‘A role of a bridge of different faiths...’
German-born vicar came for adventure and fell in love with England
Christoph Lindner, who was licensed earlier this month and is originally from Hamburg, Germany, highlighted the importance of co-operation and unity.
Referring to the ‘squabbling’ in Germany between the two Christian faiths he said: “Here it’s like you’ve something better to do as Christians than fight each other.
“I’ve absolutely relished the friendships you have with the different denominations in this area.”
Speaking about Bucks he said: “This is a very privileged part of the world and you could get so used to that.
“I’m trying not to get used to it as much because I don’t want to lose my sensitivity for people that are not as privileged.
“Life is so multicultural here you don’t feel you’re missing out.”
He added: “As the established church we have a role as a bridge of different faiths. That’s a really special thing to be aware of.
“We want to live alongside each other and talk to each other and be citizens that help the flourishing of the community.
“I look forward to meeting people of other faiths here. I love learning new things.”
Rev Lindner moved to the UK with his wife Edda in 2000 after successful careers in education - him as a secondary school teacher, and her working as a primary school teacher.
Describing himself as a ‘generalist’ and a ‘jack-ofall trades’, he said they were both ‘looking for an adventure abroad’, and decided to come to England after he experienced it when he studied here for a year abroad in the late 1980s.
“I always thought if there’s a chance to come back to England that would be amazing,” he said.
Initially the pair only meant to stay for a threeyear period, but the husband and wife duo eventually found themselves loving England that much they did not want to leave.
He said: “We were so established and said why would we go back to Germany? It’s been great – we’ve become English citizens.”
Rev Lindner’s father was a Lutheran vicar, and he was initially reluctant follow in his footsteps.
He said: “I didn’t want to do the same as my dad, and I had a very clear idea that I needed to explore this to become a vicar.
He added: “On one level I soaked it up with my mother’s milk because my dad was a vicar. I always knew there was a God who
to loved me.
“But I had to make a decision whether that was something from my dad or whether it was something that was true to myself and my faith.”
However, as a young adult Rev Lindner realised his true passion and was ordained in the faith in 2012.
Currently, he said it is a struggle to be a Christian in 2016 and still be ‘relevant’ to the community in which you live.
“Parts of the church are nearly 1,000 years old. People have been praying in this place for hundreds and hundreds of years. You need to connect with the young people if you don’t want this church to turn into a museum,” he said, and added: “You can’t assume what would work 20 years ago would work today.”
Rev Lindner added: “Church would be so boring without the young people.”