THE Diocese of Worcester has signed a new partnership agreement with the Diocese of Magdeburg in Eastern Germany.

Worcester has had a partnership with Magdeburg for nearly 22 years with many parishes in the two dioceses sharing friendship through individual relationships, and clergy and others participating in events both in the UK and Germany.

Last weekend, Bishop Ilse Junkerman, Bishop of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany , where the area of Stendal-Magdeburg is a part, and Bishop John met together to celebrate the link and recommit to it.

The new partnership agreement promises that the two dioceses will continue to share worship and services, conferences and meetings as well as develop new areas of co-operation.

In a speech to the Diocese of Worcester Bishop’s Council, Bishop Ilse said: “Our partnership has helped us to see what we have in common and where we are different – most importantly we share a love of the Lord Jesus Christ and can pray together and worship together.

"As we have evaluated our partnership, we have realised how much it means to those who are involved, but also that it could have much more impact.

"We would like to encourage more partners to become involved, especially schools and colleges. I am looking forward to everything that will connect us in the future and will bring us together again and again.”

Bishop John said: “Through our partnership with Magdeburg we can explore not only our shared faith but also our shared European history and learn from each other.

"I hope that many more parishes will be able to benefit from this link, particularly during 2014 when we commemorate the Great War which had such a devastating impact on both our countries."