Visitors to Europe often think that because the Diocese in Europe was formed in 1980 we are a collection of new churches.
In The Hague at the heart of The Netherlands this weekend (22 – 24 June 2012) they are celebrating 425 years of history – plus one!
The English church of St John and St Philip can trace its history back to 1586. In 1584, during the early years of the revolt against King Philip of Spain, Prince William the Silent was assassinated. The Dutch begged Queen Elizabeth 1 to become their sovereign and provide military aid. Reluctant to get too involved she, nonetheless, promised to send soldiers and appointed the Earl of Leicester as Governor General of the Netherlands. The English Church was established in The Hague in 1586 when the magistrates built a chapel for use of the chaplains who accompanied English soldiers, diplomats and merchants who came with the Earl of Leicester.
Since then the Anglican church has occupied four buildings on different sites, the present one was consecrated in 1952 as the church rebuilt its congregation after World War two.
It was last year (2011) when attention was drawn to the 425 year milestone but preparations for the celebrations have taken a further year so the activities, which include a Medieval Bazaar, Flower Festival, Guided Tours of the church and Historical Presentations with drama and music.
The weekend events will finish with Festal Choral Evensong on Sunday evening.
More information on the church website http://www.stjohn-stphilip.org/