The Parish of St. Magnus and Rosengarten Welcoming Candid Socially Engaged
That is what the protestant parish of St. Magnus in Worms and the parish of Rosengarten are:
We are a welcoming community : „‘Go out into the roads and country lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled.“ (Luke 14:23 NRSV). Encouraged by Jesus’ commandment we invite all people not only to our Sunday services, but also to many other cultural or edifying events and gatherings of young or old people. The youth hostel is next to our church and so we often have guests from abroad in our parish. We welcome all people who are interested in our community work.
We are an open-minded community: “You have set my feet in a broad place“ (Ps 31,8 NRSV) As the psalmist we know that God gave us our life with all its possibilities and challenges. We arrange this “broad place” in the tradition of Reformation, because our church is the first one in south-west Germany inspired by Luther’s ideas. Being a “broad place” further means to us that we are engaged in social issues. As our church is in the city centre a lot of people come to us, with all their individual life stories. Our door is open to everybody regardless of their social or religious background, their age or wealth.
We are an active part of our society: It was the prophet Jeremiah who wrote “Seek the Welfare of the City“ (Jer 29,7, NRSV). We take this order seriously. We are concerned about the municipal community of Worms. We cooperate with other institutions of the church, non-governmental organizations, the city council and other partners in politics and administration.
We are engaged in social welfare work: “Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.“ (Matt 25,40) Jesus encouraged his disciples with these words. We also try to follow his orders every day by helping people in distress. Our encouraging services and spiritual welfare as well as material support provided by our free lunch meetings and our commitment to refugees are only a few examples.
St. Magnus Church. Place of reformation and architectural jewel
The church of St. Magnus is a basilica with three naves. The pillared arcades are of Romanic origin. Its outline is typically asymmetric. The church is first mentioned in 1141, but the foundation goes probably back to the 8th or 9th century CE.
First protestant church in southwestern Germany
In the middle ages St. Magnus was the parish church of the convent of St. Andrew next to the church. As early as 1521 the sermons of some of the canons were inspired by Martin Luther. One of them was Ulrich Preu, a friend of Martin Luther. Therefore St. Magnus is called the first protestant church in southwestern Germany.
Total destruction in the 17th century
In the Nine Years War Worms was completely destroyed by French troops in 1689. St. Magnus was burnt down and was a ruin for more than half a century. As late as 1756 it was reconstructed and used as a protestant church.
Lawsuits between Protestants and Catholics
A lawsuit concerning the church building between the Protestants and the Catholics had already started before the destruction and went on after the Nine Years War. The convent of St. Andreas, the bishops of Worms and later on the Jesuits, who had their seminary next to the church, initiated several verdicts in order to obtain St. Magnus. The city council was Lutheran and together with the protestant parish it opposed to all those verdicts to give up the church to the Catholics. At the end of the 18th century the lawsuit faded.