Dutch Church, Austin Friars

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The Dutch Church, Austin Friars, is a familiar landmark within Broad Street Ward, in the City of London.

The original church was a monastic priory known as the Austin Friars, London, a contraction of "Augustinian Friars", founded circa 1253 by Humphrey de Bohun, 2nd Earl of Hereford (d. 1275). The priory was dissolved in 1538 and granted by the crown in 1550 to John a Lasco (known in Poland as Laski) who founded a preaching house for a congregation of Protestant Walloon refugees. On 24 July 1550, the Dutch Stranger Church received a royal charter that gave Protestant refugees from the Netherlands permission to establish their own parish and it was incorporated by letters patent from King Edward VI. Upon incorporation, the church was renamed the "Temple of the Lord Jesus" and given four pastors: two for the Dutch church, and two for the French/Walloon church meeting in St Anthony's Chapel. The Dutch connection thus starts in 1550 and as such it is the oldest Dutch-language Protestant church in the world.

The medieval building was bombed on 15–16 October 1940 during the Blitz. The foundation stone of the new church was laid on 23 July 1950 by the ten year old Princess Irene of the Netherlands. The new church, built to the design of Arthur Bailey, was completed in 1954. The new building is a concrete box frame, externally clad in Portland stone.<ref name=Eng/> The church possesses detailed archives, and is a popular tourist attraction. It celebrated its 450th anniversary in the millennium year.

The church was designated a Grade II listed building on 25 September 1998.<ref name=Eng>Template:IoE accessed 24 January 2009</ref>

Members of the Dutch Stranger Church

  • Cornelis Bol, Flemish painter
  • Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen, painter
  • John a Lasco, first superintendent of the church
  • Steven Mierdman, printer (pseudonym Niclaes van Oldenborch), joined the church in 1550
  • George van Parris burned for heresy on 25 April 1551
  • Justus Velsius, dissident, joined the church in 1563

See also

  • English Reformed Church, Amsterdam
  • Stranger churches
  • Susanne van Soldt Manuscript



External links

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Template:Churches in the City of London