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
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
The Frauenkirche from the Augustusbrücke © Ricky Yates
On the evening of Sunday 21st August, I once again officiated at the monthly English-language Anglican Service of Evening Prayer, hosted by the Frauenkirche, Dresden. But additionally, I was invited to attend a Sommerfest the following evening, being laid on as a ‘Thank you’, to everyone who helps at the Frauenkirche throughout the year, both volunteers and paid staff.
So instead of returning to Prague on the Monday morning as I normally do, I stayed on for a further day and night, in order to enjoy the Sommerfest. This in turn meant that I had several hours during the day on Monday 22nd August, to occupy myself. As the weather was fine, I decided to climb the Frauenkirche dome, in order to reach the viewing platform, 67.06 metres above ground . . . → Read More: A view across Dresden
The River Elbe in Dresden with the Frauenkirche beyond © Ricky Yates
Last Sunday evening, one week later than usual, I officiated at the English-language Anglican Service of Evening Prayer, hosted by the Frauenkirche in Dresden. At the beginning of the service, I welcomed all those attending, explained who I am, and then made three announcements.
The first was to apologise that, once more, my troublesome front crown, having managed to stay in place for the three previous months, had again become loose and then fallen out on Sunday morning. Besides making me look goofy, this also meant that speaking publicly was difficult as numerous speech sounds are made by putting your tongue to your front teeth and it is therefore somewhat difficult to be articulate, if there is a big gap 🙁
Secondly, I thanked everyone for attending, being very aware . . . → Read More: Last Sunday evening in Dresden
A Brno numbskull who doesn’t need a passport © Ricky Yates
In early December this year, my current British passport will expire. As the United Kingdom does not issue identity cards to its citizens, my passport is the only accepted form of ID that I have whilst living in continental Europe. In 2016, I will be travelling to the UK twice, as well as to Poland for the Eastern Archdeaconry Synod, not forgetting my now monthly trips to Dresden. All of this is before thinking about where Sybille and I might want to go on holiday together!
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website states that I must allow four weeks from my application and supporting documentation, including my current passport, arriving at the Passport Office in the UK, before I can expect to receive my new passport. During that time, I will be unable . . . → Read More: A Question of Identity