The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) will be relocating its headquarters to Hanover on 1 January 2014. Setri Nyomi, the organization’s General Secretary, made the announcement in Timmendorfer Strand on 5 November 2012 on the sidelines of the synod of the Evangelical Church in Germany. The 29 members of the WCRC’s Executive Committee voted for Hanover with a three-quarters majority.
Minister of State Pieper issued the following statement today (5 November) in response to the news:
We are very pleased with today’s decision and are grateful to the World Communion of Reformed Churches for this vote of confidence. We welcome the WCRC’s wish to conduct its international activities from a base in Germany – the country where the Reformation began – from now on. Interfaith dialogue is an important element of Germany’s foreign policy.
The World Communion of Reformed Churches had been based in Geneva for 60 years when it decided to look for new headquarters. Thirteen countries put themselves forward. The final round saw Hanover up against Johannesburg and Utrecht, winning thanks to its proximity to the German member churches, the Evangelical Reformed Church and the Church of Lippe. Hanover is also home to the Reformed Alliance, the Union Evangelischer Kirchen (Union of Protestant Churches) and the Evangelical Church in Germany. In addition to its excellent location, Reverend Nyomi pointed to the support pledged by the German Government and the Land Government of Lower Saxony as an important plus point for Hanover’s bid.
The World Communion of Reformed Churches is a network of 230 churches which spans 108 countries. Around 80 million of the world’s Christians belong to that network, making the WCRC the largest international Protestant organization. It coordinates church initiatives in the interests of economic and environmental justice and gender equality as well as promoting ecumenical and interfaith dialogue.