St Andrew's Church, Brussels

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St Andrew's Church

St Andrew's Church in Brussels (Ixelles) is a congregation in membership of both the Church of Scotland and the United Protestant Church in Belgium (EPUB/VPKB) (in French Église Protestante Unie de Belgique and in Dutch Verenigde Protestantse Kerk in België.) Services are conducted in English. The congregation's mission statement is "We aspire to follow Jesus in bringing the knowledge of God's love to all".

In 1830, a Presbyterian Scots Kirk was founded in Belgium and the Reverend Charles Siveright was the first minister.[1] However after the Belgian revolution, there are no further written records of this church.[2] In 1898, The Reverend Francis Gordon was sent to Belgium and conducted Presbyterian church services in various locations in Brussels. This arrangement with services in different places continued for 27 years. The Reverend George R.S. Reid took over from Gordon as minister in 1899 and 150 people attended a Congregational meeting that year. In 1900, the first Elders were ordained. the Kirk Session set up and a special fund created to raise money for building a church. In 1900 the Brussels congregation was included in the Church of Scotland Presbytery of Edinburgh.[2] As of 2016 it is part of the Church of Scotland's International Presbytery (formerly known as the Presbytery of Europe).

The present church buildings (located on the corner of Chaussée de Vleurgat or Vleurgatsesteenweg and Rue Buchholtz, Ixelles, off the Louise Avenue) were built in 1925 as a memorial to the Scottish soldiers who had died in Belgium during World War I and can seat 200.[3] The area surrounding the church is notable for its distinctive early 20th century Art Nouveau houses,[4] notably the nearby home of the architect Victor Horta.[5]

Plaque in the church describing how it was built to commemorate the 1st World War dead.

The once small congregation has grown considerably in recent years, especially as a result of the UK’s accession to (what was then known as) the Common Market in 1973 and the location of numerous international organisations in Brussels, including the European Union and NATO. The congregation in 2013 was very multinational, with more than 30 different nationalities represented. The largest numbers of people came from the UK and Ghana.[6]

Church interior

As of 2014, the minister (since 2004) is the Reverend Dr Andrew Gardner BSc PhD BD, formerly of Flowerhill Parish Church, Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Scotland.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steven, William "The history of the Scottish Church, Rotterdam: to which are subjoined notices of the other British churches in the Netherlands ; and a Brief view of the Dutch ecclesiastical establishment" Waugh and Innes, 1833, Page 287
  2. ^ a b Van Hove, Sarah and Van Laar, Stephane (2000) "75 years of St. Andrew's", Brussels
  3. ^ "St. Andrew's Church, Rue Buchholtz 17, Chaussée de Vleurgat 181" (in French). L'Inventaire du Patrimoine Architectural de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
  4. ^ Hôtel Solvay Avenue Louise 224, Brussels, Alan Ainsworth Photography, Retrieved 24 February 2013
  5. ^ The Horta Museum Archived 2013-03-02 at the Wayback Machine 25, rue Américaine , 1060 Brusseles, Saint-Gilles, Retrieved 24 February 2014
  6. ^ Staff (2013) In Our Congregations: Presbytery of Europe Church of Scotland web site, Retrieved 24 February 2013
  7. ^ (14 February 2006) Election of Dr Gardner Archived 2013-04-13 at archive.today English Reformed Church, Amsterdam web page, Retrieved 24 February 2013

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°49′19″N 4°21′59″E / 50.82196°N 4.366419°E / 50.82196; 4.366419