Looking inside the old Sacrament Church

Laurens already wrote Rachel love letters in high school, yet her life path first took her to Australia and via Amsterdam before they found each other again in Tilburg. Now they live together in a part of ‘the church without a tower’ on the East Ringbaan, where they came to live together on Christmas Eve 2020.

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One calls fate, the other a chance coincidence. But one thing is certain; it’s a nice story. Rachel and Laurens went to secondary school together as teenagers. Seventeen-year-old Laurens expressed his feelings in love in a real love letter to her. Although Rachel was charmed by his advances, she did not respond to them at the time. Rachel: “I was fourteen and he was seventeen. I thought that was way too old at the time. We were holding little fingers, so to speak.”

Other side of the world

After high school, life takes them both in a different direction. Rachel even went to the other side of the world: “I was twenty when I left for Australia. I was young and wanted to see the world. There I fell in love with a musician, we got married and we had children. He then wanted to go to the Netherlands, to Amsterdam. I didn’t feel much for that, but I thought my marriage was worth it. So then we left for the Netherlands.”

One thing led to another

In the Netherlands, the marriage between Rachel and her musician does not last. His marriage is also coming to an end with Laurens, who is married in the Netherlands and has meanwhile become a father of two children. A while later, the old love letter brings them back together. Rachel: “When I was clearing out the attic, my mother came across some of my old stuff and handed me a box. In it I came across the old love letter from Laurens. I decided to send him a message via Messenger to ask how he was doing. One thing led to another and now we live here.

A present to live here

Rachel: “He had a house in Eindhoven and I still lived in Amsterdam. My family lives in Tilburg and my father asked Laurens how long it would take before he would have me back in Tilburg. He is also the one who tipped us off that there was still an empty house in the church. That was one of the last. We went to see it and said yes. We moved in here on Christmas Eve. It really feels like a gift to live here.”

Silence in the church

Rachel: “Laurens sometimes laughs at me, because I already let half of Tilburg in. People are still knocking on this door asking if they can rest in the church. The church was always public so it kind of feels like a right to let people in to me. Our house is a mix of the old part of the church and new construction. The energy here feels very calm and serene. Churches were built in good places. It is therefore very easy in this place to be still and meditate.” She has made a meditation room in the old part of the church. The light here falls beautifully through the stained glass windows. It is actually quiet there; because of the thick church walls you have no idea of ​​the traffic on the Ringbaan-East.

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