Warsaw

Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw © Ricky Yates

Following lunch on Sunday 25th September, which marked the official end of the 2016 Eastern Archdeaconry Synod, quite a number of the Synod members stayed on for an afternoon walking tour through the centre of Warsaw. It was good to have the opportunity to see something of the Polish capital before returning to Prague the following day.

The first building that caught my eye after the taxi dropped me off in the city centre, was the tower of the Palace of Culture and Science. This building is a classical example of Stalinist-Baroque architecture and bears a striking resemblance to Hotel International here in Prague, located just a few hundred metres from the Chaplaincy Flat. Both are based on the design of Moscow State University. . . . → Read More: Warsaw

Are Czech Churches welcoming?

Salvátor Church © Ricky Yates

Back on the last Sunday of January 2016, we were joined at St. Clement’s for worship by Alex and Kathleen, a Czech-British couple, together with about fifteen of their family and friends. Alex and Kathleen live in the UK and are regular worshippers at their local parish church. But they also maintain a flat in Prague and, whenever they spend time here, they always join us for worship at St. Clements.

Alex was celebrating his ninetieth birthday, hence his family and friends had travelled from various parts of the world, to be in Prague to mark this special occasion. And attending our Church service that morning, was seen as an integral part of the weekend of celebrations.

A few months previously, Kathleen had asked me if they could invite . . . → Read More: Are Czech Churches welcoming?

Contrasts between the Czech Republic and Poland

Kraków, Poland © Ricky Yates

You would think that with Poland and the Czech Republic being next-door to each other, and with Polish and Czech both belonging to the West Slavic group of languages, the two countries and their respective populations, would have much in common. Surprisingly, they don’t! Whilst what follows is based on seven years of living in the Czech Republic, and only the past five days travelling through Poland, I hope it still has some validity 🙂

Some contrasts are indisputable. The area of Poland is four times greater than that of the Czech Republic. Driving across Poland these last few days has forcibly brought this home to me. It is a big country! Likewise, the population of Poland is nearly four times greater than that of the Czech Republic – 38.5 million against 10.5 million.

But even with the . . . → Read More: Contrasts between the Czech Republic and Poland

English-language Anglican worship in the Frauenkirche, Dresden

Frauenkirche, Dresden © Ricky Yates

The Frauenkircke in Dresden is an 18th century Protestant Church featuring a 96m high dome resting on eight slender pillars. It was severely damaged during allied bombing raids on the city on 13th February 1945 and collapsed two days later. Because, following the end of World War Two, Dresden was situated in the Soviet zone of occupation which became the satellite communist state of East Germany, no efforts were made by the authorities to rebuild the Church. Instead, in 1966, the ruins were declared a ‘memorial against war’.

Following the collapse of communism and the reunification of Germany, quite appropriately 25 years ago today 🙂 , a society was formed to promote the rebuilding of the Frauenkirche and to raise funds to finance the project. Reconstruction commenced at the beginning of 1993 and was completed in 2005. The tenth . . . → Read More: English-language Anglican worship in the Frauenkirche, Dresden

The Ökumenische Pilgerweg, Vacha and the Inner German Border

Here Germany & Europe were divided until 08.00, 12th November 1989 © Ricky Yates

Observant readers of this blog may have noticed that my wife Sybille, has not had a mention in any of my recent posts. This is because on Maundy Thursday 2nd April, Sybille travelled by train from Prague to Görlitz, a town lying in the south-eastern corner of the former East Germany on the border with Poland. Then on Good Friday morning, she set out to walk from Görlitz, 470 km along Der Ökumenische Pilgerweg, to the small town of Vacha, which lies on the former Inner German Border.

Der Ökumenische Pilgerweg was established in 2002-3, almost solely by the efforts of one lady, Esther Zeiher. It follows the line of the ancient Via Regia passing through Leipzig, Erfurt and Eisenach. . . . → Read More: The Ökumenische Pilgerweg, Vacha and the Inner German Border