My April 2016 visit to the UK – ICS Chaplains Conference

Alyson Lamb and Paul Vrolijk being interviewed by Richard Bromley, ICS Mission Director © Ricky Yates

As I explained in my earlier post, I spent the second half of my time in the UK, attending the annual ICS Chaplains Conference which this year took place at Ashburnham Place Conference Centre, near Battle in East Sussex. Whilst being conveniently located for reaching Dover and my return journey to Prague, I wasn’t otherwise very enamoured with the venue.

However, as always, I enjoyed meeting and hearing from my fellow Chaplains ministering in a variety of situations across Europe, and a couple from farther afield. And for the first time, I was invited to speak myself, giving what was billed as a ‘TED talk’, about my ministry in Prague, Brno and Dresden. It was very nice to have positive feedback from several of my . . . → Read More: My April 2016 visit to the UK – ICS Chaplains Conference

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

A somewhat purple week!

In a ‘purple sandwich’ between my Czech Old Catholic Bishop Dušan Hejbal and my Anglican Diocesan Bishop Robert Innes © Sybille Yates

The Prague and Brno Anglican congregations of which I am Chaplain or Priest-in-Charge, are two of just over three hundred congregations that together form the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe. However for both legal and ecumenical reasons, my two congregations also function as as the English-speaking parish of the Old Catholic Church in the Czech Republic, or Farní obec Starokatolické církve pro verící anglického jazyka v Praze.

The Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht were formed in the late 19th century by Roman Catholics who could not accept the doctrine of papal infallibility and other teachings that came out of the First Vatican Council of 1870. The Church in the Netherlands has a slightly earlier history. As well . . . → Read More: A somewhat purple week!

Bringing the Church of England into the 21st century

The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Wilby © Ricky Yates

Yesterday, I realised that the next post that I would write on this blog would be post number three hundred! I went to bed last night, trying to decide what on earth would be the most appropriate topic to tackle for such significant landmark in the life of ‘Ricky Yates – an Anglican in Prague’.

Then this morning came the announcement of the appointment of the first ever female bishop in the Church of England – the Rev’d Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Lane, to be the next Suffragan Bishop of Stockport in the Diocese of Chester. Rather than write about ‘Ricky Yates’ or ‘Prague’, why not write about the other noun in my blog title – ‘Anglican’?

I, along with the vast majority of the clergy and people of . . . → Read More: Bringing the Church of England into the 21st century

Ordination in Vienna

Rev’d John Barker outside Christ Church, Vienna following his ordination as priest © Ricky Yates

On the evening of Sunday 30th March, I had the privilege of attending and participating in the ordination as priest, of my friend and ministerial colleague, John Barker. The ordination service took place at Christ Church, Vienna and meant that for the first time in my life, I was part of two services, on the same Sunday, in two different countries.

John was originally a licensed Reader in the Diocese of Durham and since his work for the European Commission brought him to continental Europe, he has helped in the Anglican Chaplaincies of Warsaw and Bucharest. I first met John in September 2008, at the Eastern Archdeaconry Synod meeting in Corfu which I attended, a week before moving from Oxfordshire to Prague. At that point, John had just moved from Bucharest to Skopje in . . . → Read More: Ordination in Vienna