Saturday, 4 November 2017

Hooray for the vicar's wife

Martin & Kathe Luther
The Reformation celebrations have reminded me of our wonderful trip 'In the Footsteps of the Reformers' a few years ago, and of these Reformation beer mats which I have on my desk from a Wittenberg bierkeller.

Reformed monk Martin Luther had a great love for beer, the institution of marriage, and for Mrs Luther  in particular, of whom he memorably said 'I would not exchange my Kathe for France nor for Venice to boot.'

The ending of compulsory priestly celibacy was one of the immediate effects of the Reformation and many of the Reformers, like Luther, enthusiastically embraced the institution of marriage.

With a married clergy came clergy families and that wonderful person: the Vicar's wife.

On the same trip in the footsteps of the Reformers, I was delighted to see a whole exhibition devoted to the 'Protestant Vicarage' and to the contribution that clergy wives had made to church and nation since the days of the Reformation (see below).

It's an interesting thought that both the Chancellor of Germany, and our own prime minister, are  vicarage children.




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