Anglican Church Twente
St.Mary's of Weldam
Chaplaincy in the Diocese of Europe
2014 - All Events
20141207 Visit Bishop Robert & Confirmation Service
Festive Eucharist in which six members of our congregation were confirmed as well as the dedication of the new Wall panels by the new Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe the Right Reverend Robert Innes.
20141126 Shoebox Action
This year Sunday School, with your help, did support the Action Shoebox from Stichting Edukans. They managed to collect quite a number of shoeboxes to be delivered to the Actie Schoenmaatje. The decorated shoeboxes have been delivered to one of the regional collection centres. From there the packages are being transported to the national collection point to be shipped out to the respective receivers.
20141109 Remembrance Sunday
Sunday November 9th 2014 our congregation did celebrate Remembrance Day.
Members of the Midden Overijssel branch of the Union of Brothers in Arms (Wapenbroeders) stood at the entrance of the chapel with their banner commemorating those who died in military conflicts. Veteran Mr. Charles Reeves, president of the Market-Garden Veterans Association ), did speake the following words: "They shall grow not old, as we are left grow old, age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of he sun and in the morning, we will remember them."
Then the Last Post was played on the trumpet by Mr. Mulder and as a special memory, a piece of the former Berlin Wall was displayed on the Altar.
(From Wikipedia) Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the official end of World War I on that date in 1918; hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice ("at the 11th hour" refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 a.m.)
The day was specifically dedicated by King George V on 7 November 1919 as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.
The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem "In Flanders Fields". These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.
20141027 Iona Pilgrimage
In the sixth century a group of Irish monks, led by St. Columba left their native Ireland for Britain and landed on the remote Hebridean island of Iona. Their aim was to bring Christianity to pagan Britain and the monastery they established on Iona was the starting point. They were very successful and when St Columba died in 597 the Christian faith had a strong foothold in Northern Britain. The first wooden buildings were replaced by a stone Benedictine Abbey in the late middle ages which fell into disrepair after the Reformation in the 16th century.
In 1899 the ruined building was gifted to the Church of Scotland by the owner, the Duke of Argyll. A minister in the Church, George McLeod began the task of restoring the place in the late 1930s inviting unemployed construction workers from Glasgow. They worked in community as equals which over the years developed into the Iona Community, an ecumenical movement which now attracts people from all over the world. A resident staff of professionals and seasonal volunteers receive many guests for open and theme weeks spent in community with twice daily services in the Abbey church, and a variety of programs with an emphasis on reflection, spirituality, meditation and prayer but also great fellowship and a lot of fun.
There are elements of the Celtic church with a strong belief in a direct relationship with God and meaningful stewardship of God’s creation. The Iona Community strives for social justice, nuclear disarmament, peace and ecological awareness. Furthermore they work for a renewal in the Church with appealing themes, new liturgies and hymns with sometimes surprising lyrics.
And so our party of 13 set out at the end of September full of expectation and thrill, our journey itself a pilgrimage of sorts. After a smooth flight to Glasgow and a very scenic train ride along the Clyde, Loch Lomond and ever higher hills, we reached Oban to spend the night. The following day the ferry brought us to the island of Mull where we changed for the bus to Fionnphort and a final short crossing to Iona. Very welcoming Abbey residents met us at the jetty and relieved us of our suitcases.
After a short walk to the Abbey we had tea, were shown our rooms, had the first evening meal and a service of welcome in the church.
We had been asked to mingle with the other guests and before long we became one with the Swedish church group, the American groups and the British from all parts of the UK and joyfully performed our daily chores together, divided up in ‘puffins’, ‘seals’ and ‘otters’.
On the Monday we had our first session with Alastair McIntosh (scholar, writer and broadcaster) on the ‘Pilgrimage of Life’ theme. With humour, strong opinions, funny anecdotes and quite a bit of substance he led us through the sub-themes of Departure (what are we seeking), Initiation (trials and tribulations) and Return (back into the flow of life), one morning session for each. Apart from that he had an open ear for those who wished to share their own private matters with him.
He invited input from the participants and after each introduction sent us out in small groups to discuss themes and also, on one occasion, poems.
One afternoon, John Philip Newell, teacher, writer and former warden of Iona Abbey came along for the launch of his latest book, ‘The Rebirthing of God’. He delivered a powerful introduction on the theme of the collapse of the Christian Church in the Western world in our days and advocated a new beginning.
The pilgrimage around the island was on Tuesday, drizzly, with a downpour at the end. At various points Alastair and others delivered readings, prayers and information. At St Columba’s Bay we had our (packed) lunch.
All of us quickly adapted to the daily routine of the morning and evening services in the Abbey, the highlights being the two communion services (with a potent sermon by Alastair on Sunday) and the healing service. All services had a theme and followed a pattern of frequent involvement of readers and congregation, different liturgy but not unlike our own church. Some of us were blessed with the offer of an active role: Simone did an excellent reading, Erica and Louw were in the choir and I took part in the distribution of the bread.
The weather on the Wednesday was so good that the trip to Staffa was on and a number of us took part and returned with pictures of dolphins, scenery and of course Fingal’s Cave. In the evening there was the ‘Concert’ in the MacLeod Centre with contributions by many, often of high quality. We performed ‘Green Grow the Rushes – o’ which went down well.
The island was explored by all, individually and in small groups. The Iona Community Shop and the Historic Scotland gift shop were frequented by all.
There was a nagging feeling of sadness when we said our goodbyes on Friday morning. It had been good, we had been inspired, had enjoyed a strong community spirit and had had meaningful contacts, not only within our own group but with a variety of people.
20141005 Harvest Festival
Harvest Festival is a celebration of the food grown on the land. Thanksgiving ceremonies and celebrations for a successful harvest are both worldwide and very ancient. In Britain, we have given thanks for successful harvests since pagan times. We celebrate this day by singing, praying and decorating our churches with baskets of fruit and food in a festival known as 'Harvest Festival'.
Harvest Festival reminds Christians of all the good things God gives them. This makes them want to share with others who are not so fortunate. In Churches, people bring food from home to a Harvest Festival Service. In our congregation the harvest goods are put up for sale in the Community Centre to benefit our Flower Guild.
In the images sequence are: The table in front of pulpit and the Altar decorated with fruits, vegetables, cakes and jam and a decoration in one of the ‘abat-jour’ chapel window sills.
20140906 Castle Fair
Recollections of the Castle Fair
By Blair Charles
Saturday 6th September was yet another special day for St Mary’s, for it was the day of the annual Castle Fair. People arriving in their hundreds enjoyed both beautiful weather and a church fair of professional quality. Probably none of them realized it was all put together and run by willing volunteer chapel members, their families and friends. Most of these willing volunteers had also worked hard all Friday preparing everything. A fair of such high quality would just not be possible without all these dedicated willing helpers. Here are the recollections of some of those willing workers who toiled away, yet at the same time managed to have great fun, maintaining St Mary's tradition of being a happy chapel.
The Fair at Weldam Castle is always a special event, noting the amount of organization in setting up the Fair is quite a feat − done so professionally that one can only admire the Fair Committee's work. Saturday's visitors were again spoilt for choice, with beautiful stalls offering creative wares of high standard and impeccable taste. The gardens were exquisite, the Tearoom most welcoming. It was well stocked by a wide variety of home-baked goodies prepared by numerous, willing and able bakers.
One would certainly be impressed by the number of people who came in to do their “duty” from early morning on. In the Tearoom and kitchen, many helping hands prepared the rolls using a system perfected for the second year running. The variety of cakes brought in was superb and of excellent quality. As soon as the gate was open, visitors rushed to the Tearoom for refreshments. Able volunteers made sure there was a seemingly endless supply of coffee and tea waiting. Eager hosts appeared to be pouring drinks forever, while others cut cakes at a high speed. Not forgetting the dishwashers, whose speed was just as amazing. No sooner did the dirty dishes and cups enter the dishwashers' domain, then they were taken care of. The seats on the terrace were filled most of the day. The Tearoom and all the staff was one of a kind. Unique! Hard work, but very good fun.
St Mary's arty antipodean Pauline had her art displayed this year in the Tearoom. Beautiful colours brightened up the walls and the “Affordable Art” saw three of her pieces go to very happy recipients. She took on the new role this year of “Trolley Dolly”. She was ably assisted by the handsome Matthijs (her words), looking very much the part of the professional waiter. Wheeling the new, cleverly contrapted, refreshment trolley, the two of them were able to serve coffee and tea to all the stallholders with ease. Loads of fun ensued along with many an appreciative “thank you” being received.
The Church Stand, manned by Brenda and Theda were giving out lots of information about the Anglican Church and St Mary's Chapel. Brenda noted how surprised she was by how many people, often local to the area, did not know of the services at St Mary's Chapel.
Entertaiment was again very much present this year. The Highland Regiment opened the Fair at 11:00 hrs with a March to the entrance, welcoming the guests with their distinctive music. In the forecourt the Morris Dancers also performed several showdances in their traditional style. The gaps were filled by the 3 J's with jazzy / klezmer style music. In the easterly gardens of the Estate new events like a dog show and a fencing demonstration were shown.
Louw, present in the chapel for a large part of the day, did welcome visitors and gave them information if they so wished. Some visitors preferred simply to light a candle, sit quietly for a while, to reflect, maybe to pray, listen to the music, or just enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the chapel. The majority though really showed an interest in the chapel. Louw was pleased to talk about the building and the Anglican Church in the East Netherlands. Often people were amazed to learn the chapel was designed by an English architect. An architect who more than a hundred years ago could never have dreamt that his English-style village church in the Netherlands would ever serve an Anglican congregation. Louw took great pleasure in pointing out the various English characteristics of the building. Visitors were equally surprised on learning that St Mary's is very much a regional church, with an English service held every Sunday morning. Louw recounted how, when he told them that one of the most precious aspects of this church is, that is home to both Protestants of all denominations and Roman Catholics, without either of the two dominating, reactions range from "That is wonderful" to "That is how it should be ...."
Noticeably, a good many visitors arrived at the chapel by 3:00 pm, specifically to attend Evensong. The 80 or so congregation filled the chapel nicely. Two hymns were sung with gusto and all did their best at the sung responses.The Chaplain, Alja in full vestments, presided over the usual programme of Magnificat, Gospel reading, Nunc Dimittis and Creed with warmth and understanding.
The Castle Fair is more than just a means to raise funds for St Mary's. Naturally, the money raised is vital. More importantly, the Castle Fair is an opportunity for the scattered congregation to come together for a day, working and getting to know each other. In management speak, team building and bonding. It is in addition a time for the congregation to be loud and proud about being part of St Mary's. A time for Weldam Chaplaincy to tell the East Netherlands that an Anglican Church is in their midst and is open to Christians of all denominations and nationalities, were all services are conducted according to the laws and practices of the Church of England.
Right at the end of the day the glorious sunshine departed to be replaced by torrential rain. At this time our traditional Songs of Praise was being held inside the Tearoom.
In closing, please remember with gratitude that the Castle Fair is only possible because of the generosity of Count Alfred and Countess Christina in allowing St Mary's the use of the Castle grounds.
20140817 Simone 1st Lay Reader Training
Recently I started training to become a Lay Reader. On Sunday 17 August 2014 I was given the wonderful opportunity to lead my first service and to preach my first sermon.
A Lay Reader in the Church of England is someone who has been theologically trained and is licensed by the Church to preach, teach, lead worship and assist in pastoral work. A Lay Reader is not a priest and so may not celebrate the Eucharist but may lead non-Eucharistic services such as Morning Prayer. The office of Lay Reader is voluntary so Lay Readers do this alongside their normal jobs.
As part of my training I have just begun a distance learning course with St. John’s Theological College in Nottingham for their Certificate in Christian Studies. This course will take two to three years. At the same time the practical training in preaching and leading worship takes place here at St. Mary’s under the guidance of our Chaplain Alja.
The service and sermon for 17 August, which had been discussed and agreed with Alja beforehand, had the theme that the Good News of the Gospel is for everyone in the whole world. At the end of the service, during a talk for the children, we sang “He’s got the whole world in His hands”.
20140803 World War I Commemoration
Today, August 3rd 2014, a special service took place in our Congregation to commemorate the start of the First World War, in the UK commonly referred to as the Great War.
This Great War was a global war centered in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. More than nine million combatants were killed, a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents' technological and industrial sophistication, and tactical stalemate. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved. (Wikipedia)
On 28 July, the Austro-Hungarians fired the first shots in preparation for the invasion of Serbia. As Russia mobilized, Germany invaded neutral Belgium and Luxembourg before moving towards France, leading Britain to declare war on Germany. After the German march on Paris was halted, what became known as the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, with a trench line that would change little until 1917. Meanwhile, on the Eastern Front, the Russian army was successful against the Austro-Hungarians, but was stopped in its invasion of East Prussia by the Germans. In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the war, opening fronts in the Caucasus, Mesopotamia and the Sinai. Italy and Bulgaria went to war in 1915, Romania in 1916, and the United States in 1917. (Wikipedia)
During the sermon special attention to this sad occasion was noted. In the Hut a small exhibition had been created by contributions of Parish Members. After the service, under the directions of Philippa a Poets Corner was created. Many poems dedicated to the Great War were recited by parish members. Commemorations of the past are, of course, times to look to the future. One may come to the conclusion, having listened to the poems, that doing something for the community now, could make a contribution to the future.
20140706 Licensing Chaplain Alja Tollefsen
Sunday 6th July 2014 was a very special day and a new beginning in the life of the Anglican Church Twente at St. Mary’s Weldam. On this beautifully sunny day The Reverend Drs Alja Tollefsen was licensed as their Chaplain. The Institution and Licensing service was conducted by The Reverend Canon Meurig Williams, Acting Archdeacon for North West Europe. This memorable and moving service was enjoyed by many members and friends of St. Mary’s and was followed by a lovely outdoor reception.
The photograph of the licensing has caught the text on the wall, which was also the Gospel reading of the day: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.
20140529 Ascension Day Picnic
Ascension Day Did the weather permit an outdoor service on Ascension Day? No, it did not! Did that dampen our spirits? No, it did not!
The picnic was held inside the carpenters building where the congregation had turned up with delicious dishes and everyone did enjoy the variety of pies, salads, cakes and deserts.
Our traditional picnic after the Ascension Day service certainly went with a swing thanks to Carol and Phlippa who were setting the tone, and treated us to some wellknown songs. A.
Images courtesy of Nicole Zonnebeld
20140420 Easter Service
Prior to the Easter Service a Easter Vigil was held. Everyone gathered in front of the Chapel. The Choir greeted us with a special Easter morning song, one of our Wardens did a reading fitted for this moment and then a flame was lit in a bowl. According to ancient tradition, the light for the Easter Candle was taken from newly kindled fire and not from an already existing source of light. This was the followed by a short prayer. Then five incense grains were attached to the new Easter Candle, symbolising the wounds of Christ.
Then a short prayer followed: "Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega, all time belongs to him, and all ages; to him be glory and power, through every age and for ever. Amen"
After lighting the Candle our Chaplain Alja continued with the words: "May the light of Christ rising in Glory banish all darkness from our hearts and minds". Then proceeding with the words from the Gospel according to Luke 24.1-12. "But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
After the Gospel the Candle was brought into the Chapel followed by the congregation.
On the Saturday prior, the Chapel had been decorated especially for the Easter Service by the ladies of the Flower Guild as with some beautiful flower arrangements.
Also the Ad Hoc Choir had been rehearsing for the Easter Service. They supported the congregation with their voices and at the end of the service they had a special surprise by singing the Alleluia from George Fredric Handel. They invited everyone who did know the words to join in.
Upon leaving the Church the children from Sunday school had also a surprise for everyone. During the service they did hide chocolate Easter eggs near the exit and on the path towards the Hut. Also Marie-Jose did offer everyone a nice Easter biscuit at the exit and in the Hut afterwards there was again coffee and tea with the opportunity to have a nice chat.
20140300 Flower Fund Book Sale (u/c)
This item will be posted in due time
20140113 Wladimir Choir (u/c)
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