FSPC council president welcomes WCC general secretary

Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, met with Gottfried Locher, president of the FSPC in Bern together with the presidents of FSPC member churches. Tveit’s first official visit as WCC general secretary involved a discussion of issues central to the global ecumenical movement.

“The World Council of Churches is a visible sign of our global church community.” With those words, Gottfried Locher, council president of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC), welcomed Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), today to the FSPC headquarters in Bern. Locher added that “the WCC provides the FSPC with a global voice as a church” and through such international contacts an “indispensable external view”.

During his first official visit to the Protestant churches of Switzerland, the WCC host country, Tveit underscored how the FSPC, a founding member of the WCC, “is well known for its ecumenical ethos and for its commitment.” The Swiss Protestant churches, he added, were “active, reliable, and critical partners” of the ecumenical movement and the WCC.

The meeting between the WCC general secretary and the delegation of the FSPC and its member churches offered an idea of the state of mutual relations and a view to future cooperation. The Bossey Ecumenical Institute was in discussion as a most important project, and one which, for decades, has received considerable financial support by the Swiss churches. The center for academic ecumenical education and training, founded in 1946, welcomes students from around the world to take courses and to conduct research. The institute has, however, come under financial pressure in the midst of the global financial crisis and the connected downturn in contributions. The FSPC Assembly of Delegates has recently agreed, at its Lausanne meeting, to support Bossey financially in the coming year as well.

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World Council of Churches WCC/Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches FSPC