highlights of the history ofresurrectionlutheranchurchcambridge, england


Airman George Miller, who was stationed at Lakenheath Air Base, was disturbed at the complete lack of Lutheran services at Lakenheath or, in fact, in East Anglia. He managed to locate the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England's (E.L.C.E) office in London and learned that they were planning to open a theological training centre in Cambridge. One of their pastors, the Reverend Norman Nagel, had just arrived in Cambridge to begin setting up the programme. With this knowledge in hand, George Miller began to search for other Lutherans. The group which formed under his leadership contacted Pastor Nagel in Cambridge and asked if he could spare the time to hold an Easter Service for them.


"Although we have a psychiatrist, a doctor, and a dental surgeon in our group," said Pastor Nagel, "thats does not indicate anything as to the health of the congregation. We are in good health and spirits." When Professor Jones left, and Pastor Nagel became further engaged at the University, a decision was made to call Pastor Blank as full-time pastor of the burgeoning church. At the same time Elmer Schwartzkopf was assigned as a Lutheran Chaplain Lakenheath.


Westfield House was founded to house the seminary programme, and with the help of Pastor Kenneth Mahler weekly services were held at Lakenheath and Cambridge and monthly services on military bases at Woodbridge, Wethersfield, Alconbury, Chicksands, Sculthorpe, and Chelveston.


Pastor Blank was called to Venezuela, and Pastor Norman Heintz was installed.


Sunday services were held in Abbey Church in Newmarket Road where there was ample room and a fine organ.


Pastor Gittner was travelling 500 miles between bases.


Pastor Gittner left for Illinois.


The Geldbeutel or money bag was made. Its iron handles were made from an old electric light fitting found in the basement of Westfield House. After alteration and cleaning by Ian Fletcher, the metal part was handed over to Alice Franzmann, who did the cloth work.


A loan was approved from the E.L.C.E for the first phase of the construction.


The parsonage in Woodlark Road was purchased.


Pastor Feuerhahn was called to be Preceptor of Westfield House.


Woodbridge had its own Lutheran Chaplain so no longer needed the services of Pastor Laetsch.


A Youth Group was started for the 14+ age group, meeting alternate Fridays. The Chicksands and Upwood bases were served. There was an attempt to get a street sign on Huntingdon Road pointing to our church.


Resurrection Lutheran Church was born on Easter Sunday, when twenty-two worshippers met at Lakenheath to celebrate the Lord's Resurrection.
Though it was not yet called Resurrection, was not organised nor did it have a permanent pastor, it was agreed between Pastor Nagel and Miller’s group that  Communion services would be held at Lakenheath once a month. As word spread of the service, Lutherans from the University in Cambridge and other military bases joined in. Somewhere more central was needed...
On Reformation Sunday, October 1958, supported by wellwishing Lutherans from London, ninety-eight people worshipped together in St. Michael's Church, Trinity Street, in Cambridge. From then on monthly services were also held in Cambridge. Each worshipper came equipped with a paraffin heater to stand over during the service in St. Michael's. Professor Holland C. Jones, from Concordia Lutheran Seminary, St. Louis, on his sabbatical year in Cambridge, shared the pulpit with Pastor Nagel. He led a Bible Class on Sunday afternoons in the parsonage.


The congregation drew up a constitution and organised, choosing the name Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Resurrection. The name was to signify that the congregation was a living witness to its living Lord in a world of doubting Thomas's.


Worship continued to be held at St. Michael's in the summer and at the Westfield House Library in the winter.


Sunday School and Bible Class were held at Westfield House after the service.


Pastor Heintz left and Pastor William Gittner was installed.


There were forty people under instruction leading to Confirmation.


Pastor Ron Feuerhahn was installed.


There was a meeting with Westfield House and the E.L.C.E to plan the Lutheran centre in Cambridge. The architect presented the proposed plans.


The planning approval came through from the City of Cambridge, and ground breaking ceremony took place in June.


The dedication of this church building took place. The first Baptism here was of John Christopher, son of Dean and Barbara Bahrke of RAF Alconbury, who recently left the congregation to return to the States. A film festival was organised as the first major out-reach into the local community.


Pastor Leonard Laetsch was installed. Kneelers were made by Renee Mejer. Bases Chicksands, Woodbridge, and Alconbury were served.


Pastor Laetsch became pastor of the twin parish of Resurrection, Cambridge, and Redeemer, Harlow. Children's Club began for 7-12 year olds on every other Monday.


The 25th anniversary of Resurrection was celebrated.

This is a brief overview of the twenty-five years which we began celebrating on Easter Sunday...

Whether future developments bring fewer or more Lutherans into the Cambridge area, whether the congregation consequently grows larger or smaller is not the primary concern of Resurrection Lutheran Church. It is rather that Christian people, be they permanent or transient, must be the Church where they are if they are to take seriously that they are the Church at all. And that being the Church where one is means not only receiving the Word of the Resurrected Lord but witnessing to the Resurrected Lord where one is -- in fellowship with one's fellow believers. For only thus do the people of the living Lord really live. And only thus do a people of the resurrection become a Church of the Resurrection.


Resurrection Lutheran Church is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England a registered charity in England and Wales (number 220466) and in Scotland (number SC041204). The Evangelical Lutheran Church of England (ELCE) is a confessional Lutheran Church, in England, Scotland and Wales, and a member of International Lutheran Council (ILC).


Coming Soon

23-24 July

Ladies Retreat at Westfield House

25 July

9th Sunday after Pentecost
Divine Service with Holy Communion at 11am
No Ladies Bible study until September
No Bible study or Sunday school until the 5th of September


Pastor: Revd Jaime Kriger,
mobile number is +44 (0)7956 061004
Parsonage: +44 (0) 1223 779181
25 Westfield Lane
Cambridge CB4 3QS


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