Not all churches in Friesland are throwing their doors open now that they can again, with some staying online
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Omrop Fryslân, with churches again able to open their doors some are choosing not to. De Heilige Clara van Assisikerk in Drachten is one of the churches that did open yesterday; with around 70 worshippers.
Wim Venema, a member of the congregation, was happy with the re-opening: “it’s great, and exciting! Lovely that we can again meet eachother, and exciting because there are various rules that we have to follow. For the first service we have to wait and see how it goes!”
Everyone attending the service had to provide contact details, and there was no post-service coffee. But still the church-goers were happy that they could gather again to worship.
“You want to see everyone and talk to everyone, that’s really important for our community”, said one worshipper. The service also had no singing or hymns: “it was something else, we do miss the singing, but you can’t do anything else”, said another churchgoer.
One of the largest churches in the country had to remain shut; the Bethelkerk in Drachten. In the past few months the church has held online services, and the goal is to continue with these; says Roeland Harten of the church.
“After significant thought, we have chosen to go on with our online-programme”, says Harten, “and we hope that through this to keep as many of our congregation as possible”.
The Betherlkerk is one of the largest churches in the country, and has more in common with an American baptist ‘super-church’ than with a local village payer house: even with social distancing it can hold upwards of 400 people. Harten thinks that it’s important that people stay at home, whilst still being able to follow a church service. “Most of the members of our church follow from home”, added Harten. He expects that the church will be able to open its doors to the public again in two weeks.