OPENING SPEECH PETER RAEDTS At last the participants in the British-Dutch colloquium meet in the place, where they should have met all along, on the very spot where British-Dutch cooperation started thirteen hundred and seven years ago. You probably have not noticed it, but the building in which we are gathered, stands on a sandy ridge, to Dutch eyes almost a hill, overlooking what in St Willibrord's days must have been a soggy swamp. On that ridge, St Willibrord built two churches and a monastery inside a Frankish fortress, which was erected there a few years earlier to keep the Frisians in their place. Churches and monastery became the centre of St Willibrord's mission to the Frisians of the Northern Netherlands, for which purpose he had been ordained an archbishop by Pope Scrgius I in Rome on 21 November of the year 695. The fact, however, that St Willibrord's monastery was built inside a Frankish military base may already give you a hint that per- haps I am slightly exaggerating when I refer to his missionary efforts as a first form of British-Dutch cooperation. All of us here present know enough about the rough and ready methods and
Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis (in 2006 continued as Church History and Religious Culture) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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