Worcester Diocese signs new partnership agreement with Magdeburg
The Diocese of Worcester and the Diocese of Magdeburg in eastern Germany have recommitted to their partnership with each other.
The two dioceses have been in partnership for nearly 22 years and came together last week to celebrate and reaffirm the long-running link.
The visit brought together Bishop John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, and Bishop Ilse Junkerman, Bishop of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany, which the area of Stendal-Magdeburg falls within.
The link between the two dioceses has seen many parishes on both sides establish friendships and participate in joint events in the UK and Germany.
The new partnership agreement promises that the two dioceses will continue to share worship and services, conferences and meetings as well as develop new areas of co-operation, for example by involving schools and colleges and commemorating together events of common European history, including the centenary of the start of World War 1 this year.
In a speech to the Diocese of Worcester Bishop's Council, Bishop Junkerman said she wanted to see more people get involved in the partnership, especially schools and colleges.
"Our partnership has helped us to see what we have in common and where we are different – most importantly we share a love of the Lord Jesus Christ and can pray together and worship together," she said.
"As we have evaluated our partnership, we have realised how much it means to those who are involved, but also that it could have much more impact.
"I am looking forward to everything that will connect us in the future and will bring us together again and again."
Bishop Inge said: "Through our partnership with Magdeburg we can explore not only our shared faith but also our shared European history and learn from each other.
"I hope that many more parishes will be able to benefit from this link, particularly during 2014 when we commemorate the Great War which had such a devastating impact on both our countries.
"It was very affecting to discuss with our German friends last weekend how best to commemorate WW1, and to do so on the day after the anniversary of the almost compete obliteration of Magdeburg by Allied bombers in January 1945."