ON Thursday, October 19 Churches Together in Ilkley will be hosting the visit of the Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain, the Right Reverend Dr Martin Lind, also Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Linköping in Sweden. He will give a talk to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the start of Luther’s Reformation in Europe.

In October 1517, Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk from Erfurt in Germany, denounced the sale of indulgences by the Pope’s emissaries, and drew up a list of 95 theses denying the Pope any right to forgive sins. He is said to have nailed his beliefs on the church door at Wittenberg, insisting that salvation was gifted and received through faith, rather than through works and purchases.

Luther was excommunicated from the Catholic Church as a result, and Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, convened the first Diet at Worms in 1521, before which Luther was called to retract his teachings. Luther refused to relent, and thus began the German Reformation in Europe. Luther’s contribution to the European Reformation through his teaching, hymns and Scriptural commentaries was immense and is still very influential today. His translation of the Bible from Latin into vernacular German enabled its understanding and study by ordinary people, and was competed while he was in hiding after his excommunication.

The lecture will take place at Ilkley Baptist Church, 4 Kings Road, Ilkley LS29 4AD, on Thursday, October 19 at 7.30pm. It will be chaired by Bishop Walter Jagucki, Bishop Emeritus of the Lutheran Church of Great Britain (Leeds). The evening will include refreshments. All are very welcome to attend.