Sarah Lane Cawte, member of British Kirchentag Committee writes…
Have you ever heard of the German Protestant Kirchentag or Evangelische Kirchentag?
Since 1949 church members from Germany and beyond have gathered every other year for what is now a huge festival with around 100,000 participants.
The location changes each time, but you can be sure of a hugely varied programme of events: from Bible studies (including some in English), to concerts, plays and discussions. My highlights from previous Kirchentags were hearing Barack Obama in dialogue with Angela Merkel, in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and Jürgen Moltmann discussing theology with Hans Küng. There really is something for everyone: spiritual, cultural, educational, theological, controversial…
Alongside the programme, there is also the “Marketplace of possibilities” (Markt der Möglichkeiten), where hundreds of organisations have exhibition stands to showcase their work, and encourage support of all sorts of causes.
The experience of attending the closing worship with 100,000 participants, numerous brass bands, choirs and visuals, is something you never forget.
A highlight of this summer’s Kirchentag which takes place in Nuremburg from 7 to 11 June will be a concert by the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra.
Some of the events have simultaneous translation available, and for others, you can book a “whispering” translator through the centre for international guests.
A 5-day ticket costs €119, and includes not just admission to all the events, but also public transport in the region.
There is a lot of information on the website, which has a special English section.
There’s also a British Committee website, where you can find helpful updates, and tips about travelling to Nuremberg. Rail travel is very much encouraged as Kirchentag aims to be environmentally friendly.
The British Kirchentag Committee is a CTE Charity and Network in Association (CNA), and members are happy for you to contact them with any questions you might have.
Sarah Lane Cawte is the Free Churches Group Education Officer, and member of British Kirchentag Committee. Email Sarah.
Photo credit: © Max Malzkorn via Evangelische Kirchentag