Tine Weichmann and her band perform a concert of Taylor Swift songs in Heidelberg's main church, Source: Heiliggeistkirche Veranstaltungen / Facebook

Heidelberg church attracts youth with Taylor Swift-themed liturgy

Heidelberg church attracts youth with Taylor Swift-themed liturgy

And the results were immediate, two Sunday services had to be performed to accommodate the crowd

Yesterday, churchgoers to Heidelberg’s historic Church of the Holy Spirit were in for a surprise service that had more than the usual liturgies and Biblical wisdom – the music that accompanied the ceremony was composed of US singer Taylor Swift’s pop anthems.

And while the pop star is currently on a European tour, she herself did not drop in the Gothic church in question. The songs were performed by Tine Weichmann — a singer from Hamburg and now a professor of popular church music in Heidelberg — and her band. A rainbow-colored sign behind the musicians welcomed people to the free concert with the words: "Everybody is welcome!"

Taylor Swift is open about her religious upbringing

If you’re wondering, why would the Protestant church in Heidelberg resort to the contemporary popularity of a pop star to draw in more service attendees, well, that’s partially why. Like any modern religious outfit in the West, the Church of the Holy Spirit has found it harder to motivate the younger generations to commit to a more regular liturgy attendance, hence getting in tune with what young people are passionate about can certainly help.

What’s more, the choice of Taylor Swift’s songs is not random because the US pop star has never hidden her Christian religious upbringing and the importance this has for her own life.

Parish Pastor Vincenzo Petracca studied the lyrics of Swift’s songs and found that although they might be open to interpretations, there’s a strong Christian and liberal political tone in them, addressing subjects like faith, women’s rights, racism and gender equality.

And indeed, the success of the innovative idea was immediately obvious. Staged under the name, "Anti-Hero — Taylor Swift Church Service," the Sunday liturgy attracted much younger and more female crowd. 1,200 congregants came to pray and hear six of Taylor Swift’s songs and that actually meant that the Church had to perform two services that day.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU