Assurances over ongoing relationship despite Brexit

Published: 31st January 2020

Bishop Kristina


On the eve of the UK's exit from the European Union, the diocese's link church in Northern Germany, the Nordkirche, sent the following letter on behalf of their Bishop, Kristina Kuehen Tree Schmidt (pictured above), and others in the Nordkirche:

Dear Bishops, dear sisters and brothers in Christ, dear partners,

Tonight the United Kingdom is going to leave the European Union. We in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany are sad that our two countries will no longer be members of the European Union together. At the same time we know that your country is only leaving a political organisation which is not the base of our partnership. Our partnership is founded in our common belief in the triune God. As we have declared in our partnership covenants: “Our relationship is mutual, both sides giving and receiving as sisters and brothers in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.”

This weekend, our thoughts and prayers are especially with you, our dear partners in England. I am therefore asked to convey the greetings of Bishop Kristina Kühnbaum-Schmidt, our presiding bishop, of Bishop Gothart Magaard, chairperson of our partnership committee, and of Dr Christian Wollmann, our director of the Centre for Global Ministries and Ecumenical Relations. We pray for your country that divisions can be healed and fair solutions for the time after Brexit can be found. We pray that the good relations between our two countries will continue and the partnership between our churches will continue to grow. As it is said in our partnership covenants: “We each participate in God’s mission to the world and work together as partners in witness and service.” We have a “common responsibility for Europe” as it is outlined in the Charta Oecumenica in 2001. Here our churches have declared: “On the basis of our Christian faith, we work towards a humane, socially conscious Europe, in which human rights and the basic values of peace, justice, freedom, tolerance, participation and solidarity prevail.”

Let us therefore continue to work and pray in partnership for a just and peaceful Europe and world. As the final words of the Charta Oecumenica proclaim: “Jesus Christ, the Lord of the one Church, is our greatest hope of reconciliation and peace. In his name we intend to continue on our common path in Europe. We pray for God's guidance through the power of the Holy Spirit.”



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