World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

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70 years of the World Council of Churches

The 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches in 2018 is an opportunity to mark the achievements of the past 70 years in working for Christian unity and action, and to look to the challenges ahead as a fellowship of churches responding to God’s call for unity, mission, justice and peace.
70 years of the World Council of Churches

US delegates to the founding Assembly of the WCC in 1948 watch as as Herbert Wing, 6, hands the president to the Federal Council of Churches one of 10'000 copies of the Gospel of St John to be presented to Dutch Sunday School children as gifts from New York boys and girls.

Walking together, serving justice and peace

In 2018 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches and the fellowship that is its heart and soul. This is an opportunity to mark the achievements of the past 70 years in working for Christian unity and action, and to look to the challenges ahead as a fellowship of churches responding to God’s call for unity, mission, justice and peace.

Click here for a pdf version of the infographic.

Let's celebrate throughout the year!

The WCC, its member churches and partners are planning a variety of events to move us forward on our ongoing Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, and at the same time honour and learn from these 70 years of ecumenical endeavour.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the WCC Central Committee meeting in Geneva in June, a joint consultation on sustainable development with the ACT Alliance in Uppsala, exactly 50 years after the WCC Assembly there: the anniversary year of 2018 will offer many opportunities to focus firmly on envisioning our common future: united in faith, eager for witness, and fearless in the quest for justice and peace.

We invite you, and all member churches and ecumenical partners, to take part in this important anniversary.  Here are some ways you can participate:

  • by sharing stories and prayers or songs related to our seven-decades-old common pilgrimage
  • by organizing or hosting events in your own context
  • by bringing the WCC anniversary exhibition to your venue or event
  • by choosing a day for celebrating the anniversary, preferably on 23 August, which marked the opening of the 1st Assembly in Amsterdam and the formal constitution of the WCC.

Click here to access various versions of the anniversary logo for download.

Click here to download a leaflet to hand out at your anniversary events (pdf, 7MB).

Related Events

Central Committee meeting

Central Committee meeting

15 - 21 June 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

The Central Committee serves as the chief governing body of the WCC until the next assembly, meeting every 2 years. It is responsible for carrying out the policies adopted by the Assembly, reviewing and supervising WCC programmes and the budget of the Council.

Pope Francis to visit the World Council of Churches

Pope Francis to visit the World Council of Churches

21 June 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

The landmark visit of Pope Francis to the World Council of Churches on 21 June will be a centrepiece of the ecumenical commemoration of the WCC's 70th anniversary.

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Alla conferenza stampa del Consiglio ecumenico delle chiese svoltasi il 15 maggio presso il Centro ecumenico di Ginevra, due alti funzionari della polizia di Ginevra hanno delineato le misure di sicurezza che verranno adottate per la storica visita del Papa a Ginevra il 21 giugno, offrendo rassicurazioni sul fatto che la polizia è già pronta e ben attrezzata per una tale visita.

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