On 18th December 2011, aided by several members of the Prague Anglican congregation, we held the first ever English-language Anglican service in Brno – a Service of Lessons and Carols for Christmas. Since the beginning of 2012, I have conducted a regular monthly service in Brno, usually on the second Sunday evening of each month, along with an additional service each year, on the evening of Easter Day.
As I explained in my post entitled ‘Holy Week and Easter Day 2014 in Prague and Brno‘, in March 2014, we suddenly lost the use of our previous Brno worship venue. Fortunately, the Roman Catholic Jesuits came to our rescue, offering us the use of the most appropriately named ‘Upper Room’. This is my long-promised post about our new Brno worship venue.
‘The Upper Room’, is part of Kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie. Access to it is through the door seen here at the bottom right of this photograph, on the corner of Jezuitská and Mozartova, Brno. There then follows the only slight drawback to our new worship venue – having to climb up two floors via a stone spiral staircase. This does mean that it is wheelchair unfriendly and somewhat difficult for toddlers in buggies.
However, once up the stairs, everything else is ideal. ‘The Upper Room’ has a fairly low ceiling, together with excellent heating, meaning that it is warm in winter! It is not overly large, so that the current relatively small congregation doesn’t rattle in it but gives us the right amount of room into which to grow. Then there is an excellent electronic keyboard, seen on the left of the photograph below, which Ailsa our keyboard player, says is better than the one in our previous venue! At the back of the room, there are simple kitchen facilities, allowing us to share refreshments together following worship. And at the top of the stairs, just outside the room, is a most useful toilet.
As you can see, it being a Roman Catholic Chapel belonging to the Jesuits, we are overlooked by statues of St Francis Xavier & St Ignatius Loyola, whilst behind the altar is a painting depicting the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, a doctrine without Biblical foundation. But beggars can’t be choosers and the Brno Jesuits have been wonderfully hospitable towards us.
Anglicans often describe themselves as the Via media, the middle way and as a bridge between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. By borrowing Kostel sv Kliment from the main Czech Protestant Church in Prague and ‘The Upper Room’ from the Roman Catholic Jesuits in Brno, I believe we are a very practical expression of being that Via media. And because we do not own our own places of worship, we can concentrate on being what ‘the Church’ should be – the worshipping people of God.
Since May 2014, monthly Brno services have moved to being held at 17.00 on the first Sunday of each month. Full details, including a map, can be found on the Brno page of our Church website.