Anniversaries in 2017

Reformation Anniversary (1517 - 2017) 

Martin Luther challenges the church

On 31 October 1517 the protest of Martin Luther, Doctor of Theology, against the practice of indulgences took expression in 95 Theses touching on questions of grace, repentance and forgiveness. He announced his intention to defend his statements orally in that place or by letter with those who could not be present. 

Reaction from church leaders and scholars, at first on a small scale, gathered momentum with lives changed radically in German states and in many countries across Europe. Two years later, King Henry VIII of England started to write his Defence of the Seven Sacraments while he was reading Martin Luther's attack on indulgences. Luther himself composed a reply to King Henry, answered in turn by Thomas More. Although Luther's writings were banned in England, a small group started to meet in Cambridge to study them, along with other material emerging from the new movement on the Continent. Many of them would become key figures in the English Reformation.

Churches are holding events to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year.

Reformation Roadmap

Events are taking place across Europe with a show-truck or ‘storymobile’ travelling from Geneva to 67 European cities, collecting ‘stories’ from each destination to take to Wittenberg, where Martin Luther lived and worked, and where the World Reformation Exhibition, ‘Gates of Freedom’, opens on 20 May 2017.

The storymobile will stop in each city presenting the local history of the Reformation. It will visit Dublin on 17/18 February 2017, Liverpool on 21 February 2017, Cambridge on 23 February 2017 and London on 25 February 2017.


The Storymobile tells the story of Reformation across Europe and down the centuries. Using a variety of today’s communications methods, just as Luther exploited the social media of his time (print and pamphlets), it will gather in stories from the communities it visits about how they understand and interpret the Reformation. Stories will be collected during the visit or in advance via The resulting stories, images and videos will be displayed in Berlin this summer.

Handel's Water Music

The 1st performance is recorded as happening about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 17 July 1717, King George I and several aristocrats boarded a royal barge at Whitehall for an excursion up the Thames toward Chelsea. The rising tide propelled the barge upstream without rowing. Another barge contained about 50 musicians who performed Handel's music. Many other Londoners also took to the river to hear the concert. According to The Courant, "the whole River in a manner was covered" with boats and barges. On arriving at Chelsea, the king left his barge, then returned to it at about 11 p.m. for the return trip. The king was so pleased with the Water Music that he ordered it to be repeated at least three times, both on the trip upstream to Chelsea and on the return, until he landed again at Whitehall.

Courtesy wikipedia

Anniversaries in 2016

500 Years


Thomas More’s “Utopia” was written in Latin, and is in two parts, of which the second, describing the place ([Greek text]—or Nusquama, as he called it sometimes in his letters—“Nowhere”), was probably written towards the close of 1515; the first part, introductory, early in 1516.  The book was first printed at Louvain, late in 1516, under the editorship of Erasmus, Peter Giles, and other of More’s friends in Flanders.  It was then revised by More, and printed by Frobenius at Basle in November, 1518.  It was reprinted at Paris and Vienna, but was not printed in England during More’s lifetime.  Its first publication in this country was in the English translation, made in Edward’s VI.’s reign (1551) by Ralph Robinson.  It was translated with more literary skill by Gilbert Burnet, in 1684, soon after he had conducted the defence of his friend Lord William Russell, attended his execution, vindicated his memory, and been spitefully deprived by James II. of his lectureship at St. Clement’s.  Burnet was drawn to the translation of “Utopia” by the same sense of unreason in high places that caused More to write the book.                   for the complete work

100 Years


An American novelist and naturalized Englishman, Henry James was an important figure in transatlantic literary culture of the day. Born on April 15, 1843, in New York City, Henry James became one of his generation's most well-known writers and remains so to this day for such works as The Portrait of a Lady and The Turn of the Screw. Having lived in England for 40 years, James became a British subject in 1915, the year before his death. He died on February 28, 1916, in London, England.