Council of Lutheran Churches Outreach Coordinator Rev Meelis Süld reports on this historic occasion…
The Lutheran Church in Great Britain (LCiGB) has consecrated and installed into ministry its next Bishop, Rt Rev Paulina Hławiczka-Trotman.
40-year-old Bishop Paulina is originally from Southern Poland. She studied Theology & Ethics, and Opera with Acting in Warsaw. Before moving to England, she served in Poland as an Assistant to the Military Bishop in the structures of the Ministry of National Defence and worked as a Projects’ Coordinator for the Polish Ecumenical Council. At that time, the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (Lutheran Church) in Poland didn’t ordain women. “Unfortunately, for a vocal woman who fights for her and her colleagues’ rights for women’s ordination, there wasn’t much space for me,” explained Paulina regarding her relocation to the UK.
The outgoing Bishop, Rt Rev Tor B. Jørgensen, said, “Paulina is illustrating the very history of our church. She is coming from an East-European Lutheran minority tradition. She has shown individual courage and integrity by following her call to be an ordained minister while that still was not possible in her own church. She has instead been a blessing for LCiGB since her ordination nine years ago.”
Bishop Paulina Hławiczka-Trotman continues to serve English congregations in Nottingham and Corby, and additionally, the Polish congregation in London. Jeffrey Trinklein, the Chair of the LCiGB, said, “Her international background is a great fit for our church since we come from so many places. She is also well known to the Church of England and has deep connections with the University of Nottingham chaplaincy program.”
The consecration service was officiated by Bishop Tor B Jørgensen, with Rt Rev Jāna Jēruma-Grīnberga (Bishop Emerita, LCiGB) and Rt Rev Paul Ferguson (Bishop of Whitby, Church of England). The list of ecumenical and international guests included Rt Rev Mike Royal (General Secretary of Churches Together in England), Rt Rev Jerzy Samiec (Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland), Rt Rev’d Bishop Patrick McKinney (Roman Catholic Church Diocese of Nottingham), Rt Rev Dr Andrew Emerton (Bishop of Sherwood, Church of England), Rev Dr Ireneusz Lukas (European Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation).
Bishop Paulina Hławiczka-Trotman shared her reflections on the upcoming ministry, expressing, “I would like to listen to the needs of the people in times of economic difficulties and engage with ecumenical and interfaith partners in our joint work.” She added, “I believe we meet God in our biggest troubles and tribulations; that is why we are able to work on love and peace with all and everywhere, and this is what the world needs most now.”
CTE President and CLC General Secretary Dr Anna Krauss said, “The LCiGB has added another ‘first’ – after consecrating the first woman bishop (Bishop Jāna) in the UK, the church is now led by the first-ever Polish woman to be consecrated bishop.”
The LCiGB is a member of the Lutheran World Federation. It is also a signatory of the Porvoo Agreement, which grants full communion between 15 Anglican and Lutheran churches in Europe.
LCiGB is part of Churches Together in England through the Council of Lutheran Churches in Great Britain.
Photo credit: © LCiGB/ Alex Wilkinson