A flying visit to Brussels

The headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels © Ricky Yates

On Wednesday 18th January, I spent a very long day, travelling to Brussels and back. It involved getting up at 04.00 in the morning and eventually getting back to the Chaplaincy Flat at midnight.

I did so, in order to attend a meeting to ‘discuss concerns and priorities in relation to the Brexit process’, with Lord George Bridges of Headley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union – in other words, the Junior Minister at the Brexit Department. The meeting had been set up by my Diocesan Bishop Robert, ably assisted by his sidekick David Fieldsend, and it is to their joint credit that the minister agreed to it in the first place. I was one of seventeen British people, both clergy and . . . → Read More: A flying visit to Brussels

Into 2017

A humorous reminder from my son Phillip, that Christmas 2016 would be my last in Prague. Artwork © Phillip John Yates

 

The New Year of 2017 has arrived and for me, all the forthcoming changes that go with it.

As I wrote here back in October 2016, at the end of this post and this post, I have formally written to both Rt Rev’d Dr Robert Innes, Anglican Diocesan Bishop in Europe, and to PhDr Pavel Stránský, Bishop-elect of the Old Catholic Church in the Czech Republic, resigning as Priest-in-Charge/Chaplain of St Clement’s, Prague and retiring from full-time ministry, with effect from Sunday 30th April 2017. Both have since responded, acknowledging my letter and expressing appreciation for my ministry.

My decision came completely into the public domain when in the ‘Church Times’, . . . → Read More: Into 2017

A winter walk in Ceský Ráj

Hrad Kost/Kost Castle © Ricky Yates

 

 

Last Wednesday, 21st December, I took my ‘day off’ for the week and went for a 12km circular walk through another part of Ceský Ráj. You can see and read about my two previous visits here and here. The day was dry and cold, -3°C according to the ‘Carly’, but unfortunately the afternoon sunshine promised by the BBC online weather forecast, didn’t materialise 🙁

 

I started my walk at Hrad Kost / Kost Castle, built on one of the rocky outcrops which are such a feature of Ceský Ráj. The castle is open to the public between April – October, but not during the winter months. Therefore I was able to park the ‘Carly’ in the castle car park without paying a 50Kc fee 🙂 . . . → Read More: A winter walk in Ceský Ráj

Advent 2016

Advent ring with the first candle lit © Ricky Yates

This year, the season of Advent has been as long as it possibly can be – a full four weeks. In 2017, quite the reverse happens with the Fourth and final Sunday of Advent, also being Christmas Eve!

I have very much appreciated the length of the Advent season this year, for a number of reasons. One slightly selfish reason is the cause of Advent lasting fully four weeks – the result of Christmas Day falling on a Sunday, which is every clergyperson’s delight! No need for services on three successive days, or on three out of four days. Instead, a full week beforehand, to prepare for services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then an uninterrupted week afterwards, to take as a post-Christmas break 🙂

. . . → Read More: Advent 2016

11th November in the Czech Republic

First World War memorial in Zbraslav © Ricky Yates

Today is Armistice Day, marking the signing of the armistice, ninety-eight years ago, which brought an end to the First World War at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. In the USA, it is known as Veterans Day and is kept as a public holiday.

During the First World War, what is now the Czech Republic was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which, together with Germany and the Ottoman Empire, formed the eventually defeated Central Powers. The Czechs were a subjugated people, increasingly seeking much greater autonomy or self-rule. As I explained in my previous post, two weeks before the official end of WW1, the independent new nation state of Czechoslovakia was proclaimed.

Yet despite the rise . . . → Read More: 11th November in the Czech Republic