A petition on the UCC's web site to save one of the last remaining Pilgrim church ruins in Holland seems to be paying some dividends. The official most responsible for promoting a shopping center in Leiden, where the ruins are, abruptly resigned. City fathers have now asked Jeremy Bangs, an American historian and curator of the Leiden Pilgrim Museum, to submit plans more sensitive to historical preservation.

In preparation for the city council's meeting in June, the UCC Office of Communication forwarded thousands of signatures from the petition. That online document received backing from members of conservative groups like the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference and the Southern Baptists to Mormons, Anglicans, Catholics, and Greek Orthodox. The story has also been carried by organizations like the Mayflower Society and Huguenot Heritage.

Still unknown, however, is the position of Ahold, a Dutch-based-multinational food company that is a major eloper of the site. Among its American properties is Stop and Shop, a supermarket chain strong in Pilgrim New England and other parts of the United States. Ahold says it is "committed to good citizenship and to making a contribution to society at large."