THE DUTCH CHURCH AT AUSTIN FRIARS WAS FOUNDED BY REFUGEES,
AND HAS BEEN LOCATED IN THE HEART OF THE CITY OF LONDON SINCE 1550,
WHEN IT RECEIVED A ROYAL CHARTER FROM KING EDWARD VI.
The Dutch Church has been an open and welcoming place ever since, where values like individual freedom and respect have been celebrated throughout the years. The Dutch Church is still a place of religious worship known for its liberal values today. In 2016 the first same-sex wedding in a British church was confirmed in the Dutch Church.
In 2013 the Dutch Church founded the Dutch Centre to organize cultural activities and let people know about the Church. Today the Dutch Centre is an independent charity that successfully attracts a growing audience to Austin Friars for lectures, film screenings, book launches and art workshops.
The Dutch Church also accommodates the Dutch City Lunches, which feature prominent speakers from The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Past speakers include CEOs, politicians, former government ministers and even Royals.
The Dutch Church wants to continue to be a place of inspiration. To this end it has already organised:
- A series of debates on values with the Dutch Centre and the Centre for Low Countries Studies at University College London.
- Diners Pensants, where prominent speakers engage with small groups of guests to discuss topical issues in intimate settings.
- The Bach Cantates, with introductory meditations by guest speakers, and in collaboration with the professional ensemble ‘The City Bach Collectives’.