*** DEBUG END ***

German ecumenical visitor warns against European division in turbulent times

15 July 2016

Sam Atkins

The Bishop of Hanover, the Rt Revd Ralf Meister

The Bishop of Hanover, the Rt Revd Ralf Meister

THE Bishop of Hanover, the Rt Revd Ralf Meister, of the Evangelical Church in Germany, who co-chairs the Meissen Commission, told the Synod that they met in “turbulent times”.

While Germans respected the democratic decision to exit the EU, it would have an enormous impact on their country as well as Europe as a whole, he said. That said, it was frustrating that the debate in Germany focused on the economic consequences. “The European dream is a dream of humanity and justice, and not the question of whether the stock market is in London or in Frankfurt.”

Having recently commemorated the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, Bishop Meister reminded the Synod of the poetry of Wilfred Owen, and the call upon Christians to warn of the dangers of a divided Europe “split into gated national communities”.

It had taken the Church itself many centuries to move from “conflict to communion”, and it now owed it to the world to tell its story of learning tolerance, dialogue, and peace. The Bishop closed his address by quoting from one of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s letters from prison: “Come away from your anxious hesitations into the storm of events, carried by God’s command and your faith alone.”

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times Month

March 2024

For the whole of March, Church Times is offering completely FREE online access, so you can share stories without a paywall.

We are also asking our readers to spread the news of the Church Times among their friends, acquaintances, and fellow churchgoers (and non-churchgoers).

Find out more


Keeping faith in Journalism: a Church Times Webinar

11 March 2024 | 6pm GMT

An expert panel discusses trust between the media and the public

Online Tickets available


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


You are able to read this for FREE as part of Church Times Promotional Month, where for the whole of March, we are offering unlimited web access to the newspaper.

From next month to explore the Church Times website fully, you will need to sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers will return to only being able to read four articles for free each month.