Jubilee 2016


     Reflection LeidenOxford twinning service 1st July 2016
     Jubileeprogramme Leiden 2 to 6 May 2016
     Jubileeprogramme Oxford 1 to 5 July 2016
     Jubileeprogramme Oxford 8 to 10 July 2016

Reflection Leiden-Oxford

 Twinning Service 1st July 2016

Texts: Psalm 139 1 -18

Luke 4. 16 – 21



May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable to you, O Lord, 

our strength and our redeemer.


Goede middag, welkom in Oxford. Het doet me veel genoegen om als Nederlander andere 

Nederlanders te verwelkomen hier in Oxford. Ik hoop dat u het goed vindt dat ik nu over ga in het Engels!

30 years ago I went to London to do a course in English as I was training to be an English teacher 

in my native country, The Netherlands, and I thought it would be a good idea to brush up my


fluency. So off I went to London, not realising that my whole life was about to change course, 

because I ended up marrying my English teacher and came over to the UK. I still have my Dutch passport. 

Through what happened last week here in the UK when the vote was cast for Britain to leave the 

European Union, I will now apply for British Citizenship.


Today we have two Bible readings that express God's vision for this world. And in today's world,

in today's Europe we need to continually rediscover and reconnect with God's vision. As you know our 

country here is going through a time of turmoil after last week's vote to leave the European Union. Today, 

1st July we remember here in Britain the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, where thousands 

and thousands lost their young lives. In today's world thousands are on the move, fleeing desperate situations. 

We need God's vision in today's world...


First of all psalm 139. One of the most beautiful psalms to really take to heart. It expresses that God knows 

us better and more intimately than we know ourselves. The psalmist says, 

'Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord'

God knows us because God has journeyed with us all through life. It says,  '

You knitted me together my mother's womb.' An image of creativity, intimacy and care for everyone.

It also expresses that God is everywhere.

'Where can I go from your spirit or where can I flee from your presence.

If I go to the mountains, or the depth of the grave, you are there, you are everywhere.'


So this reading as a real leveller for humanity. We are all made in God's image, we are all God's children, 

we are all God's beloved, no matter what nationality, race, faith, gender, sexual orientation, background, 

and we are all the beloved of God.


The famous Dutch theologian Henri Nouwen has written extensively on the idea that we all are the

beloved of God. Nouwen had worked with students at top universities in the United States

leading a high profile academic life, and he ended up working and living in the L'Arche Community among 

people with severe mental disabilities, who had no idea who he was and they helped him to heal his own 

brokenness. Nouwen experienced first hand that the people he lived among, so marginalised by society, 

were the people who opened his eyes to the living reality that everyone is valued and loved, 

not just the high profile, powerful, people.


Nouwen observed that in society we are often made to believe that we are what we do. Very often that is one 

of the first question we ask people we don't know. 'What do you do?'  And then in our minds we stick a 

label on them. As if that is who and what they are...

Often we are made to believe that we are what we have. The bigger car or house the better, latest model 

the better, the more beautiful the better. As if that determines who and what we are...


And, for many people most powerfully, we are often made to believe that we are what other people tell us 

that we are. When we receive a compliment we grow a bit, when we are criticised we shrink a bit....

But...   we are the beloved of God. That is who and what we really are...


Gandhi suggested that we can only find peace externally, in the world, when we have resolved the war in our 

own deepest selves.  And in order to do that we need silence.   One thing the world needs is silence. 

To stop and look at our deepest selves and reconnect with the sacred, in whatever faith tradition,

but to reconnect with ourselves as the beloved of God.

Ghandi of course was a Hindu. I'm not sure if you've come across The Dutch Jewish writer called 

Etty Hillesum, who died at the age of 29 in Auswitz, who has become a modern voice advocating for the 

inner journey where there is no space for hatred and division but uni-fication and love. She was at the receiving 

end of hatred and it cost her her life, but she advocated always not to hate in return.

Two years ago I spent 30 days in silent prayer in St Beuno's in North Wales and it changed my life. 

There was so much that could come to the surface and inner turmoil released and dissolved.  We need silence.

So many people in society these days feel that they don't count, that they are not welcome, that they are seen

to be a burden, there is so much loneliness and divisions. We need to find a way to show that all are the 

beloved of God.

In our second Bible reading from Luke gospel, Jesus showed that God has a special longing 

for the vulnerable to flourish. Jesus said, 

'I've come to bring good news to the poor, release of captives, recovery of sight to the blind,

to let the oppressed go free.'


It's really good that Leiden and Oxford have been working together for 70 years now, to reduce 

division and enhance co-operation. The twinning started just after the second world war when the world 

was so damaged and bruised and as mentioned before,

today we remember how thousands of people lost their lives on this very day 100 years ago.

Let us continue to work together for making God's vision our vision. 

May our working together continue for many more years to come, whether we will be together in

the European Union or not. We are all God's beloved.  Amen.



Revd Margreet Armitstead


Jubileeprogramme Leiden 2 to 5 May 2016

Monday, May 2nd (arrival)
The reception is at La Place. A4 exit Zoeterwoude.
Tuesday, May 3rd.
Departure at 10:30 from the Apothekersdijk number 5.
Sailback  at about 15:30 (berth at the Town Hall.)
Then about 16.30 reception because the Jubilee at the City Hall
There are refreshments on board.
We are at lunchtime in Katwijk,
where opportunity is to have lunch at your own expense and / or walking around.
See also the explanation for that click here
Wednesday, 4 May.


In the morning (Between 10.00-12.00)there will the committeemeeting at the Cityhall with a lunch.


Remembrance Day at the Hague Schouw, 15.00 (present before 14.30).

In the evening, from 19:00 Remembrance Day at Pieterskerk followed by
wreath-laying ceremony at the Pieterskerkplein.
After the ceremony there will be the social evening at the Fitski family,

Lange Mare 94 in Leiden. Menno and Harriet to receive again our affections.

            Thursday, May 5th.

Ascension Day / Liberation Day is a day off.

In the evening from 19:00 welcome to the De Lepelaarfor the annual dinner to
thee visit.

Vrijdag, May 6th.
Guest departure. Meeting Point, La Place, Zoeterwoude.

Explanation: The Leiden town twinning isorganising a cruise for the Friends of Oxford on May 3, 2016
 from Leiden to Katwijk.After the return there will be in the Cityhall of Leiden, a reenactment of the visit of  Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in 1586 as the new governor of the republic came to pay his respects,  acted out.

The link with Oxford is  offcourse his
wife Amy Robsart. She lived in Cumner Place, near Oxford. Her mysterious death - she was one morning when all servers were out of the house, found dead down the stairs- caused a scandal. Therefore, the chances of the Earl of Leicester to get a closer Alliance with Queen Elizabeth I where gone(so he came as the representative to the Republic: a troublemaker out of the way!). Leiden student corps has the entry of Leicester as "costumed procession" in 1870, already increased. Victor Hugo wrote a play about Amy Robsart.
After this interlude there will be a reception in the City Hall (CitizensRoom)  for the Citizens of Leiden;
our guests from Oxford and members of the Friends of Oxford.
We hope to welcome representatives from the university: hopefully there are students
interested in a management position with the foundation. Make a note of the date in advance at least!

On May 4th, 2016 the usual activities are held: attending the Remembrance Day
by the Lord Mayor of Oxford and members of the Oxford-Leiden Committee.

The annual dinner will take place again in the Lepelaar on May 5th, 2016

this time with music from Raphael Martirossian

Jubileeprogramme Oxford 1 to 5 July 2016


Plans for our 70th anniversary celebrations are rapidly falling into place.  

 Although the main action will take place over the first two weekends of July, 

  we propose to mark this landmark in our history with a yearlong programme of events.

Please make a note of the dates in your diary.

Preparations aregoing ahead for our July celebrations, 

the first of which, the Alice weekend takes place from:

Thursday, 30th June to Tuesday, 5th July

Invitations are being sent to numerous people in Holland, who have had or still have strong connections with our Link, 

and we hope many of our members, past and present, will join us to celebrate the anniversary.

On Friday, 1st July, we have arranged a civic reception with the Lord Mayor and other civic leaders 

at the Town Hall at 2.30 pm, then we will walk to the City Church of St Michael at the Northgate in 

Cornmarket Street for a special anniversary service at 4.00 pm. , 

the Dutchspeaking Vicar of Littlemore.
It will be led by the City Rector, 

the Very Rev Bob Wilkes,

and we ·hope he will be assisted by the Rev Margreet Armitstead,

Arrangements. for Saturday,2nd July are still under discussion, but we hope to arrange a lecture on
in Wonderland by Ingrid Moerman, from Leiden, and join in Alice Day celebrations
Oxford's Story Museum in Pembroke Street.

There is also the possibility of an art exhibition by our young artists group

On Sunday, 3rd July, we have booked seats on a boat which will retrace the journey on the Thames that Alice Liddell took as she listened to the story of Alice in Wonderland,

 told by Lewis  Carroll (alias Charles Dodgson).

if we can find a suitable venue, 

we will have a Mad Hatter's tea party, 

so get making those special hats!

This part of our celebration will end with an  anniversary lunch in the restaurant at 

Oxford Brookes University on

Monday, 4th July, 12.30 for 13.00 pm

Space will be limited, so please make sure you book your place early to avoid disappointment.

Jubileeprogramme Oxford 8 to 10 July 2016



Two K&G bands from Leiden will be visiting Oxford on Saturday, 9th July. The bands, one sitting, one marching~ will arrive on Friday night and stay at Hill End Camp, where we will organise a barbecue to welcome them.

They face a busy Saturday programme, starting with the youth marching band taking part in Witney Carnival and the sitting band of older musicians performing at West Oxford Fun Day on the Botley Road recreation ground.

During the afternoon, both bands will be in Oxford city centre, the sitting band performing in

Bonn Square and the marching band parading, possibly twice, from Bonn Square through 

Queen Street and Cornmarket Street to Broad Street. As they play, we will be handing out

leaflets publicising the concert at the Town Hall in the evening  featuring the two bands and 

our own Strawberry Fayre majorettes. This promises to be a musical treat and we want to

fiIll the Town Hall to the rafters. It is a great privilege for us to have two top Dutch bands performing in Oxford.

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The young artists of CLICK, a partnership under the auspices of the foundation Peen & Ui, will act twice with exhibitions, including one in the Cityhall. The foundation is working on the realization of the kiosk in which a digital version of Leiden choir books for a wide (choirloving) public can be displayed.
In Oxford will be worked at the realization of a similar project of artists. Digitization of cultural heritage is also the common thread in the preparation of a joint project of the Leiden University Library, Heritageof Leiden, the Lakenhal and hopefully the Bodleian Library. Expects further (digital) edition over the last 10 years of the City of Oxford. Important are plans of partner with the City Link Torun to organize a common-scientific project on the Bikes theme: the plans are still at an early stage, but should ultimately lead to a Leiden contribution to the Oxford Bike Week and the Low Carbon week 2017. Students of the university of Leiden and the ROC will be involved in the pilot Leiden.
The annual plan sets ambitious elements that are highly dependent on external funding on the one hand, on the other hand sufficient manpower to make it a success. We hope that the activities also 'new blood' gain Leiden by parties who want to support our work.

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