Photographer:Fotograaf: Archief Observant
Is there actually going to be an end to Tafelstraat 13? The university wants to economise to such an extent that the building may have to be vacated. The ecumenical chaplaincy would have to move to office spaces in the student services centre.
The student church as such will not cease to exist, says Arie de Fijter, student pastor on behalf of the Protestant church, “but this building is important for the nature of our work”. The church was named after the address where they were housed in the middle of the seventies, so in the early years of the university: Tafelstraat 13. De Fijter: “It is an accessible walk-in house, deliberately located at some distance from the university buildings, with the atmosphere of a living room. So not an office building, with modern ceilings and fluorescent tube lighting. People have to feel at home here, the atmosphere is easy-going. And we have a large kitchen here, where we can prepare group meals, such as the monthly international dinner.”
The Tafelstraat 13 foundation receives a subsidy for the participating (Protestant and Roman Catholic) churches and from the university, who pays the greater part of the rent, as well as an office manager. The foundation’s board has protested against the, what they consider disproportionate, cuts of 30 per cent on the UM subsidy, and has submitted an alternative plan, but there has not been a reaction from the UM yet.