kirchentag logo

PROGRAMME - detailed overview further down

The Opening Service will be at 17.00 - earlier because gets it gets dark earlier in May. It will be preceded at 15.00 by a Memorial to Jewish deportations from the former railway station area. There will be four Opening Services (there is no central large location in Hamburg):
  • Rathausmarkt (10,000 + 20,000 overspill)
  • Reeperbahn;
  • Fischmarkt;
  • Hafencity 25,000 + overspill 7,000
The hope is for fine weather - early May is usually the best time of year, although Hamburg does tend to get a lot of rain! Still, Brits are used to that!

Abend der Begegnung - the "Evening of Encounter" after the Opening Services, when everyone will meander through the Rathausmarkt and Jungfernstieg down to the river.

Labour Day (May 1st) is a statutory holiday, and in the evening there's a tradition of "anything goes", which, we are told, can occasionally get rather more than exuberant. Some local folk are a little anxious that the Evening of Encounter is that very evening. Perhaps a bit of caution might be appropriate for visitors.

Hamburg is expecting 100,000 participants plus 40,000 day visitors or local people. There are 2000 events being prepared by 50 preparation groups with about 50,000 volunteers.

Event Locations: (the city centre is fairly small so it's easy to walk between locations)
  • Messegelände (central)
  • Planten un Blomen
  • Spielbudenplatz (Reeperbahn)
  • Fischmarkt (auction hall)
  • Universität
  • Hafencity
  • Rauhes Haus
  • Stadtpark (Closing Service + Wise Guys concert)
  • Wilhelmsburg & Harburg: South of city: International Garden Festival! (possible admission with Kirchentag ticket??). There's a special welcome to the Kirchentag, offering rooms for free! So there are plans to have the Youth Centre there.

Topics: There will be three topics areas as usual, with a range of secondary themes.
(On Thursday evening there will be an ecumenical service with Orthodox involvement - "Osternacht" (under topic 1)

Preliminary overview of the programme

Panel = Single event; Forum = One-day event; Centre = generally lasting three days
    Main Panel Series:
  1. How rich we are! The diversity of religions
  2. How rich we are! Democratic potential (including Podienreihe Europa)
  3. How rich we are! Environment, Peace and Global Justice.

    Environment and Change:
  4. Panel Series: The wealth of life - the risks of life
  5. Panel Series: The City of the Future
  6. Centre: Environment, Peace and Global Justice

    Interreligious Dialogue:
  7. Life in cultural and religious diversity (regional project)
  8. Panel Series: Muslims and Christians
  9. Centre: Jews and Christians

    Politics and Society:
  10. Panel series: Europe
  11. Panel: tba
  12. Forum: Remembering
  13. Forum: Internet and Society
  14. Simulation game: Rightwing extremism

    International Politics:
  15. Forum: China
  16. Forum: Middle East / the Arab world
  17. Forum: Latin America

    Theology and Spirituality:
  18. Forum: Ecumenism (planned with the Central Council of Catholics in Germany and other ecumenical partners)
  19. Spiritual Centre
  20. Forum: Base Faculty of Feminist Theology
  21. Centre: Bible (2-day)

    Church and Congregation:
  22. Centre: Come here to the water: Faith on the high seas and in the harbour (regional project, 2-day)
  23. Liturgical day: Dorothee Sölle
  24. Centre: Worship
  25. Centre: Congregations and Parishes (ecumenical)

    Programme for Special Groups:
  26. Centre: Children
  27. Centre: Youth (regional project)
  28. Centre: Aging
  29. Forum: Confirmation candidate day (see below)

    Ways of Life and Living Together:
  30. Centre: Gender Justice
  31. Centre: Inclusion
  32. Film series: Together you are less alone

    Further Thematic Projects (some in cooperation with partners)
  33. Idea room: poverty - homelessness; solidarity and the social economy
  34. Knowledge Day (in cooperation with Hamburg University)
  35. Centre: Bibliodrama
  36. World Views
  37. Centre: Homosexuals and Church
  38. Centre: Low German

Youth centre: Again there will be a "confirmation day", expecting up to 15,000 (40% of all German confirmands are in the Hamburg region - a strongly Protestant area).

Marketplace: There's a new proposal. Previously the Marketplace had stages in the Market for programme events, but it was noisy in the Market environment. Now groups can offer 40-45 minute "Workshops" to take place in the Congress Centre. This is an experiment to see how it works.

lnclusivity: Instead of "barrier-free", there is a move to "inclusion" in the spirit of the new European Convention on Inclusion ("Auf dem Weg zur Inklusion"). The Rauhes Haus would provide shelter for the disabled, for elderly people and for children as part of the Diakonisches Werk of the Nordkirche:

Barrierfreier Kirchentag: (NB post-Paralympics mood!) There will be an extra emphasis on "Leichter Sprache" ("simpler language"). It is hoped to broadcast the opening service in simple language as sign of inclusion.

Accommodation area. Private accommodation will include the outer area but all accommodation should be within a 30-minute journey. Accommodation will be available for extra days for international guests, on request (usually the Tuesday afternoon/evening until the Monday morning). This may be extended to cover communal accommodation (to be confirmed). NB There are plenty of hotel rooms in Hamburg.
  • Travel: Special trains again from different areas
  • Pilgrimage - by bike and by rowing boat - 1,000 boats on the Elbe starting from Dresden on April 19th!


    15 February closing date for registrations requiring accommodation.
    Material will be sent out on 8th March. Also keep an eye on web pages - updated constantly.

    English Information and Programme English information is already on the German website. Further information in process of being checked. Registration is already available online here for up to 9 people. For groups this will start in December (via "mein Kirchentag"), in English.

    The programme preparation group meets at end of January, by when the German programme may already be online. Translation ready by mid-late February - will also be put on the website.

  • Home