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The 400-year-long history of the Anglican Church in Hamburg

April 1, 2011 in History of the Anglican Church in Hamburg

The 400-year-long history of the Anglican Church in Hamburg, is story is intertwined with both Hamburg’s illustrious trade history and the Church of England’s history in Europe. Although English-speaking Christians had worshipped in Europe since before the Reformation, the Hamburg congregation played a particularly pivotal role in the 17th century in establishing the Church of England’s presence in Europe. In 1611 the English in Hamburg, at that time as members of the  Guild of Merchant Adventurers – for centuries the most powerful cloth-trading company in northern Europe – were granted by the Senate of Hamburg the privilege of holding services in the English language according to the rite of the Church of England. In securing an unprecedented religious freedom, the church became the first sanctioned non-Lutheran congregation in the city. For much of its history the church was simply known as ‘The English Church’.

historical drawing of the Anglican Church of St Thomas Becket in HamburgThe current church located on Zeughausmarkt was consecrated after building on 11 November 1838. The name St Thomas Becket, the patron saint of the Merchant Adventurers, was given to the church after it reopened after the war in 1947.

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