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10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

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Zuidas: ‘People feel that we are losers’

10 December 2009 – The Thomas Church has launched a spiritual offensive in the Zuidas business district. “Especially here at the Zuidas, the adage goes: ‘I run, therefore I am’. The church offers people an opportunity for reflection, for thinking about small things”, says twenty-five year old entrepreneur and minister to be Ruben van Zwieten.

A thirty-something smoking a cigarette at the Zuidasplein told magazine Vrij Nederland: “Time to come to oneself? I’ll do that in the pub”. Then, hesitatingly: “There are some things to think about. A couple years ago, the business scene was hip. Nice car, nice suit. Now some people feel that we are losers. No, I don’t have to visit a church for that. But hey, if people need that. Fine”.

Three years ago, the Thomas Church decided that its parish includes the Zuidas. Van Zwieten, owner of a recruitment agency, takes a serious approach to the announcement of a first Christmas celebration: “We unleashed a promo team of fresh young girls on the Zuidas, who distributed flyers”.

According to Vrij Nederland, there is a pretty good turnout at the service, but most visitors are friends and acquaintances of Van Zwieten. Van Zwieten: “A majority of the visitors actually work at the Zuidas. They will tell other people that they attended a special meeting here. In the end, quality is your best marketing”.

In order to involve corporations in the campaign, ‘decision makers’ were invited to lunch meetings. At one of those meetings, Nout Wellink of the Bank of the Netherlands was to speak about integrity, but this was cancelled because Fortis was in danger of collapsing.

Source: Vrij Nederland / Binnert de Beaufort. Photo Jeroen Krah. Photos of the Christmas Celebration


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