Welcome to the Lutheran Church in Great Britain ...
We are a growing church, with people from all parts of the world worshipping in our congregations.
We welcome in our midst all those who want to explore their faith and find a worshipping community.
As Lutherans we believe that we are saved by the grace of God and invited to gather around the Word of God and the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.
Find a service near you - click here for a list of LCiGB congregations.
From the Bishop, the Rt Revd Dr Martin Lind
The Pastors and All The Baptised
of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We live in a time in Europe when human dignity is continually questioned. New nationalistic movements are increasing in number and influence all over our continent. In the United Kingdom, UKIP is such a movement. According to themselves, this party promotes independence from the European Union and from government interference into the personal realm, where the individual should live with lower taxes and greater freedom and responsibility.
This is a traditional right wing programme. But it is combined with a programme of discrimination. According to UKIP, immigrants must financially support themselves and their dependents for the first five years, including health and schooling. Immigrants should pay into the pot before they take out of it.
The simple question is of course: who can afford to pay for the first five years in advance? The programme is simply veiled discrimination against those who cannot afford this. It offers a welcome to the wealthy classes of the world and a big NO to all the others.
This is only an example. It is worse in Hungary of today. There, the equivalent of UKIP, the Jobbik, is quite a strong party. But the ruling party, Fidesz, with their two-third majority in parliament, is an authoritarian party that allows not only discrimination but also racism. In Hungary they don’t need a nationalistic, patriotic party. The party in power is already nationalistic.
In the last years Fidesz has introduced new laws and regulations stating that schools, the judicial system, the mass media and journalists to a large degree have to be loyal to the regime. A silent society is slowly being built in Hungary. The prime minister has openly said that he wants no discussion in the parliament. It is enough to have proposals and decisions.
I read a quotation from an article in January 2013 in the established daily paper, Magyar Hirlap, where the star reporter, Zsolt Bayer, openly calls the Roma “animals”. Those people have no human dignity, according to Bayer. The Roma cannot live together with human beings. They are animals and act as animals. The Western culture does not understand, Bayer says. The politically correct part of the idiotic Western world acts from egoistic points of view, as if these animals could be tolerated, understood and even respected. These animals, concludes Bayer, should not exist. Not in any way. This must be solved, immediately and in any possible way. (This is taken from a book published this autumn in Swedish called “The triumph of silence” by Gabriel Byström, a chief editor in the main daily newspaper of Gothenburg.)
When reading this I do not only recognise the old racist tones from the 1930’s in Germany. It is also clear that this is a way to accept the annihilation of the Hungarian Roma; it is promoting a new holocaust.
As we draw close to a new Advent this year, a preparation time for the coming Christmas, we have to be honest and open among ourselves. Our Christmas celebrations focus on our incarnated God, who is blessing our human existence by the birth of Jesus. But shortly after his birth, Jesus and his parents were forced to be refugees in Egypt. They feared for their lives and fled. They didn’t have to pay in advance. They were not asked to assure the Egyptians that they could pay for themselves. They just fled because of the threat of loosing their lives.
Christmas is a time in our Christian tradition when human dignity is underlined. God becomes man to bless all human beings.
One of the greatest temptations in our time is to start despising ourselves and our fellow women and men. It is often done unconsciously and can be rather seductive. We sometimes do not even notice that we are slowly drawn into a discussion with the contempt for human beings as an unspoken perspective.
Let us therefore help each other to speak well of one another. I do not mean to encouraging dishonesty or avoiding criticism when it is justified. But all the time let us keep in mind the care and love that we are all part of each day. Martin Luther said that we all are God’s co-workers (cooperatores Dei). And those who don’t want to are forced by God to do God’s will, according to Luther.
Of course we all are imperfect, which we know all too well. But sometimes we tend to forget that we all are created by God according to his will, that our lives from the beginning to the end rest in the hands of God and that we, therefore, are enabled to do at times exactly what God wants us to do.
This view may help us to respect each other. When we meet the beggar on the street, when we meet fellow humans experiencing problems, we should remind ourselves that we all belong to God, creator of heaven and earth.
And it is this our God, working through all human beings, who sends us Jesus with the fragility of a little child - a child who can bring everyone to tenderness, to immediate care and love. Jesus, who is the Life and gives us his love, reminds us that love is a divine gift and helps us to live our lives in love.
Christmas is the time for us to remember God’s YES to human beings, God’s YES to every one of us and God’s YES to our future as his co-workers in his realm.
I wish you all a Blessed Advent, Christmas and New Year.
With many prayers for all of you,
From the Bishop, the Rt Revd Dr Martin Lind
LCiGB Signs Porvoo AgreementOn Friday, 19 September 2014, I signed the document stating that our Lutheran Church in Great Britain now is a full member of the Porvoo Communion. It all happened in the chapel in Bishopthorpe, the Palace of the Archbishop of York. The chapel was crowded with people as it is a rather small chapel. More
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New Office: We moved office on 1 March, 2014. The new address of LCiGB office is 30 Thanet Street, London WC1H 9QH, United Kingdom. Please send all your future correspondence to the new address.
The Lutheran Church in Great Britain Limited is a company registered in England and Wales, registered number 7034897, registered charity number 1137050. Registered Office: 30 Thanet Street, London WC1H 9QH. Tel: +44 (0)20 7383 0301