Reformation” remembered and renewed with Storymobile for fifth Centenary

24 January 2017, Council of Lutheran Churches

A mobile exhibition celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is arriving in Liverpool on Tuesday 21 February. Opening at noon in Williamson Square, the exhibition will be followed by a special service at Liverpool Cathedral.

Launched on 3 December 2016, the ‘European Roadmap’ is taking its Storymobile to all corners of Europe, to help people across the Continent discover the significance of the Reformation for today. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, first circulated on 31 October 1517, were intended to challenge specific abuses in the church. The thinking that flowed from them proceeded to challenge deeply held assumptions about religion and belief and triggered far-reaching changes in politics, society and culture. But at the heart of the Reformation was the message that salvation is God’s gift in Jesus Christ, and the desire for that good news to transform people’s hearts and relationships, in the church and in society.

In Liverpool, these ideas were carried by significant movements of people, as maritime trade with the Lutheran Northern European countries led to the establishment of significant Scandinavian and German communities, which survive to this day.

The Revd Jo Jan Vandenheede, Pastor at the Gustaf Adolf Nordic Congregation, said "For Lutherans and many other Christians the Reformation is still an ongoing event, but 2017 does mark a very special commemoration. The Storymobile coming to Liverpool is particularly relevant as the city's migration history at first brought Lutheran merchants from Germany to the city, later on migrants to the Americas in particular from Scandinavia, and Liverpool still hosts many students and football fans from these countries."

Liverpool is today a melting pot of diversity as it looks forward to next year’s tenth anniversary of Liverpool, European Capital of Culture. Although the Lutheran communities are not as big as they once were, their legacy of seeking to understand and treasure the value of each individual, uniquely created by God, lives on in harmonious ecumenical relationships in the city. Despite its past sectarian conflict, Liverpool is now renowned as a beacon of collaboration between the Catholic and Anglican Cathedrals.

The Rt Revd Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool, said “We warmly welcome the European Reformation Roadmap to Liverpool. In previous generations this city shared with so many others in bearing the scars and the bruises of church division. But for the last forty years relations between the churches have been increasingly strong and vibrant. The Roadmap will serve to remind the churches that our partnership in this city is not a partnership of compromise and fear, but a partnership of clear and strong identity, personal friendship and mutual respect. Welcome!"

The Storymobile tells the story of Reformation across Europe and down the centuries. Using a variety of communications methods today just as Luther exploited the social media of his time (print and pamphlets), it will gather in stories from the communities it visits as to how they understand and interpret reformation, physically on the day or in advance via This kaleidoscope of stories, images and videos, relating to national reform or individual renewal, from history or the future, will be gathered and displayed in Berlin this summer. All are invited to visit the Storymobile at Williamson Square from 12 noon on 21 February, contribute their stories, and join an ecumenical evensong at Liverpool Cathedral.

Notes for Editors:

About the Anniversary: A “Briefing for Media” has been attached and is available on

About the Storymobile: The European Roadmap is an initiative involving the collaboration of Churches and public authorities across Europe to mark the 500th Anniversary of the posting of Luther’s 95 Theses, a trigger for the political, social and cultural (as well as religious) events that swept across Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries and shaped our modern world. As well as a historical display for the purposes of education, it is an interactive exhibition to gather in from the communities it visits, stories of “reformation” past or present, political or personal to be included in the World Reformation Exhibition.

The Storymobile is a 28-ton articulated lorry with expandable sides and roof, carrying static displays and state of the art audio-visual equipment. It is visiting 68 cities in 19 countries between November 2016 and May 2017. It started in Geneva, headquarters of the World Council of Churches and Lutheran World Federation, and ends in Berlin/Wittenberg for the Kirchentag and World Reformation Exhibition.

The Storymobile will be parked on Williamson Square, L1 1EQ, in central Liverpool and open from 12noon to 17:00 on Tuesday 21 February 2017. The Storymobile will be opened by The Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead, with representatives from the Council of Lutheran Churches and the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland. The day will conclude with a service of Evensong in the Lady Chapel of Liverpool (Anglican) Cathedral, L1 7AZ at 17.30.

See for more information and a blog as the Storymobile visits different Stations.

About the Organisers: The Lutheran Council of Great Britain, trading as the Council of Lutheran Churches (CLC), is an umbrella organisation bringing together the vast majority of Lutheran for the purposes of mutual support, as a point of liaison with other Churches and external bodies, and as a single voice in the public square on matters of importance for Lutherans. Founded in 1948, CLC has 10 Members and, as well as providing grants, advice, training and in-kind support to the Member churches, has joined ecumenical platforms on matters such as refugees, climate change and peacemaking. CLC’s income is largely drawn from the International Lutheran Student Centre ( which provides a home and hospitality for postgraduate international students who would otherwise find it hard to afford accommodation in London, and will return to positively impact their communities.

See for more information and contacts, or contact Mr James Laing, General Secretary, CLC, 30 Thanet Street, London WC1H 9QH, or 020 7388 4044.


ENCLOSED: Media Briefing