Farewell pastor Els Diepeveen from PKN municipality Warnsveld / Leesten

May 11, 06:43


A career full of right choices

By Eric Klop

WARNSVELD – With a service led by her in Martinuskerk, Pastor Els Diepeveen will say goodbye to PKN municipality Warnsveld / Leesten on Sunday 22 May from 10.00. The pastor believes it was well over a year before her official retirement age. Literally. Her working life mainly brought joy and satisfaction to Diepeveen, of which the last eight years in Warnsveld and Leesten. Time for a chronological review.

Els Diepeveen was born 65 years ago in Almen and later grew up in Eefde. A child of the region, although her parents come from the western part of the country. “They moved from Loosduinen to Almen shortly after their marriage. At the time, it was a kind of emigration, ”says Diepeveen. After completing her high school education at Zutphen Baudartius College, she went to theology in Kampen.

“Initially, not with the intention of becoming a priest. For me, it was about the studio itself. A very broad education, where in addition to language, sociology and psychology, questions about life and death are also discussed. I had a fascinating time in Kampen. During the course of the study, there was much to do in areas such as liberation and feminist theology. In addition, the city itself was particularly interesting and vibrant. There was a lot of interaction with the Academy of Fine Arts, the Academy of Social Sciences and the Danish School of Journalism. The street scene clearly indicated that Kampen was a real student town. That atmosphere has gradually disappeared after the HBO courses left for Zwolle. ”

She graduated in 1982. What now? Els Diepeveen: “In Laag-Zuthem, a village between Zwolle and Heino, they were actively looking for someone who could do church work. The pastor had gone unexpectedly, and the church community was considering what to do next. During that period of consideration, it was considered safer of legal status and cheaper to temporarily recruit a church worker. I have enjoyed working there for three seasons and have gained lots of hands-on experience. This bothered me. And I could ..! Eventually a new priest became vacant in Laag-Zuthem. It was a full-time job. I did not like that, so I did not look for a job. ”

Almost 30 years old, Els Diepeveen found a similar job in Emmen in 1986. “A new neighborhood where there was still uncertainty about, for example, the location of the church. It was up to me to be a pioneer in the field. Although this position also gave me great satisfaction, a year later I felt it was time to apply for a position as a priest in Wezep. I had not only taken the training for a church employee. ”

She held the position there part-time until 1992. Then she found a new challenge: Hospital priest in Almelo. “I had just entered a period of maternity leave and had time to consider what I really wanted to do next. Then you look around, and that’s how the vacancy at Almelo Hospital came across my path. I had the job, so to speak, before I knew it. ”

‘As a priest in a church you are someone’

It turned out to be something completely different. “As a priest in a church, you are someone,” Diepeveen explains. At a hospital, doctors and nurses in particular see you as a kind of frills. After all, spiritual care is not so relevant to employees. But that’s for the patients, and that’s what it’s all about. In addition, a church congregation has its own club, while the pastor of a hospital must relate to a cross-section of society as far as desired. Third, in a church, you are actually the only professional with a lot of volunteers around you. At the hospital, I had to do whatever was necessary to make my position visible. Nevertheless, this part of my career, which took me to the hospital in Hardenberg in 2002, was extremely exciting. I learned a lot, experienced a lot and got a lot of satisfaction out of it. ”

The guideline for Els Diepeveen has always been that in principle she will not work in the same position for more than ten years. “Changing in time gives me new energy. Just as much as I did well in Almelo and Hardenberg, it started itching again in early 2014. After 22 years as a pastor in a hospital, he was curious about what it would be like to work for a church congregation. And if with all my experience I could still do something about this. Yes, that’s how I ended up in Warnsveld / Leesten. This choice was also fantastic. Without exaggerating, I felt very good here. The ministry, the office and the first six years also catechesis, I have never regretted. Of course, there were annoying moments. Disgusting and sad deaths, for example, but they are inherent in my profession. However, there were never any conflicts within the organization, at most a wrinkling eyebrow. Positive things dominated for eight years. As for example with a group of Iranians who stayed in the Zutphen AZC. The municipality has worked intensively on this. About 20 refugees have even been baptized. Everyone has now been given a status and they have built a new life elsewhere in the country. I still have good contact with two couples. ”

After Anneke de Hoop’s departure in 2019 and Liesbeth Burger last year, the subsequently appointed Stijn van der Woude is the only remaining priest in KPN municipality Warnsveld / Leesten from 22 May. Although the municipality is struggling with an aging population and declining economy, the hunt for a replacement for pastor Diepeveen has been going on for some time now.

The hunt for a replacement for ds Diepeveen has been going on for some time now

“The rinse is thin,” she knows. “For example, a large proportion of theology students are inclined to the orthodox or evangelical movement. However, they do not fit into this municipality. Fortunately, it is precisely in Warnsveld that relatively many emeritus priests live. Two of them, Simon Sluis and Pieter-Dirk Wolthaus, are ready to intervene provisionally in the event of death or other emergency situations. They will also occasionally lead the service. ”

Although Els Diepeveen still lives in Warnsveld, she lets this ‘crisis priest’ pass by for a while. “I remain committed to the church, but after May 22, my work for the church is complete. This is how I mark my farewell. I have indicated that I will be available again in due course to lead a service. But not before the autumn of 2023. ”

First, she chooses for herself and her husband Sam Terpstra. “A couple of weeks on holiday in June, again to mark the farewell. I also like reading, walking and cycling. I am also considering taking singing lessons and I plan to do volunteer work. But in a completely different direction, “concludes Els Diepeveen.

Leave a Comment