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A Brief History of the Parish

While English-speaking Christians have worshiped in Frankfurt for several centuries, the history of our present congregation goes back to the presence of a large number of American military personnel in Frankfurt and the wider Rhein-Main region following the Second World War. As the congregation grew, the U.S. Military loaned the Church a site at the corner of Hansaallee and Miquelallee and the British sent a Nissen Hut for the building.  On Ash Wednesday 1949, Bishop Stephen Neil dedicated that building to St. Christopher. However, because the number of worshipers grew in the coming years and the German Old Catholic Congregation in Frankfurt was also in need for a place for worship, it was decided to build a joint church. In 1956 the cornerstone of the present church was laid. Buried with it was a signed document by church leaders of the American Episcopal Church of St. Christopher and from the Old Catholic Church of St. Willibrod. The Church of Christ the King was dedicated on August 24, 1957 and so we celebrate our fiftieth anniversary in this year (2007). Much of the money for the building came from the Division of Women’s Work of the American Episcopal Church.

From its inception, our church was shared by our congregation (then under the name of St Christopher) and our sister congregation, the Old Catholic Congregation of St. Willibrod. However, in 1985 the Old Catholics moved to a site in Frankfurt-Bockenheim and January 1, 1986, the Vestry and Parish of Christ the King completed transactions with the Old Catholic Church, becoming the sole owners of the church building and the property. The name was later changed to Christ the King. Nevertheless, we have maintained particularly close and cordial connections with the Old Catholic Church in Frankfurt.

Over the fifty years of its existence, CtK has seen a succession of seven Rectors, each of whom has been with us for between four and eight years. During this fifty-year period, the composition of the parish has changed quite substantially. To name but a few of these developments, the American military has gradually withdrawn its presence over the years, so that today the number of members associated with the military is relatively low. At the same time, Germany has experienced waves of immigration and refugees, many of whom come from outside the European Union and wish to worship in English.  Frankfurt, as the undisputed finance capital of Germany, continues to attract employees of banks, multinational corporations and international cultural, educational and other institutions.  Together, these developments have made Frankfurt one of Germany’s most international cities.  On a personal level, networks among individuals from different cultural backgrounds  continue to expand exponentially and our parish reflects some of the rich variety of multicultural friendships, business relationships, partnerships, marriages and families that result.  These unusual demographics have presented interesting challenges to our Rectors and the Congregation as a whole over the years.