Annual Baltic Remembrance Service in London

The annual Baltic United Remembrance Service took place on Sunday, June 18 at St. James’s Church, Piccadilly, London. The solemn event aimed to remember the victims of crimes against humanity committed during the Soviet regime in the Baltic states, as well as the ongoing violence faced by the Ukrainian people under the Russian Federation.

The Baltic Council’s service was prepared by Estonian pastor Lagle Heinla, the sermon delivered by the Chair of the Council of Lutheran Churches (CLC), Rt Revd Tor Berger Jørgensen. Clergy from the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian communities were invited to offer prayers in their respective languages, and a joint Baltic choir was singing.

Bishop Tor B’s Sermon

Baltic Commemorative Service at St James’s Piccadilly
2. Sunday after Trinity. Readings: Psalm 100; Rom 5:1-8; Matt 9:35-10:8

We are in a beautiful Church today.

We have been reminded of Jesus calling his twelve disciples.

Sending them to proclaim the good news: “The Kingdom of heaven has come near!”

We are in this beautiful church today – hearing these visionary words about “The Kingdom of Heaven” – on a day that we are remembering the awful acts of human beings promising “Heaven on Earth” while deporting innocent people to slavery and suffering and death far away from their homes.

The Soviet regime was built on an illusion. Their society was not a heaven – except perhaps for a small elite – it was a hell for millions, especially for them who did not want to collude with the almighty Party.

When we are reminded of the horrible stories my heart crying – how is it possible that human beings can be so cruel – so evil – It is impossible to comprehend – but it has happened.

And it gets even worse – for while we are remembering the horrendous thing happening in your countries 80 years ago – it is happening again – in your neighbourhood – and now it is even worse because the atrocities made by the communists were done by people who oppressed the church. They had lost their moral compass.

But now the atrocities are blessed by the Patriarch in Moscow …. I must admit: It is impossible to comprehend.

In my heart the old cry which is transformed in to the liturgy of all churches: Kyrie eleison is resounding: God! Show mercy! God help us.

This cry is unfortunately I cry which has followed the Church through its history, not only when the Church was persecuted, but also when the Church supported colonialism, when the church accepted racism as a scientific concept and acted itself accordingly – we are reminded of that these days here in the UK with experiences people from the old British dominions in the Caribbean came here by invitation to get work and a new future, but by and large met prejudice, intolerance and discrimination….

A month ago, back in my country, Norway, a truth and reconciliation commission has told our history in the way we have treated the Sami people, the indigenous people who live in the northern part of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

The truth is not a beautiful story!

What an arrogance and cultural self confidence the Norwegians has expressed in its attitudes and treatment of our common human beings.

The story goes on – when we create mental boarders between us giving some the authority to define truth in a discriminatory way hitting others identity and humanity. We are still fighting with it in many churches and societies …. If you understand what I mean..

I think the text from Mt we have read gives us a clue of what is important for the church under all circumstances and to all times:

To show compassion for people who are harassed and helpless “like sheep without a shepherd” as Jesus expressed it.

He himself became not only the symbol or inspiration of this holy compassion, he became the transforming power of God’s compassion through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Paul had experienced this transforming message of God’s love and grace as he wrote to the Church in Rome. Paul had been a persecutor himself, filled with a rigorous religious conviction – with no compassion, with no grace, with no love.

But this love opened for a stream of light in our world, a light of a transforming hope – also when we are in the darkest hours.

This is a strange message of greatest importance because it can turn the feeling of retributing revenge, and of destructive hatred or cold indifference into a constructive opening, for compassion, for grace and love, for truth and reconciliation.

We shall never forget the atrocities – truth must prevail, but our obligation is as a Church, and as societies wanting to keep the best value-standards given us in our Christian tradition – so we, also today can confess with words from Psalm 100: “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever – his faithfulness continues through all generations”.

CLC Podcast “Lutherans in the UK – Living Grace” Explores LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Churches

The CLC Podcast, “Lutherans in the UK – Living Grace,” dives into the topic of LGBTQ+ inclusion in churches, and welcomes Rev Maris Sants, a Latvian-born Lutheran pastor who shares his personal journey as a gay pastor. Joined by CLC leader Dr Anna Krauss and Outreach Coordinator Rev Meelis Süld, the episode sheds light on the support and interest group “Lutherans Inclusive,” as well as the active involvement of CLC in London Pride 2023.

Listeners can find the podcast on the Council of Lutheran Churches’ Facebook page or tune in to the audio-only version on popular podcast platforms. This episode fosters open dialogue, promoting understanding and acceptance within the UK Lutheran community.

Weekly Eucharist Services at CLC Office

We are delighted to invite you to our weekly Eucharist service, held every Tuesday at noon in the Holy Trinity Chapel at the Council of Lutheran Churches office. This is a wonderful opportunity to come together at lunchtime for some spiritual food in the centre of London (46-48 Webber St, SE1 8QW).

The first service on May 16th was led by CLC Chair, LCiGB Bishop Tor B Jørgensen. Watch and listen to Bishop Tor’s reflection.

A Prayer for the Coronation

We pray for King Charles III and his family, that they may carry out the tasks assigned to them with wisdom and care for the nation.

We pray for the governance of this country, that it may be a stable one under which all its inhabitants may find safety and peace.

We pray for the people of this country, that they may find hope in a dark and difficult time.

We pray for the Church, that it may be able  bring this hope to the people of this country.

Lutherans Inclusive on 4th of May 6pm

CLC’s Lutherans Inclusive group studies theme “Greek and Roman Sexuality: Some Context for Reading the Gospel”. Dr Sebastian Matzner who teaches and researches classical literature and its reception in later periods at King’s College London will give a brief introduction into how sexual activity was understood, socially organised, and lived out in ancient Greece and Rome, highlighting both where it differs significantly from today as well as how it came to shape modern notions of sexual identities that emerged in the nineteenth-century. On Thursday 4th of May at 6pm, for more information and registration please contact inclusive[at]

General Secretary Dr Anna Krauß is one of the six Presidents of Churches Together in England

Churches Together in England announced the appointment of a new President, to represent our Fourth Presidency Group. Dr Anna Krauss, General Secretary of the Council of Lutheran Churches in Great Britain, was nominated by the Group’s members. Her term of office begins at the start of May 2023 for four years.

CTE General Secretary, Bishop Mike Royal, said, “CTE is delighted at the appointment of Dr Anna Krauss as CTE President, representing the Fourth Presidency Group. Anna is a formidable theologian, who does a stellar job in leading the Council for Lutheran Churches, alongside her ongoing involvement in local ecumenical church ministry. “Her voice will be a breath of fresh air and we look forward to supporting her to fulfil her role, alongside our other CTE Presidents.”

Dr Anna Krauss said of her appointment, “I am honoured and humbled to serve as a President of CTE. “My term follows an ‘empty chair’, a painful reminder of disunity among Christians. But ecumenism is hope – not a trite platitude, but a deep conviction that we can recognize Christ in all of us and our respective churches. Our diversity enables us to spread the Gospel farther and more deeply. The work of reconciliation and collaboration among Christians helps us to spread the light of Christ into those corners of our dark and desolate World that we could not reach on our own. The Fourth Presidency Group is small but fully committed to the cause of Christian unity and we are looking forward to the period ahead.”

New Episode of the Lutheran Podcast

CLC updates, LWF Pre-Assembly in Oxford, LCiGB Synod, Student Chaplaincy events

“Lutherans in the UK – Living Grace” is a joint venture of the Council of Lutheran Churches (CLC) in Great Britain. This is our first episode with video. CLC Gen Sec Anna Krauß and Outreach Coordinator Meelis Süld will give a short summary about important developments in the CLC, bishop Tor B Jørgensen from the Lutheran Church in Great Britain (LCiGB) helps to summarise the Lutheran World Federation’s Pre-Assembly in Oxford and recent LCiGB Synod meeting, we will call also to LCiGB bishop-elect Jaakko Rusama to hear more about his vision about Lutherans in the UK, at the end of the episode CLC Student Chaplain Rebecca Daniel will inform us about upcoming events in the International Lutheran Student Centre (ILSC).

Video Podcast

Audio Podcast