WCC 1st Assembly, Amsterdam 1948.

WCC 1st Assembly, Amsterdam 1948.

During a 23 August service in the Netherlands in the Nieuwe Kerk, a 15th-century church in Amsterdam, World Council of Churches (WCC) leaders will celebrate the WCC’s 70th anniversary at the very spot in which the organization was founded.

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and WCC moderator Dr Agnes Abuom, along with many representatives from the WCC fellowship, will participate in the ecumenical service.

Young people from different continents have offered their help for this ceremony. The music will be provided by The Passion Choir from the Bijlmer led by Kirsten Michel; Henk Verhoef, organist of De Nieuwe Kerk; Marian Jaspers Fayer (flute); and Gertru Pasveer (harp).

Symposium and pilgrimage

Also as part of the 70th anniversary of the WCC, the Protestant Theological University will organize a symposium under the theme “Hospitality on a pilgrim's way to peace and justice.” Speakers are Mpho Tutu, executive director of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and former Dutch parliament member Kathleen Ferrier. The symposium will take place at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam on 23 August.

A “Walk of Peace” through Amsterdam will also be held beginning in the Hoftuin of the Protestant Church in Amsterdam and ending at Dam Square. The peace walk will be symbolic of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace that has been the foundation of WCC’s work. During the walk, pilgrims will stop at various historic memorials particularly meaningful in a context of justice and peace.

The 23 August events will be preceded by a Youth Pilgrimage, gathering Dutch as well as international youth for an ecumenical experience in the lead-up to 23 August. The youth pilgrimage will focus on the theme of "On the Move", with the youth reflecting on what it means to be "moving away”, “dreaming”, and “moving on", and it will form the basis for strong youth contributions to each of the 23-August events.

Detailed programme, 23 August 2018

10.30-13.00: A symposium (in English) will be organised by the Protestant Theological Faculty in Amsterdam, in the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Livestream to be confirmed.)

13.00-15.00: A Walk of Peace through the Centre of Amsterdam, starting at the “Hoftuin” of the Protestant Church in Amsterdam and ending on the Dam square.

16.00: International celebration in English, in the Nieuwe Kerk in the centre of Amsterdam,

For questions regarding the World Council of Churches and international media, please contact:

WCC director of communication Marianne Ejdersten; e-mail: [email protected], mobile phone: +41 79 507 63 63

WCC photo coordinator: Albin Hillert, email: [email protected], mobile phone: +46 73 070 11 08

For questions regarding the programme in Amsterdam and local media, please contact:

Marloes Nouwens, email: [email protected], phone +31 (0)6 46 726 672

Learn more:

70 years of the World Council of Churches

WCC 70th anniversary in Amsterdam

Anniversary Service


Walk of Peace

Youth Pilgrimage