On Saturday, July 1st the Rev. Mark Hafkenscheid, Curate at St. Mary’s and Airport Chaplain at Schiphol, has been ordained to the Priesthood by the Rt. Rev. Dr. David Hamid, the Suffragan Bishop in the Diocese in Europe of the Church of England. Many witnessed and celebrated this joyful service in St. Mary’s Church in Rotterdam, which marks a milestone for Mark and his family. The ordination also brings a change for the Airport Chaplaincy at Schiphol. The assistance given by Rev. Joop Albers with regards to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist has come to an end, as Mark is ordained to minister the sacraments to the people, both gathered in church or at the airport. Read more.
‘The pleasure of welcoming friends from afar knows no bounds’. These words mark the cover of the Airport Chaplaincy’s annual report of 2022. It was the year the world gradually started to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, but not for everybody. At Schiphol a group of passengers still got stuck at the airport, during weeks or months they had to live on the piers and in the lounge. The Airport Chaplaincy felt compassionate about these travellers and worked together with the airport to mitigate their situation. How do you survive a long stay in a terminal? Read the story of Mr. Hui and his children, one ten-year-old and a toddler of three.
This Sunday, 28th of May, the chaplaincy happily welcomes harpist Aimée van Delden in the Meditation Centre of Schiphol. In the beginning of 2023, one of the chaplains met her at a regional meeting and the plan for a combined church service was born. Harp music will attribute warmth and purity to the serenity of the Meditation Centre and will be enjoyable even more on a festive day like Pentecost. The service starts at 11.00 hours, but you are most welcome to walk in earlier.
The podcast Holy Ground is a Dutch spoken podcast series made by two theological universities in The Netherlands. Koos Tamminga interviews airport chaplain Marieke Meiring on emergency issues she faces and Martha Zonneveld, manager emergency response projects with Tearfund.
You can listen to the interview via this link.
The airport chaplains offer several church services during the Holy Week for checked-in passengers and airport staff in the Meditation Centre in Lounge 2, 2nd floor. On April 6th (Maundy Thursday) a celebration of the Holy Eucharist will take place at 11.00 hours. On Good Friday, April 7th, the Stations of the Cross will be prayed in a special service, also at 11.00. On Easter Sunday, April 9th, a church service will be held with Easter hymns and music. Every service starts at 11.00 and will be announced at the airport. Everybody is welcome.
On January 11th, the Airport Chaplaincy welcomed the year 2023 with a short church service, a speech by the president of the chaplaincy foundation Flip Poort and a special miniconcert. The concert was given by professional musicians in Lounge 2. It was a true highlight of the New Year’s reception.
The ensemble of the foundation ‘Apple pie concerts’ (Appeltaartconcerten) was represented by string trio Ruña ’t Hart, Michiel Holtrop, Douw Fonda and Gerben Klein Willink on trumpet. Their wonderful, energetic performance of light classical music was a big surprise to passengers, guests and airport staff. Seated on the edge of the internet square, the musicians nearly touched the audience. Dancing children, a father with a sleeping son on his shoulder and the volunteers handing out apple pie to listeners. The constant flow of hurries and logistics, so present at airports, was mitigated and softened by the peace and pleasure the music evoked in all. Just a moment to stand still, before rushing again to fly. Foundation ‘Apple pie concerts’ breathes the same humanitarian approach as the Airport Chaplaincy of Schiphol. The musicians play in homes for elderly and sick, in neighborhood theaters and hospices. For more information visit the website of the foundation.
For the ones who are travelling through Schiphol Airport on Christmas Eve, do not miss the opportunity to get a touch of Christmas in a short celebration in Lounge 2. This service can only be attended by checked-in passengers, passengers in transit or staff who are on duty on Christmas Eve. A selection of Christmas carols will be played on audio, we will read the Nativity story and a short Christmas message will be given by one of the chaplains. Due to the overwhelming attendance of last year, the celebration will be held on the internet court in front of the Meditation Centre. Afterwards a hot drink and Christmas stollen will be served. The event starts at 6.30 pm on the second floor in Lounge 2. Chaplains Joop Albers and Mark Hafkenscheid offer you a warm welcome! On Christmas Day (25th of December), the Airport Chaplaincy offers a Christmas service. You are welcome to join us in the Meditation Centre at 11 am, even if your time is short and you would need to leave early.
Mid-October volunteer Ria Tol and airport chaplain Marieke Meiring were invited by L.O.V.E. (Local Radio Volendam-Edam) for an interview. In the basement of the stadium of FC Volendam the radio team gave them a warm welcome and asked many questions about the work of the chaplaincy in the Meditation Centre of Schiphol Airport. The programme ‘Zukke Zorge’ (lit. ‘Great Concern’) usually focuses on people whose mindset it is to help others. Ria, a well-known inhabitant of the region, shared her stories about the Meditation Centre. Due to the corona-years the process of application and the beginning of the volunteer work was a long one. Finally, last April, Ria was the first volunteer to join the team of volunteers after the pandemic. Besides describing the chores, questions were answered like: ‘Does a piano fit in the concept of the centre?’ ‘Do couples marry in this designated place at the airport?’ ‘Can people of different beliefs pray together in one room?’ ‘Is it allowed to do yoga?’
Every year, the Airport Chaplaincy offers a training program to its volunteers. In October, usually a whole day is organized to equip the 25 voluntary staff and the chaplains to increase their knowledge, train them, and inspire them for their task. On October 13th the chaplains, volunteers, and many board members were hosted by the liberal Jewish Congregation of Amsterdam. In this house of prayer, learning and encounter they were received with touching hospitality.
Rabbi Menno ten Brink kicked off the day with a guided tour in the synagogue. Because of the festival of Sukkoth in the very week, a sukkah was built on its patio. Karima Bajioui and Barnet Kansil facilitated the rest of the day on the topic of interreligious awareness. The training stimulated an attitude of modesty and openness in the encounters in the Meditation Centre of Schiphol.
We are pleased to present the annual report of 2021 (in Dutch) of the Airport Chaplaincy. In this report you can learn more about our experiences and activities during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic at Schiphol. An airport during a pandemic is and remains a special place to be active. Flexibility and attention are the two keywords!