World Council of Churches

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

You are here: Home / 70 years of the World Council of Churches

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.

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 putting up the WCC anniversary poster at 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
  • by sharing anniversary greetings of thanksgiving and encouragement from member churches and partners.

Resources to download:

Related News

Canadian churches celebrate WCC’s 70th anniversary

Canadian churches celebrate WCC’s 70th anniversary

The Atlantic School of Theology in Nova Scotia, Canada, celebrated the 70th anniversary of the WCC on 22 November at a chapel service. Also in Canada, the Canadian Council of Churches Governing Board members were pleased to hear from WCC representatives during their meeting in Ontario from 21-23 November.

Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos celebrates Silver Jubilee

Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos celebrates Silver Jubilee

His Eminence Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos of the Northeast American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church celebrated his Episcopal Silver Jubilee, or 25 years in ministry, on 17 November. Metropolitan Nicholovos is a member of the WCC Executive Committee. In an interview with WCC Communication, he reflects on his 25-year milestone, as well as on the challenges and joys of the ecumenical movement today.

Younger theologians mark WCC 70th anniversary in The Ecumenical Review

Younger theologians mark WCC 70th anniversary in The Ecumenical Review

The latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, the quarterly journal of the World Council of Churches, contains a selection of articles received in response to a call for contributions by younger theologians and researchers to mark the WCC’s 70th anniversary.