Evangelical Lutheran regional church in Braunschweig
|Area :||approx. 5,000 km²|
VELKD , EKD ,
Conf. Ev. Churches in Nds. ,
LWF and WCC
|Parishes :||385 (2015)|
|Churches and chapels:||394 (2015)|
|Parishioners:||328,093 (December 31, 2018)|
|Ev. in% of the population:||40.1% (December 31, 2018)|
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Braunschweig (until 1970 Braunschweig Evangelical Lutheran Church ) is one of 20 member churches ( regional churches ) of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). Like all regional churches, it is a corporation under public law . It is based in Wolfenbüttel .
She is also a member of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD), the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches . At the regional level, it belongs to the Confederation of Protestant Churches in Lower Saxony .
The church includes 328,093 church members (as of 2018) in 385 parishes , which in twelve deaneries are summarized. The main church of the Evangelical Lutheran regional church in Braunschweig is the main place of sermon for the regional bishop and as an independent foundation of the regional church, the Brunswick Cathedral of St. Blasii (Art. 72 church constitution). Another important church is the Marienkirche in Wolfenbüttel , which in earlier centuries was the most important church in the duchy as the seat of the Supreme General Superintendent (“Generalissimus Superintendens”). The regional church maintains a total of around 480 churches and chapels.
Territory of the regional church
The area of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Braunschweig comprises the main part of the former Free State of Braunschweig , which existed until 1946 and then became part of Lower Saxony. The Braunschweig parts of the area around Blankenburg im Harz and Calvörde were at the time assigned to the state of Saxony-Anhalt and thus later to the GDR , which is why they were later separated from the Braunschweig regional church, but after German reunification in 1992.
As early as 1941, the area of the state of Braunschweig and subsequently also the area of the regional church of Braunschweig had been changed: the exchange of territory with the Prussian province of Hanover enabled the establishment of the Braunschweig city of Salzgitter , and the city of Goslar and its surroundings became part of the state of Braunschweig Pre-resin slammed. The province of Hanover, on the other hand, was given the previously Brunswick Weser circle around Holzminden . The border changes towards the province of Saxony - especially the transfer of Hesse am Fallstein , gain from Hornburg - were also implemented by the regional church.
Since 1976 the former Brunsen and Thedinghausen communities , which had formed a distant exclave , have belonged to the regional church of Hanover after almost 300 years. The parishes came from the Bremen to the Brunswick church in 1679.
Based on the current administrative structure in the states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Braunschweig comprises the following areas:
- from the state of Lower Saxony
- from the state of Saxony-Anhalt the area Blankenburg in the Harz in the district of Harz and the area Calvörde north in the district of Börde / Altmarkkreis Salzwedel
The history of the regional church is inextricably linked with the history of the state of Braunschweig, which was divided several times into different lines, then brought together again and thereby changed its borders several times. Its name also changed several times between Braunschweig and Wolfenbüttel. From 1814 on it was called the Duchy of Braunschweig .
After several attempts, the Principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel finally introduced the Reformation based on the Lutheran model in 1568 , and in 1569 the country received its first church ordinance . Before that, the church belonged mostly to the dioceses of Hildesheim and Halberstadt . The University of Helmstedt ( Academia Julia or Academia Julia Carolina or academia helmstadiensis ) founded by Duke Julius (1528–1589), Prince of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, was of great importance for the state of Braunschweig . It existed from 1576 to 1810 and was also the first Protestant one Establishment of a university in Northern Germany was.
In the 16th century the Principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel was expanded to include parts of the Hildesheim Monastery , the Principality of Göttingen and Calenberg and the County of Blankenburg. After the Wolfenbüttel line died out in 1634, the remaining lands, consisting of 3 separate parts, came to the Lüneburg-Dannenberg line . In 1704 other confessions, such as the now existing Reformed congregation and the newly established Catholic congregations, were tolerated. In 1754 the residence was moved from Wolfenbüttel to Braunschweig.
After the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss 1803, the country was enlarged again. In 1807 it was added to the Kingdom of Westphalia . In 1814 Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel was re-established as the Duchy of Braunschweig . In 1815 it joined the German Confederation , in 1871 it became a member state of the German Empire . Head of the church in the Duchy of Braunschweig was the respective duke as summus episcopus . The administration of the church was the responsibility of the consistory in Wolfenbüttel.
Under the ducal consistory there had been six general inspections (church districts) since 1830 , each headed by a general superintendent , as well as the Thedinghausen parish . The Wolfenbüttel general inspection comprised seven special inspections, the Wolfenbüttel city inspection and the Schöppenstedt, Biewende, Ahlum, Thiede, Lichtenberg and Barum inspections. The Braunschweig General Inspection consisted of the Braunschweig City and Land Inspection and the Timmerlah, Campen, Querum and Wendeburg inspections. The General Inspection Helmstedt extended its spiritual supervision over the city inspection Helmstedt and the inspections Wolsdorf, Königslutter, Vorsfelde, Velpke, Calvörde, Schöningen and Jerrheim. The Gandersheim General Inspection comprised the Gandersheim City Inspection and the Gandersheim, Greene, Seesen, Gittelde and Ostharingen inspections. The general inspection in Holzminden extended over the city inspection of Holzminden and the inspections of Stadtoldendorf, Vevern and Heyen. The general inspection Blankenburg consisted of the inspections Blankenburg, Hasselfelde and Walkenried. The Thedinghausen parish, which was completely enclosed by Hanoverian territory and did not belong to any of these general inspections, consisted of only two parishes. From 1886 the two general inspections in Gandersheim and Holzminden continued to exist independently, but were to be headed by the same general superintendent. The official seat was Gandersheim.
After the First World War (elimination of the sovereign church regiment ), the Braunschweigische Landeskirche became independent and received a new constitution on January 6, 1922. Since then, the regional bishop has been at the head of the regional church. The consistory became the state church office. The authority of the church is the newly established regional church assembly, which elects the regional bishop, the members of the church government and the members of the council of the regional church office.
After the Second World War , the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Braunschweig was a founding member of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD). In 1968 the ordination of female pastors was made possible by a resolution of the synod . In 1971 she joined the newly founded Confederation of Protestant Churches in Lower Saxony.
President of the State Consistory
- 1885–1895: Karl von Schmidt-Phiseldeck (1835–1895)
- 1896–1906: Gustav Spies
- 1906–1923: Friedrich Sievers , 1921–1923 also chairman of the provisional church government
At the head of the Evangelical Lutheran regional church in Braunschweig is the regional bishop , who is elected by the regional synod . As a rule, after the age of 65, the bishop retires.
- Regional bishops
|Term of office||Surname||comment|
|1923-1933||Alexander Bernewitz (1863-1935)|
|1933-1934||Wilhelm Beye (1903–1975)||(was discontinued)|
|1934||Oskar Evers (1889–1961)||DEK authorized representative|
|1934-1947||Helmuth Johnsen (1891-1947)|
|1947-1965||Martin Erdmann (1896–1977)|
|1965-1982||Gerhard Heintze (1912-2006)|
|1982-1994||Gerhard Müller (* 1929)|
|1994-2002||Christian Krause (* 1940)|
|2002 – May 2014||Friedrich Weber (1949-2015)|
|since June 2014||Christoph Meyns (* 1962)|
As a "parliament", the regional church has a regional synod . Its members, the synodals, are predominantly elected by the provosts, and some are also appointed by the church government. Its chairman is the President of the Synod , currently Peter Abramowski. The synod meets about twice a year. Their tasks are similar to those of political parliaments .
Administration of the regional church
The church government and the regional church office
The regional bishop has his official seat in Wolfenbüttel in the regional church office. He is the chairman of the church government . In addition to the regional bishop, it includes a non-ordained member of the regional church office, three non-ordained and two ordained synodals.
The church government has the following tasks:
- Supervision of all ecclesiastical offices within the regional church
- Proclamation of the Church Laws
- Issuing church ordinances
- Participation in filling the parish positions
- Appointment and appointment of pastors, parish administrators and officials of the regional church
- Issuing statutes
The regional church office is the highest service authority of the Evangelical Lutheran regional church in Braunschweig, the regional bishop is chairman. The regional church office has the following tasks:
- Management of the administration of the regional church according to the applicable law, the budget and the general administrative regulations
- Supervision of church service holders and church property
- Authorization authority for resolutions of the organs of the parishes and priests
- Church foundation supervision
The regional church office is structured as follows:
- Regional Bishop: Chairman of the Regional Church Office (since 2014 Christoph Meyns)
- Department 1: Human Resources
- Department 2: Theological Department (Oberlandeskirchenrat Thomas Hofer, Deputy Regional Bishop)
- Department 3: Law
- Department 4: Finance
In the administrative hierarchy, the regional church is structured from bottom to top as follows:
- At the base there are the parishes as corporations under public law with elected church councils, church ordinaries and pastors. The church ordinaries are elected by the parishioners.
- Several parishes together form a provost ( comparable to a district in terms of general administration ), headed by a provost. The provosts are also corporations under public law and have the provost synod with a provost board as a body. The members of the Provost Synod are elected by the respective church councils of the parishes.
- The twelve provosts form the regional church ( comparable to the federal state in terms of general administration ).
There is no middle level ( comparable to an administrative district in general administration ) in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Braunschweig.
- Propstei Gandersheim-Seesen
- Propstei Bad Harzburg
- Propstei Braunschweig
- Propstei Goslar
- Propstei Helmstedt
- Provost office Königslutter
- Provost office in Salzgitter-Bad
- Provost Office Salzgitter-Lebenstedt
- Propstei Schöppenstedt
- Propstei Vechelde
- Provost office Vorsfelde
- Propstei Wolfenbüttel
The twelve provosts represent 385 parishes .
The parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church in Braunschweig have been singing or singing from the following hymn books in the last few decades:
- The singing Zion or the old Goslar hymn book reissued in an excerpt , along with some other chants, Goslar, 1853
- New Braunschweig hymn book together with a short prayer book for public and domestic church services. With Hochfürstlich Braunschw. Luneburg. Most gracious Special-Privilegio, Braunschweig, introduced in the city of Braunschweig with the regulation of January 22nd, 1780 at Easter
- Hymnbook for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Duchy of Braunschweig from 1902, Wolfenbüttel, from 1902
- Evangelical Church Hymns - Edition for the Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Lower Saxony - Braunschweig - Hanover / Göttingen, announced in a circular dated November 10, 1949 for confirmation in 1950
- Evangelical hymn book - edition for the Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Lower Saxony and for the Evangelical Church in Bremen, Hanover / Göttingen, introduced in Advent 1994
As a joint institution of the ev.-luth. Regional churches of Hanover, Brunswick and Schaumburg-Lippes, the Evangelical Lutheran Missionswerk in Lower Saxony (ELM) , founded in 1977, maintains the partnership between the Brunswick regional church and the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church in India. The seat of the ELM is Hermannsburg in the Südheide.
Institutions of the Confederation of Protestant Churches in Lower Saxony in the House of Church Services
The ev.-luth. Landeskirche Braunschweig is one of the sponsors of the Evangelical Adult Education Lower Saxony (EEB Lower Saxony) and the Church Service in Police and Customs of the Confederation of Protestant Churches in Lower Saxony . Both institutions are assigned to the House of Church Services of the Regional Church of Hanover.
Of church closures is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick, unlike some other regional churches in Germany, have hardly affected. The few churches and chapels that have been abandoned or converted in recent decades include the following churches and chapels:
- Goslar , Oker district , Paulus Church: inaugurated in 1966, dismantled and demolished in 2013
- Helmstedt , St. Georgs Chapel: built in 1322, used as a jewelry store since the 1970s
- Helmstedt, Runstedt district , village church: closed in 1964 and demolished because the village had to give way to open- cast lignite mining
- Salzgitter , Lebenstedt district , St. Matthew's Church: built 1964–68, closed in 2007, divested in 2016, sale planned
- Salzgitter, district of Salzgitter-Bad , St. Nikolai Church : used by the church until 1972, used for cultural events since 1985
- Schöningen , Alversdorf district , village church: closed in 1972 and demolished because the village had to give way to open-cast lignite mining
- Klaus Erich Pollmann (ed.): The difficult way into the post-war period. The Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church in Braunschweig 1945–1950 (= Studies on the Church History of Lower Saxony, 34). Commissioned by the Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church in Braunschweig for Braunschweig Church History. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1995, ISBN 3-525-55239-4 .
- Klaus Erich Pollmann (ed.): Church in the fifties. The Braunschweig Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church . Commissioned by the Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church in Braunschweig for Braunschweig Church History. Landeskirchliches Archiv, Braunschweig 1997, ISBN 3-00-002207-4 .
- From the baptism of the Saxons to the church in Lower Saxony. History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Braunschweig , ed. by Friedrich Weber, Birgit Hoffmann, Hans-Jürgen Engelking, Braunschweig 2010,
- Friedrich Weber, Church in Our Time. Sources and Perspectives , Wolfenbüttel 2013
- Website of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Braunschweig
- Website of the church from below - alternatives from / for the Braunschweig regional church
- The Regional Church in Numbers (2015) ( Memento of the original from April 16, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Evangelical Lutheran regional church in Braunschweig
- Evangelical Church in Germany - Church membership figures as of December 31, 2018 , ekd.de, accessed on February 24, 2020.
- Representation of the Thedinghausen parish ( Memento of the original from January 8, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Otto von Heinemann : The Kingdom of Hanover and the Duchy of Braunschweig , Darmstadt 1858, p. 195 f.
- Ulrike Block-von-Schwartz (Hrsg.): With imagination and drive. 30 years of ordination of women in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Braunschweig. Meyer, Braunschweig 1998.
- Announcement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Braunschweig from November 23, 2013 ( memento of the original from December 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed November 24, 2013
- Announcement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Braunschweig from June 2, 2014 ( Memento of the original from June 7, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed June 3, 2014.
- Lecture by Regional Bishop Dr. Friedrich Weber: From the new use of orphaned churches. On the website of Church from Below. , accessed January 11, 2015
- Dedication service on the website of the parish Oker ( Memento from June 22, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on January 11, 2015
- St. George's Chapel in the Helmstedt Wiki, accessed on January 11, 2015
- http://www.salzgitter-zeitung.de/region/christus- id2441496.html , accessed on September 26, 2016