9 Jul 2019

Tribute to The Revd Dr Irene Ahrens


It was with great sadness we learned of the death of our dear pastor, the Revd Dr Irene Ahrens.

Irene served as pastor in St George's Berlin since February 2000. She brought with her a sky blue London taxi announcing "Heaven is my Destination" which caused smiles and raised eyebrows! She once told how one car driver shouted at her, "If you carry on driving like that you will get there sooner than you think!"

Irene was in many ways a surprising person. She delighted and impressed many by her spontaneous and loving ways. She visited the detention centre for refugees who had been denied a visa. She used to sing with the women there. One security guard commented, "The only time we hear laughter is when Irene comes!"

Irene gave so much. She restarted Anglican services in Dresden - in the Frauenkirche no less! The first Anglican services in Dresden since the Second World War. They are still going on.

She preached regularly and led services in St George's, in the weekly evening service in the Marienkirche, Berlin - and led retreats in England each Summer.

Many recall with fond memories the evenings she and Gustav opened their home to friends, parishioners, confirmands, even perfect strangers. One person told me the very first time she met Irene, Irene said "You must come and have tea with me".

Irene was open-hearted, generous, unconventional, with a contagious joy and trust in the love of God.

We are greatly saddened by our loss but draw comfort in the hope that her Lord and Saviour has called her home and will welcome her with joy and redeeming love. May Irene rest in peace and rise in glory!


The Revd Canon Christopher Jage-Bowler

Chaplain, St George's Berlin