Churches are holding events to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year.
Updated 28 Feb 2017.
Events are taking place across Europe with a show-truck or ‘storymobile’ travelling from Geneva to 67 European cities, collecting ‘stories’ from each destination to take to Wittenberg, where Martin Luther lived and worked, and where the World Reformation Exhibition, ‘Gates of Freedom’, opens on 20 May 2017. The storymobile stopped in Cambridge, Dublin, Liverpool and London during February 2017.
There is a wide range of other events throughout the year, in addition to the storymobile visits, listed on the Reformation 500 website.
This conference organised by the National Ecumenical Officers is open to all those working ecumenically at county (such as diocesan, district, synodical) and national levels. It takes place from lunchtime on Monday 16 to lunchtime on Wednesday 18 October 2017 at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire.
Book before midnight on Easter Monday to get a subsidised place at the conference and by 1 July for a smaller reduction.
For further details of the Responding to the Reformation conference see the Churches Together in England (CTE) website.
Justification and Justice Symposium – Saturday 8 April 2017
This symposium aims to equip leaders to build a justice-centred Church in a Brexit world by exploring the theologies and prophetic contributions of Martin Luther and Martin Luther King.
Speakers include Devon Dick (President of the Jamaica Baptist Union), Lynn Green (General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain) and David Muir (Tutor at Roehampton University).
See the separate story for details of tickets and to download the flyer for the Justification and Justice Symposium.
Church of England
The Church of England has set up its own web page covering the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. It includes video reflections on the anniversary from the Bishops of Truro, Kensington and Huddersfield.
Find out more on the Church of England Reformation Anniversary web page.
Statement from Archbishops of Canterbury and York
Ahead of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued a joint statement on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Churches Together in England (CTE)
The Presidents of Churches Together in England who represent the Western traditions of the Church issued a statement with the prayerful support of the Orthodox President, HE Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain.
‘As Presidents of Churches Together in England we encourage all churches in England to mark the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 with sensitivity as we acknowledge our unity in Christ. We have learnt over the past century that unity is achieved by walking together, and we have grown in communion, friendship, reconciliation and healing. During this anniversary we want to be able to listen to the truth that is in each other, to hear our different stories, and build bridges of deeper understanding and respect.’
You can read the full statement on the CTE website.
Lutheran Council of Great Britain
Details on the background to the anniversary and a list of events taking place throughout the year are on the Reformation 500 website.
The Lutheran Council of Great Britain has also issued a Press release.
World Council of Churches (WCC)
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation represents a chance for the Church to reflect on the lessons of the past and take a critical look at what may be barriers to relationships between different denominations, according to Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, in an interview in Sight Magazine, Australia.
Catholic and Lutheran joint service.
At a joint service in Lund, Sweden, on 31 October 2016, Catholics and Lutherans apologised for their past divisions and conflicts, and pledged to deepen their common fellowship and service.
‘As Catholics and Lutherans, we have undertaken a common journey of reconciliation’, said Pope Francis. ‘Now, in the context of the commemoration of the Reformation of 1517, we have a new opportunity to accept a common path.’ Catholics and Lutherans should not be resigned to ‘the division and distance that our separation has created between us’, said Pope Francis.
Rev Martin Junge, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), said that more unites Catholics and Lutherans than divides them. ‘We are one in baptism. This is why we are here at this joint commemoration: to rediscover who we are in Christ.’
During the service Pope Francis and LWF President Bishop Munib Younank signed a Joint Statement.
For more details see the Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation website and the news release from the World Council of Churches (WCC).