State Reformed Church of Ter Aar

This church in the Dutch village of Ter Aar (province South Holland), North of Alphenaan-de-Rijn, was built in 1517-1568. For an unknown reason the tower was broken down and a small tower made half way up the roof, which is covered with slates. You see the main entrance on the picture above. Originally the building was dedicated to a martyr for the faith, named Adrianus, but when the church was finished his name was not mentioned any more. In old papers it says that in the Middle Ages there was first a Roman Catholic chapel at this place, but nothing is left of it, and there are no particulars known.

Below is the same church, seen from the backside. The Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk (as it is called in Dutch) regards itself as the church “planted” by the English missionary Willibrord (658-739) and his colleague Bonifatius (673-754), who was mainly interested in Friesland and Germany. When the Reformation came, the guidelines of Calvin were soon adopted. In 1600, the Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk was recognized as the official church of the United Netherlands, under the supervision of the government until 1796, though the financing by the State continued (by decree of King William I). In 1834 and 1886 many pure Calvinists left the church. In 1862 and 1875 others became members of a Remonstrant Society. In 1918 came the formation of Liberal Reformed members in this Church who were hesitant to leave the traditional State Reformed organization.