The Church of Wotanberg

Since the eighth century, when St Boniface (or one of his followers acting in his name) chopped down the famous Oak of Wotan, Wotanberg had been a Christian country.* However, because of its geographic and cultural isolation, Wotanberg's religious ties with the rest of Christendom, in general, and the Pope, in particular, were few and loose. Its geographic and cultural isolation also helped keep Wotanberg free from the bloody religious strife that engulfed much of Europe during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, also this was also due, in no small measure, to the leadership exercised by Grand Duke Gottfried in this regard.

As Crown Prince, Gottfried was one of the first of the Grand Ducal Family to be educated "abroad". His time in Germany, England, and Switzerland not only exposed him to the ideas that were shaking and shaping Europe at the time, but also convinced him that he must do all in his power to prevent religious fervor from turning into religious warfare in his own county. Called back to assume the throne when his father died in 1649, Gottfried moved quickly.

Recognizing that despite its nominal connections with Rome, the Church in Wotanberg had, in fact, already become an independent national church not unlike the Church of England, Gottfried formally established the "Church of Wotanberg". Although this church would be supported in part by taxes levied by the Grand Duke, Gottfried also decreed that all adults in the Grand Duchy were free to choose their own religion and placed all places of worship under his protection. In 1649 Gottfried convened a synod of both clerics and laity to develop a statement of the Church's beliefs and organizational structure. With minor modifications ** this statement has been followed by the Church of Wotanberg in the three centuries since its adoption.

For additional information regarding the Church of Wotanberg, contact the Archbishop here.

*Frequently in the eleven centuries since Wotanberg's conversion, the continuing reference to a pagan god in the country's name --and now in the name of its church--has been questioned and criticised. In response, the words of St Boniface (or one of his followers acting in his name) are usually quoted: "You have known this place as Wotan's mountain, now you have learned that the entire world belongs to God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

**For example, the diaconate and priesthood were opened up to married men in the 1890's and to women in the 1920's.