Willow Creek Germany ends leadership summit early after speaker tests positive for coronavirus

The Willow Creek Leadership Summit in Germany had been due to end on Saturday but finished a day early.(Photo: Facebook/Willow Creek Germany)

Willow Creek Germany has ended its leadership summit a day early after a speaker tested positive for coronavirus.

The three-day summit opened in Karlsruhe, south-west Germany, on Thursday with talks from Craig Groeschel and Danielle Strickland.  It had been due to end on Saturday.

Willow Creek said in a statement in German on Twitter that the speaker, who has not been named, "was not at any time present during the summit" and that there was no risk to delegates. 

Summit organisers said they had become aware of the diagnosis at midday on Friday and taken the decision to end early as a "preventative measure".

"We would like to inform you that we have ended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2020 in Karlsruhe early," said the announcement. 

It continued: "This was done for reasons of safety. According to health officials, participants were never in any danger. 

"Nonetheless, we have decided to end this event as a prevantative measure so all participants can get home safely." 

The statement added that prior to the summit, the speaker had had personal contact with some senior figures, who are now self-isolating as a precaution.

The organisation added: "For us, safety is the first priority.  That's why we have taken this preventative measure and we wish everyone a safe journey home." 

Also on Friday, the World Council of Churches said concerns around the coronavirus have prompted it to postpone its next meeting of the central committee, which had been slated for 18 to 24 March, along with the executive committee meeting that was to precede it.

The new date for the central committee meeting will be 18 to 25 August, while the executive committee will now be held from 15 to 22 June.

"The decision is a prudential one, taking into account all relevant information and assessing the total risks for the participants, the WCC as an organization, the integrity of a meeting of the governing bodies under these circumstances, and for the health of all involved in such a gathering, directly or indirectly," said WCC moderator Dr Agnes Abuom.