The English Church Heidelberg
Part of the Anglican Diocese in Europe

Our History

Among the first Anglican residents in Heidelberg was Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of King James I of England and VI of Scotland. Elizabeth married the German Elector Friedrich V on Valentine’s Day 1613 and took up residence in Heidelberg castle. Her chaplain Revd Dr Alexander Chapman conducted Anglican services in the castle chapel, and in 1619 the poet and priest John Donne preached there while on a diplomatic mission to Germany. In the nineteenth century large numbers of people from the British Isles came to Heidelberg as short- or long-term residents: teachers and soldiers, artists and businessmen. They wanted a church of their own in the city and negotiated with the municipal authorities for use of the church building. A chaplaincy was established in 1835, and from 1844 to 1914 the congregation met in the former Dominican Convent chapel, now the Erlöserkirche on Plöck, where we still worship today.

The church was closed down at the time of the First World War in 1914, then handed over to the Old Catholics (see Church Relationships ) in 1936. In 1971 a trio of Englishwomen living in Heidelberg with their families requested the use of the building for a new English-speaking congregation once a month – and so The English Church Heidelberg was awakened to new life at Easter 1971. The church celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021.

A member of our community, historian Dr. Stefan Mörz, has written an excellent booklet "A Short History of The English Church Heidelberg" which is available for €5 at the church. Ask a Church warden if you are interested in one.