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Thursday, 6 June 2019

St George's Berlin, a place of refreshment and life

A Church of England parish where songs are sung in Urdu, African heritage celebrated with a thanksgiving service, vocations are nurtured, and faith confirmed? St George's Berlin, of course! This congregation reflects the vibrancy and diversity of the German capital itself.

A notably multicultural parish, led by the Revd Canon Christopher Jage-Bowler, St George's is a microcosm of the world-wide Church. It seems that everyone, no matter their Church tradition, language spoken, or cultural background can find a welcome here. There are opportunities for all to celebrate and grow in their faith and in their service to their brothers and sisters. For instance, Canon Jage-Bowler is particularly moved by the commitment in St George's to their well-building projects, as a key part of their overseas outreach. So far, funding from St George's has enabled wells to be constructed in Uganda, Nigeria and Yemen. He notes that "wells attract people, as the Church itself should". "Wells are the opposite of walls; they are places of refeshment and life".

At a recent parish visit, baptism and confirmation were celebrated (including two candidates who were confirmed from the parish of Heidelberg). The Revd Fr Joachim Reich was licensed as assistant curate, and I had an opportunity to practise some rusty Urdu during the communion song. Many of the African members of the congregation proudly advertised the upcoming African Thanksgiving Service on 16 June.

Fr Joachim Reich (left) and Fr Christopher Jage-Bowler (right)

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