Country Town Church

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NG Church Mariental is one of the oldest Dutch Reformed Church (Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk) communities in Namibia and was established  in 1898 as the Gibeon community and was re-established on 13 November 1902 in the town Mariental, Namibia by Di. J.F Botha and H.P. v.d. Merwe. Building of the church started on 11 September 1920.

I have spent many hours between the four walls of this church and saw it almost every day of my childhood and adolescent life. Yes, I went to it most Sundays and my old school is right next to it. When I was on holiday in Namibia a couple of months ago, I worked with Ds. Kobus Jooste to capture the essences of the church to show people here in The Netherlands how I went to church as a boy. And I learned a lot about how everything fits together.

The reportage tells the story of a typical Sunday morning serves. To be honest, I thought that it would be easy to do, but there was a lot that I have forgotten about small towns. And to make things even harder, I had only one chance to capture the events that took place. Even though I know almost everybody there, it was hard to avoid people staring at me in the middle of serves. I tried my best to be as discrete and quite as possible by sitting in one place during the quiet times and moving while everybody was singing.

I am very happy with the result and want to thank everybody that made this possible. My only regret is that I was never able to show it to Ds. Kobus, as he passed away the day before my exhibition here in The Netherlands.

In memory of Ds. JP (Kobus) Jooste.