Happy seventh birthday to my blog

Sgraffito decoration in Prague © Ricky Yates

Sgraffito decoration in Prague © Ricky Yates

During the coming week, on Thursday 4th February, this blog celebrates its seventh birthday. I published my first ever blog post here, on 4th February 2009, four-and-a-half months after we arrived in Prague on 19th September 2008.

With this one, there are now 342 posts on the blog. But I do have to confess that the past twelve months have been the least productive year of the blog’s existence, with only 37 new posts being added. The previous lowest total was 41 in 2011-12. However, if you go down the right-hand sidebar to ‘Archives’, and then click on ‘Select Month’, you will discover that I have published at least one blog post in every one of the eighty four months since February 2009 – no mean achievement!

I don’t normally go around blowing my own trumpet, but I do have to say that I am quite proud of the blog and having kept it going for seven years. In my time of blogging, I’ve seen several other blogs started, which have then died after two or three posts. Others, that have gone for a while longer, and then ground to a halt. I am determined that this isn’t going to happen to me, though I acknowledge that it nearly did in 2015, when I only managed to publish four posts in the three months of July, August and September.

Much as I enjoy writing the blog, I do find it quite time-consuming at times. I try to write in interesting but coherent English, with correct spelling and punctuation, and doing so takes time. And when I am stating facts or re-telling history, I also want to be sure that what I write is accurate and true, which means regular visits to my bookshelves & Wikipedia :-)

Looking ahead, as my blog enters its eighth year, I am sure I will have plenty of things to continue blogging about. After Lent and Easter, I shall be in the UK for nearly two weeks, visiting family and friends and then attending this year’s ICS Chaplains Conference. I have three English-speaker – Czech weddings at which to officiate in 2016, which are always enjoyable as well as fascinating occasions. At the end of September, I will be in Warsaw for the 2016 Eastern Archdeaconry Synod. And at the end of July, there is another very important wedding too….

Likewise, I have not forgotten the promised post(s) about walking with Sybille, from Görlitz to Kamenz, along the first part of Der Ökumenische Pilgerweg in Germany, last August. This remains uppermost in my mind because I hope we will walk the next section, some time later this year. And I do have brewing, a post on the proposed ‘In/out referendum’ that the UK has been promised by David Cameron.

My thanks to all those of you who regularly visit and read my blog, especially the small number of faithful ones who also take the trouble to leave comments, rather than just clicking ‘like’ on the link posted on Facebook. Do join me in raising a glass to wish ‘Ricky Yates – an Anglican in Prague’, a happy seventh birthday!

A snowy Sunday and Monday in Prague and Dresden

On Sunday 17th January 2016, I conducted worship in two different countries, something I shall now be doing quite regularly in 2016 on the third Sunday of each month. At 11.00, I celebrated the Eucharist and preached at St Clement’s Anglican Church in Prague. Then at 18.00, I led a service of Evening Prayer in the Frauenkirche, Dresden.

St Clement’s Church, Prague in the snow © Ricky Yates

Over the weekend, we had a further serious snowfall, so this was the scene that greeted me as I arrived outside St. Clement’s, waiting for our host Czech Protestant congregation to finish their service. It was still snowing when I took the photograph.

From the second week in January, through to around the second or third week of March, Prague enters what I always refer to as the ‘non-tourist season’. It is the time when you can walk around some of . . . → Read More: A snowy Sunday and Monday in Prague and Dresden

Winter has come to Prague

The ‘Carly’ in the snow © Ricky Yates

With arrival of the New Year has also arrived some serious winter weather. We have had snow – plenty of it, and it is still snowing this evening as I write. The last time we saw snow like this was three years ago in early 2013.

Since the winter 2012-2013, we have had two very mild ones. The winter of 2013-2014 was particularly mild with many Czech ski resorts suffering because a lack of snow and warm temperatures. Last winter was a few degrees colder, but here in Prague, we really only had some snow showers and any snow that did settle, soon melted. But the weather of the past few days has been much more reminiscent of our first five winters in Prague, since moving here in September 2008.

The first snow started falling . . . → Read More: Winter has come to Prague

Two Ecumenical events from November 2015

My invitation

November 2015 was quite an ecumenical month. Not only did I sit through a nearly two hour meeting in Dresden, conducted predominantly in German and attended by various German Protestant ministers and theologians, I also attended two important services in Prague, conducted in Czech.

On 21st November, I was an ecumenical guest of the Ceskobratrská církev evangelická/Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren – the main Czech Protestant Church. The service was to bid farewell to the Moderator and Synodal Council of the Church for the past six years, and to welcome and formally install their successors who had been elected a few months previously. The service was held in Salvátor Church in central Prague which is effectively the ‘Protestant Cathedral’.

Salvátor Church © Ricky Yates

 

 

 

 

Whilst the . . . → Read More: Two Ecumenical events from November 2015

All those things in the second half of 2015 that got missed

Before 2015 comes to an end, I want to try and write, at least briefly, about all those things that happened in the second half of this year, but which never got the blog post they deserved – a combination of my own ill health and the excessive heat we experienced during the summer months. It will take two posts, so here is the first. And the second has now been written and published.

July

Newly renovated statue of Jan Hus in Staromestské námestí/Old Town Square, Prague © Ricky Yates

Monday 6th July marked the 600th anniversary of Jan Hus, the early Czech Church reformer, being burnt at the stake in Konstanz on 6th July 1415. As I have previously explained, during the past two hundred years, Czech people have tended to celebrate Hus as a political . . . → Read More: All those things in the second half of 2015 that got missed