The four weeks leading up to Christmas are known in the religious tradition as ‘Advent.’ To provide people with the opportunity to reflect on this and get into the Christmas spirit, there is the Advent Open House.

The church will be open to the public on December 16 and 23, from 1 pm to 4 pm. (free admission)

The focal point is the Bread Bank initiative, centered around this year’s theme of ‘Child Poverty in Haarlem’ featuring the sale of delicious deacon breads.

Surrounding this, there is a lot to experience for both young and old. An extensive music program , a market with beatiful products, and for the little ones there are Christmas stories in the attic.

You can enjoy the music, purchase a delicious bread, explore the building with its rich history, light a candle in the Mary Chapel, or grab something warm to drink in the coffee corner.


Inside the Grote or St.-Bavo kerk lies a unique monument: the bread bank dating back to 1475. In the past, under the supervision of the Holy Spirit Masters, bread was distributed to the poor here after church services. The funds for this were obtained through donations from wealth parishioners.

Since 2005, the bread bank has been bank in operation on Advent Saturdays. The deacons of the Protestant Gemeente Haarlem and the Evangelical Lutheran Church Haarlem sell bread, and the proceeds entirely benefit institutions carrying out one of the Works of Mercy.

This year’s theme is ‘Child Poverty in Haarlem.’

Bakery Van Vessem’s bakers dedicate their time to crafting delicious deacon loaves, which are sold for 5 Euro each.