For the first time ever, nine denominations of the Christian church are working together in Sudbury to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Reverend Jeremy Mahood of All Nations Church in Sudbury says at that time, there was really only one church in the western world, the church of Rome.

Jeremy Mahood

Reverend Jeremy Mahood is the Pastor of All Nations Church. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

He says the church was starting to get very corrupt at the time. A priest named Martin Luther wrote a thesis about it, stating people should follow the bible and not the pope or priests.

"The result was absolute chaos," he said.

"But basically, we've got all of these Protestant denominations, we have a Catholic church in turmoil. The Catholic Church started a counter reformation. So all of these holy wars and arguments and fighting and burning heretics began and we still have a good bit of that chaos within the religious community today."

'Reconciliation with First Nations people'

But that chaos will be put aside as people in the nine different denominations will mark the event.

Theologian Christopher Duncanson-Hales, co-chair of the organizing committee of the conference, called Nord500North, says there are signs the religions are trying to work together again.

"We have two hundred registrants who are interested in living and seeing how this church can come back and come closer together," he said.  

"We have three bishops with leadership of the other churches as well meeting in this conference."

Duncanson-Hales adds organizers have included Indigenous ceremonies in the conference.

"The leadership in Ontario and the leadership in Canada of the various denominations have recognized that there is a need for reconciliation with First Nations people," he said.  

"We have to accept responsibility for the sins of the past and move forward in right relations with Indigenous people, and that's why it's an important part of this conference."

There's an open service Thursday night to commemorate the Reformation. It starts at 7 p.m. at St. Patrick's Church on Walford Road in Sudbury.