‘A role of a bridge of dif­fer­ent faiths...’

Ger­man-born vicar came for ad­ven­ture and fell in love with Eng­land

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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.”

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