ministry among youth and young adults and harnessing the gifts and insights of the rich inter-generational make-up of the German parishes. 

The Revd Canon Christopher Jage Bowler, Chaplain of St George's Berlin, is the current clergy coordinator of CAECG. The recent sessions were hosted at his Church in Berlin, where among the parish priorities are weekly prayers for peace and reconciliation around the famous Coventry Cross of Nails.

A special guest, Professor Dr Andreas Krebs of the Old Catholic Seminary in Bonn, gave a very stimulating paper on the challenge of modern secularism for our Churches, as well as brought greetings from our Old Catholic sister Church.

Fr Andreas Krebs
At the closing eucharist of CAECG the Revd Joachim Reich was received into the communion of the Church of England. Fr Joachim was ordained in the Roman Catholic Church. His reception is an essential first step towards the full exercise of priestly ministry within an Anglican context. At the mass there was a warm feeling of welcome shared with Fr Joachim as he entered his new ecclesial home as a priest.

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