The Anglican Church in The Hague

History

There has been an Anglican Church in The Hague since 1586. It has occupied four buildings on different sites, and the present building was consecrated in 1952. The bell that calls us to worship on Sunday is the original bell from the first church building.

The story of our church began when the magistrates of The Hague built a chapel at the Noordeinde for the use of chaplains accompanying the troops under the command of the Earl of Leicester, who came to the assistance of the Netherlands in the war against Spain. In 1822 this chapel was closed by decree of William I of The Netherlands. Although occasional services were held in the British Legation between 1839-1844, it was not until 1844 that the church became re-established on the initiative of merchants in Rotterdam, and under the patronage of King William II in a temporary wooden church in the garden of the Royal Library. Financial support was received from what is now The Intercontinental Church Society (ICS), an organisation that continues to act as patron of our church today. The ICS supports a large number of Anglican chaplaincies in Europe, and is responsible for the appointment of Chaplains in many places.

In 1872 Mr John Abraham Tinne bought land and provided for the building of a brick church in the Bezuidenhout district of the city, at the 1st and 2nd van den Boschstraat. In 1873 the Bishop of Nottingham consecrated and named it St John & St Philip, after Mr Tinne’s father and grandfather.

On May 10th 1940 Germany invaded The Netherlands. The next day the Anglican church was closed. No services were held in public throughout the five year occupation, but Dutch members of the congregation kept the church alive while meeting for secret services in their homes. On March 3rd 1945 the British R.A.F., in an attempt to wipe out the German missiles site in the Haagsche Bosch, from which the infamous doodlebugs and V2s were launched towards London, mistakenly bombed the Bezuidenhout area, hitting the church building and destroying it. The loss and disruption of life in the area was devastating – 520 deaths, 230 people seriously injured, 432 missing persons and 12000 made homeless. Only two months later, British, American and Canadian troops liberated The Netherlands.

Two months after the liberation, services started again in the Old Catholic Church of St Augustine, in the Juffrouw Idastraat. Between 1950-1952 the congregation met in the Catholic Apostolic Church in the 1e De Riemerstraat. Permission to build the present building in the Riouwstraat was received in May 1950. The official opening took place on 29 April 1952.