Eighty years ago, on the eve of World War II, the Lambeth Agreement was signed. At the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury Cosmo Gordon Lang ecumenical dialogue between the Church of England, the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church took place between 1936 and 1938. In 1938, the three parties involved reached an agreement on altar and pulpit fellowship, which they signed in Tallinn. The agreement was ratified by all three churches, but due to the outbreak of World War II the receiving of the report by the Lambeth Conference was delayed until 1948. By that time, active and full fellowship was no longer possible since the Soviet Union in 1940, Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1944 and the Soviet Union again in 1944 had occupied the independent Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Now, many decades later, in the year of the 100th Anniversary of the Baltic republics, we have the possibility to celebrate and practice the full fellowship between our churches in a free and independent country.
The Church of England and the Lutheran churches in Estonia and Latvia will celebrate 80 years of altar and pulpit fellowship with a festive worship service on Harvest Festival Sunday, October 14th, 2018, at 11.00 am at the Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin in Tallinn. Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Urmas Viilma will serve together with church leaders from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia Abroad. Sermon will be delivered by the Rt Revd Simon Burton-Jones, Bishop of Tonbridge, who will bring us greetings from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby as well as from Bishop James Langstaff and the Diocese of Rochester.
As the celebration will be part of the consultation of the Porvoo Communion “Minorities and Majorities: A Challenge to Church and Society” which will take place in Tallinn from October 11th-14th, 2018, also leaders and representatives of several member churches of the Porvoo Communion in Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Spain and Sweden will be taking part in the service.
You are warmly welcome to attend the worship service on October 14th at 11.00 am at the Cathedral of Tallinn, share our joy and celebrate with us!
Kadri Eliisabet Põder
Assessor for International and Ecumenical Relations
Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Kiriku plats 3
Tel. +372 627 7356