It all started with an idea...

Picture of four pastors in front of the altar: Kurt Jürgen Schmidt, Margot Käßmann, Tesso Benti, Michael Klatt

… surely it ought to be possible to hold a church service in English once a month for the many inhabitants of and visitors to the city and region of Hannover who come from other countries. The year 2000 in particular, the year of the World EXPO, showed how cosmopolitan and international Hannover is.

Soon a team got together to undertake the initial planning. “Hannover International Worship” (HIW) was launched in December 2003 with a service at which the preacher was the former Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hannover, Dr. Margot Käßmann.

Since then, many German preachers with international and ecumenical experience have preached at the services, as have a number of foreign clergy. There is a different preacher every month, which contributes greatly to the diversity and interest of the services.

Picture: Petri Church

The English-language services are held on the third Sunday of every month at 11:30 a.m. throughout the year in the Petri Church ("St. Peter's") in the Kleefeld district of Hannover.

People from Hannover and the districts roundabout, among them Germans who have spent some part of their lives abroad and other people originating from all over the world, in particular from the United Kingdom and Africa, come together to worship. They pray and sing and listen to the word of God in English.

Picture: People standing in line for coffee and refreshments

Afterwards, at the "get together" with finger food and drinks in the church annex, they speak English or German as they feel inclined, or a lively mixture of the two. In this way, many valuable and lasting acquaintances and friendships have been established. And all the time newcomers have joined the congregation, people who have learnt about the services via the internet, via other media or by word of mouth from those already taking part.

Picture of the organ in Petri Church

In this way, Petri Church in Kleefeld has over the years been able to enrich Hannover's church landscape with a particular international accent. The worshippers at the same time get to enjoy the excellent and diverse musical contributions to the service provided by Dietmar Zeretzke at the organ and from time to time by other musicians.

Picture of the full church at the Christmas service of Nine Lessons and Carols
 Poster of the 10 year anniversary of Nine lessons and carols

Once a year, usually around Easter, Holy Communion is celebrated. Occasionally, we have even been able to celebrate Holy Baptism in our services.

Another annual highlight is the December service - the Christmas Service of Nine Lessons and Carols - which usually attracts a congregation of 400.

In December of 2013, we were able to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hannover International Worship


Do come along and join us some time. We look forward to being able to welcome you.