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Netherlands: Catholic and Protestant Churches raising funds for the upkeep of local parish churches and communities

The big yearly fund-raising campaign, the Kerkbalans, will begin in the Netherlands on January 20th with a live show on Facebook and YouTube from the Church of St Paul in Baarn. Until February 3rd, over two thousand Catholic, Protestant and Old Protestant communities will be busy asking their members to chip in to help with the upkeep of the local parish churches and communities. Such funds will actually be used to support the communities’ initiatives, materials and staff. In many places, the campaign will start at 1.00 pm with a range of events, but people can also see the live show, which from 12.15 pm and for over one hour will try to tell how volunteers have organised the campaign in each place. In addition, the finalists of the first National Photography Award “Your church in a picture” will be announced during the show. The president of the jury, the photographer Ramon Mangold, will show the selected photographs, but during the show people can vote on Facebook via Like to choose their own winner. The Kerkbalans campaign, supported by the Bishops Conference, has been taking place every year since 1973. Any community can arrange it on its own, but advertising materials and a “10-step guide” are available to make the fund-raising campaign more effective and rewarding for those who give and those who take.

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