The early history of the New Church takes us back to an extraordinary story from 1351. The eccentric beggar Symon was sitting in his usual spot on the Markt, and was given something to eat by a Jan Col. Nobody could have predicted what would happen next…

Vision
A bright light suddenly shone right onto Symon's face. The beggar said to his fellow townsman: ‘Oh, my dear chosen friend, do you see the Heavens opening?' They both looked up, facing towards what was then the gallows field... And there, in a vision, they saw a golden church, dedicated to Mary.

Will o' the wisps?
Symon the beggar died soon afterwards, and left Jan Col to badger the city council to build a church at that spot on the Markt. He saw the same vision every year for thirty years, until the council finally gave in and agreed to his request. The ‘New Church' became Delft's second parish church. Later, it would emerge that the ‘visions' were merely will o' the wisps...