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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

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

13 - 20 May 2018 Worldwide (southern hemisphere)

The theme for the week of prayer in 2018, "Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power" is inspired by Exodus 15:6. The resources for the week have been prepared by members of different churches in the Caribbean.

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 WCC on 21 June will cap celebrations of the ecumenical legacy as WCC is marking its 70th anniversary.

Related News

Global Christian Forum builds trust between Christian traditions says WCC general secretary

Global Christian Forum builds trust between Christian traditions says WCC general secretary

World Council of Churches (WCC) General Secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has told participants at the Global Christian Forum’s Third (GCF) Global Gathering in Bogota, Colombia that the GCF is remarkable in building trust among participants and opening ways for new forms of cooperation.

A common journey for the WCC and the Focolare

A common journey for the WCC and the Focolare

Basta amare! This is the core of Chiara Lubich’s message for unity. A message full of hope and respect for the work of the World Council of Churches (WCC) towards justice and peace.

#WCC70: Chiara Lubich and the World Council of Churches

#WCC70: Chiara Lubich and the World Council of Churches

The relationship between the WCC and Chiara Lubich dates back to the time of the Second Vatican Council. On her death, Samuel Kobia paid tribute, saying: “Our love for Chiara and immense gratitude for the gift of God she has been to the ecumenical movement, will continue to motivate and inspire us in our work for the visible unity of the church”.