Great or New church in Maassluis

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The Great or New church in Maassluis is one of the first churches, which was built as a reformed church. The ground plan has been based on the one of the Amsterdam Northern church.

The construction of the church started in 1629. In spite of a delay of five years the church was ready for use in 1639. The Dunkirk raiders, who captured many of the Maassluise fishing-boats and threw the crews overboard, had caused the delay in the construction. The construction of the church was financed among other things by the taxes on delivered fish. The consecration took place at October, 9 1639 by the Rev. Johannes Fenacolius (in Dutch). About 3000 persons were present at this consecration.



The church has been built on a place where there used to be an outward entrenchment, therefore the place still is named as entrenchment island.
Above the main entrance the stone tablet still indicates the fact that the church was built on an entrenchment. On the tablet it says:”
Een oorlochsschans ik was/ den crijchslien toegewesen/ Nu Christi Kerck ick ben/ een bedehuys verpresen.  (A war-entrenchment I was, assigned to the soldiers. Now as a Christi Church I am a house of worship instead).

The architect of the dome and the arch was Maarten van der Pijpen, who received a silver plate after the delivery of his work. On this plate, which is now in possession of the churchwardens, the church is still represented with the tower on top of the roof.

oorspronkelijke opzet van de kerk

After several years when the church had already been completed, this tower construction appeared to be too heavy. In substitution for this tower another tower was built at the Westside of the church and was completed in 1649. At the location of the middle tower a small celebration tower was constructed with on top of it a weathercock in the shape of a hooker positioned on a long-liner


interieur van de kerk

In the church there are many models of fishing-boats, for example a copy of a hooker and a herring-boat from 1930 can be found on the choir screen that dates back to 1660. The original models from 1649 are put on the cornice of the fishery-signboard the herring-boat is the predecessor of the herring-lugger. At the left of the main entrance there is a model of a bark.

The pulpit has been made in 1639. The verger of the ancient church in Delft, Simon Summonses Dekker, who was a cabinet-maker as well, worked out a design by the Rev. Johannes Fenacolius (in Dutch). The door has been adorned with a brass doorknob, representing Jonah reappearing from the big fish. A brass arm supports the bible on the pulpit.

Around the soundboard of the pulpit there is the following text: And the Lord said: Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (Luke 11:28)  

Behind the pulpit above the door to the consistory is the consecration board in memory of the first use of the church at 9th of October 1639.On the board itself psalm 122 has been written, the text Rev. Johannes Fenacolius (in Dutch) preached from that particular day.

Daniel de Roo, the schoolmaster at that time, painted the board. The baptismal ground is surrounded by the baptistery-screen. In front of the pulpit the baptismal- font was attached to the baptistery-screen. In 1837 the Rev. Kuyper baptized here his son Abraham Kuyper, who became very famous afterwards.

The five chandeliers in the church date back from 1710 and are also made of brass material. Initially. They were intended for candle lightening and subsequence for gas lightening. After the WO II electric light came into the church, by means of which the chandeliers could be provided by candles again.

The fishery signboard was made in assignment of four “Maassluise Fishers” in 1649. The famous art painter “Abraham van Beieren” painted most of the paintings on the board. An assistant with the signature “PVT” took care of the other paintings. After a lot of quarrelling the college of the fishery commandment took over the debt made by the helm cru in 1654. On the cornice the models of a hooker and a herring-boat are exposed from 1649 as well.

The century festival board dating back from 1739 with texts by the poet “Hendrik Schim” is awarded on the topside by a big bird; a phoenix, symbol of the resurrection. The many original marble imitations are uncommonly. Sixteen tailors from Maassluis donated the board of the tailoring trade of 1650. One of them was also the verger of this church. The soundboards on either sides of the choir screen have been made in 1643 to diminish the booming sound in the large hollow space. Pieter Engelbrechtszn. Falk painted these boards in 1663 and 1664.

in het koor van de kerk

The choir of the church served until March 1943 as the place where the Holy supper administered. On the inner side of the choir screen there is the text: Saligh synse die geroepen sijn tot den avontmale vande bruyloft des Lams (Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb) (Revelation 19:9). On the outside the following text can be read: Met der harten gelooft men ter rechtvaardigheyt ende met den monde belydt men ter saligheyt (For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation) (Romans 10:10). Presently the administering of the Holy supper takes place in front of the baptismal ground

The organ

The organ, built by the famous organ builder “Rudolf Garrels
(in Dutch) in 1732, is a gift of a rich ship owner from Maassluis “Govert van Wijn (in Dutch). At the 90th birthday of the donator, 4 December 1732, the organ was handed over to the church community in a church service conducted by the Rev. Aegidius Francken (in Dutch). (Also look at the page of the organ).

Church seal

Kerkzegel Hervormde gemeente Maassluis (in Dutch)


- De Grote Kerk Maassluis 1639 - 1989, T. Mastenbroek en J.J. Bosman, Maassluise Drukkerij, Maassluis
- Geschiedenis van Maassluis, S. Blom, De Maassluise Boekhandel, Maassluis

Further information

The verger of the church: mr. W.P. Dijkstra, phone +31 6 53646807 or +31 010 5913958 (church)
The address of the church is: Kerkplein 2, 3144 EK  Maassluis

Or send an e-mail

Bach to Maassluis, the right entrance of naar Digitale Stad Maassluis

Version : September, 13 2007. Translation: Joke and Anneke Wijnhorst