A new Conference of European Churches (CEC) logo combines traditional symbols of Christianity with a modern colourful flair.
The logo—which is officially launched at the 2023 CEC General Assembly in Tallinn in June—was commissioned by the CEC Assembly Planning Committee and designed by Nikos Kosmidis.
Kosmidis explained how the elements in the logo combine a sense of unity, as well as original contemporary artistry founded on deep tradition.
Kosmidis is a Greek artist, who has an extensive background in theology, drew ideas for the logo’s colors from both ancient Armenian and Byzantine manuscripts and Gothic cathedrals. “East and west, west and east,” he said, describing the global sources from which he drew.
The rainbow, a symbol of peace, also adds an element of calmness, he reflected. “It may look quite modern but it’s very much rooted in today’s Christian tradition and the background of all churches.”
There were many opinions as to whether the logo should use an ecumenical boat or ark, as the logo went through extensive discussions, deliberations, and many drafts.
The CEC Governing Board finally approved the logo in its meeting in November 2022.
“The shape of the boat and the blue-greenish color are meant to symbolize the waves that we have on our common journey—and they have a strong theological meeting in the church, in all churches,” said Kosmidis. “The logo does not just say what we have achieved but want we want to achieve, to be prophetic in that way.”
The shapes of the cup and the cross symbolize common suffering and common struggle coupled with the belief that we will reach, one day, a fullness of unity.
“The logo takes its roots from the biblical tradition, and it’s rooted also in church history,” said Kosmidis.
Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen, CEC general secretary, expressed appreciation for the in-depth work from the Assembly Planning Committee, as well as artist Kosmidis.
“The new logo generously embraces traditional Christian symbolism, is created in accordance with the intentions of CEC’s Call and Witness strategy, reaching back into the ecumenical legacy, nurtured and brought forward by CEC, and looking into a future with CEC playing a crucial role as a fellowship of churches in the heart of European decision making,” he said.
Read about aesthetical and theological explanation of CEC logo symbolism