In early March, after a two-and-a-half month winter break, the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market at Vítezné námestí resumed. So now nearly every Saturday, we take a short bus or tram journey from the Chaplaincy Flat and explore what the market has to offer. As you can see, we are not the only ones who do so and at times, it can get quite crowded!
There are a number of stalls that we regularly visit each week for supplies of bread, eggs and potatoes. Whilst we can buy such things from our very convenient Kaufland supermarket, the produce from the Farmer’s Market does always seem fresher, is often cheaper, and one can be almost certain that the producer obtains a far better return for their labour.
Another of our favourite stalls is this one, selling Moravian wine. Whilst they do sell it by the 0.75l bottle, you can also have a plastic bottle filled from the tanks behind the counter. Two litres of extremely quaffable white wine costs around CZK 150 (just under £5.00 at current exchange rates).
The senior proprietor, (the gentleman behind the stall on the right in the photograph above), is Czech. However, he also speaks reasonably fluent German and has some English. So we frequently conduct business with him in a mixture of all three languages! When we are about to depart, his farewell words are almost always to wish us ‘Ein schönes Wochenende‘
Czech people do love their flowers and there are always numerous stalls that sell them. I couldn’t resist photographing this colourful stall yesterday which, as you can see, was doing a thriving business.
In the centre of the market area, there are various stalls selling freshly cooked food with tables & chairs where you can sit down and eat. And you can usually do so to musical accompaniment such as this young accordion player/singer was providing yesterday morning.
Our visit to the Farmer’s Market at Vítezné námestí yesterday morning, when all the accompanying photographs were taken, marked the beginning of a busy but enjoyable weekend. Today, not only did we have our Palm Sunday Eucharist, but the service was to be followed by that significant event – our Annual Church Meeting.
Just a few minutes before worship was due to begin at 11.00 this morning, we suddenly had a problem of the nicest sort. We completely ran out of copies of the Palm Sunday Order of Service as the congregation became double the size for a normal Sunday. The cause was a large number of visitors, mainly Americans but also including a delightful Indonesian couple. The biggest visitor group was a party of high school students from Connecticut, along with their teachers. We solved the problem by me asking from front, for people to share, so that everybody could follow and join in the liturgy. Fortunately, we just had enough palm crosses to go around!
After reading the Palm Sunday Gospel – Matthew 21. 1-11, I led the congregation in a procession outside, all around the Church as we sang ‘All glory, laud and honour, to thee Redeemer King’. Fortunately, when we re-entered the Church, we were still just about in time with Professor Michal Novenko on the organ Some of those living the apartment blocks that overlook the Church got a bit of a surprise, but at least they were made aware that today was Palm Sunday!
As for the Annual Church Meeting, it was much better attended than in a number of previous years, and despite the serious financial difficulties that we face, there was a real desire expressed to work together to overcome them. Both our worship and the Annual Church Meeting have certainly helped prepare me to enter Holy Week, and with Jesus, once more walk the way of the cross.