Frauenkirche mourns the death of Irene Ahrens

The Frauenkirche Dresden Foundation mourns the death of Reverend Dr Irene Ahrens.

From 2006 to 2015, Irene coordinated the Anglican services here at the Frauenkirche, most of which she held herself and which were characterized by her open and warm personality. As her home parish of St George's Anglican Church in Berlin announced, Irene died on May 11, 2019. 

Born in Berlin in 1940, Irene Ahrens studied in Bonn, Berlin and Elmira (USA) and gained her PhD in 1969. From 1984 to 1999 she lived and worked in London, where she decided to study theology. As one of the very first women, she was ordained priest in 1995. From the year 2000 on until the end of her life, she assisted The Rv. Canon Christopher Jage-Bowler in running the lively community of St. George in Berlin.

For many years, Irene Ahrend was closedly connected to the Frauenkirche. One message of this church was especially important to her: a new beginning is possible if we reconcile. The fact that a huge heap of rubble could be turned into a church full of live that attracts an international congregation was a powerful sign of encouragement for her. It strengthened her in all her work both here in Dresden and in Berlin.

From the very beginning she supported the idea to establish regular English language Anglican services at the Frauenkirche. In June 2006 she organized and led held the first Anglican worship. During the following decade, she preached in many others and invited international guest preachers to underline the idea of the Frauenkirche as a place that links people of different nationalities and confessions. In December 2015, Irene Ahrens was dismissed from her service for the Frauenkirche.


The funeral service will take place on Thursday 30 May 2019 at 12:00 in St George’s.