A gorgeous sunny day saw 28 Dutch board members meet in Utrecht on Wednesday 31st October, for a great day of catching up, visiting and worship together. We met in the wonderful pre-Reformation Domkerk, once the prime ecclesiastical building in the Netherlands and a mighty treat to see, and the meeting opened with a discussion about ‘Father Forgive’. The relationship between forgiveness from God and the forgiveness that needs to flow from the individuals or parties concerned; the strength of everyone across the network praying those same words; and how important it is to keep revisiting why Provost Howard’s words are so powerful, in that they encompass every facet of where a situation can need to be blessed with forgiveness in order to heal. At the next meeting the group undertook to discuss the word ‘Father’ and their different interpretations of this according to their communities’ needs.
The Dutch board has 14 member organisations, 7 of whom have Coventry Crosses of Nails and the remainder of whom are simply interested in the network and possibly working towards applying to join in the fullness of time – two of whom, communities from Breukelen and from Wageningen we have either had, or look forward to having, visit us in Coventry on pilgrimage and receiving a Cross in the near future! It was fascinating to hear these and everyone else’s quick updates, whether it’s the need for a Cross to move due to a church closing, the travels of a Cross that has multiple ‘owners’, or simply more good work being done with nothing special to report.
We finished up at the Nikola Community, an ecumenical community of men and women located in three townhouses on the banks of the river – a peaceful homely place to have a late soup and rolls lunch all together. Thank you to Bert Kuipers and Annaleis Steenbrink for organising, and to all the Board for making me so welcome!
Alice Farnhill, CCN Project Officer