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Archbishop to visit Germany and Poland

Friday 27th January 2006

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is to visit Germany and Poland next week (31st Jan - 5th Feb 2006) to attend a major ecumenical theological conference and to take part in the celebrations marking the centenary of the birth of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

In the first part of his visit, Dr Williams will visit the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), leading the Church of England Delegation attending a meeting of a Meissen Commission conference on Theology as Wisdom for Life. Dr Williams will lead a conference session seeking plan the work of the Commission over the next 5 years.

Later in the week the Archbishop will travel to Bonhoeffer's birthplace, Breslau, (now Wroclaw) in Poland. Dr Williams will give one of the opening addresses at the Bonhoeffer Centennial Congress, meet ecumenical representatives and take part in a special service, laying a wreath at the Bonhoeffer Memorial. He will then return to Germany for ecumenical meetings. On the final day of his visit [Sunday 5th Feb, 2006] he will deliver a sermon at the Bonhoeffer Memorial service in the Church of St Matthäus in Berlin.

Dr Williams said the visit recognised that the roots of collaboration and mutual concern between the Church of England and the German Churches went back many decades:

"As we celebrate the centenary of one of the greatest Christian thinkers of the 20th Century, who had a great love for the Church of England, we give thanks for all that brings us more closely together as English and German believers and especially for all that continues to grow out of the Meissen Agreement."

Dr Williams returns to the UK next Sunday.

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