Dies ist das Grußwort, das Ian Tegner aus London an die Festgemeinde gerichtet hat:
„Vielen, vielen Dank für ihr Wilkommen. My wife Meriel and I are so glad and so privileged to be here to share in this auspicious (glücklich) occasion.
Vielen herzliche Grüsse aus London, besonders von den Mitgliedern der St Helen‘s Kirche, die das Glück hatten an der Wiedereinweihungsfeier, neunzehn hundert fünf und sechzig, teilnehmen zu dürfen.
Now in English: Bitte vergib! I know you understand English much better than I speak German.
On 27th August 1965 sixty two members of the parish of St Helen’s in London, embarked on a visit to Hildesheim. Why? Warum? The Cathedral church of St Andreas was destroyed on 22nd March 1944 by British incendiary bombs. Sunday, 29th August was to be the day of reconsecration. But the two congregations intended that it should be far more than this. The rebuilding was to be a symbol of the dedication of all Christians to the unity of their faith, irrespective of nationality, politics or history. So we, whose church in London was also destroyed by enemy action and rebuilt, were invited to join you in this act of dedication and reconciliation.
For many of us it was the first journey overseas. We knew there would be services of consecration and reconciliation; that we would be guests in the homes of German families; and we had seen the beauty of Hildesheim in pictures. We were imbued with a spirit of goodwill, but we had much to learn. We experienced the warm hospitality of our hosts, often with little common language other than laughter; we shared the worship of St Andreas; we presented an Altar Bible to be at its future heart. We sang, and we danced, together.
What did we learn? We learned how our common Christian faith and way of life can bind us together, can overcome difficulties of language and the all-too-fresh memories of recent bloody times, and can give us a common purpose. We found universal fellowship in Christ.
Over the past fifty years we have maintained our fellowship through mutual visits and personal friendships. Many who were here in 1965 have passed on and others have moved away from St Helens. But we were all exceptionally privileged to share this experience and every one of us was touched and moved, and our faith reinforced.
Today the challenge of reconciliation world-wide is as great as ever. May this 50th anniversary renew and reinforce our determination to meet it.
Möge Gott mit uns sein.“