November last year saw an outbreak of bird flu in the Netherlands, which led to a whole host of routine measures being put in place to enable daily life to endure unaffected. However, one particular weekly ritual was forgotten, and very few could have expected it to lead to drive-in churches.
In the Dutch town Veenendaal, a dedicated congregation called Mozaïek 0318 meet once a week at their local hall for a church service, but an annual Rabbit and Poultry Breeders exhibition full of chickens, pigeons and other assorted animals, seemed as though it would prevent their weekly worship from taking place.
The churchgoers obviously could not share the space with the animals and it proved impossible to find another location for the weekly service, so the determined parishioners initiated a one-time drive-in church.
Hundreds of visitors showed up in their cars, bikes and even skateboards to the parking lot of the Veenendaalhal. Veenendaal’s ‘Groot Nieuws Radio’ was broadcasting the entire event, so visitors could tune in to the radio station in their cars in order to not miss out on the prayers.
Drive-in churches are a new phenomenon in mainland Europe, but not everywhere in the world — the United States have a long tradition of open air churches. Despite the fact that this particular church in Veenendaal was born out of a necessity and not fun, the high-spirited parish did not skimp on prayers, popcorn, or pep.