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

Happy seventh birthday to my blog

Sgraffito decoration in Prague © Ricky Yates

During the coming week, on Thursday 4th February, this blog celebrates its seventh birthday. I published my first ever blog post here, on 4th February 2009, four-and-a-half months after we arrived in Prague on 19th September 2008.

With this one, there are now 342 posts on the blog. But I do have to confess that the past twelve months have been the least productive year of the blog’s existence, with only 37 new posts being added. The previous lowest total was 41 in 2011-12. However, if you go down the right-hand sidebar to ‘Archives’, and then click on ‘Select Month’, you will discover that I have published at least one blog post in every one of the eighty four months since February 2009 – no mean achievement!

I don’t normally go around blowing . . . → Read More: Happy seventh birthday to my blog

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

ICS Chaplains Conference 2015

Mennorode Conference Centre © Ricky Yates

I spent Monday 27th April-Friday 1st May, attending the annual Intercontinental Church Society (ICS) Chaplains Conference, which this year took place at the Mennorode Conference Centre, Elspeet, in the Netherlands. As I mentioned in my first post of 2015, this has resulted in an addition to the number of countries I have visited, having never previously set foot in the Netherlands until two weeks ago today.

To get to the Conference Centre involved a drive from the Czech Republic, right across Germany, which eventually took ten hours – from 07.00 when I left Prague, until 17.00 when I finally got to Elspeet. This was somewhat longer than I had anticipated, almost entirely due to Baustellen/road works on the German Autobahn and associated Stau/traffic . . . → Read More: ICS Chaplains Conference 2015

Looking ahead into 2015

Prague © Ricky Yates

Since the beginning of this new year, aided by the ‘Forward Planner’ in my new Church Book & Desk Diary 2015, I’ve been looking ahead at what is in store for me and what I want to achieve in the coming year. In the past, I’ve frequently not been the best at forward planning, so with the new year comes a determination to do better.

In particular, I’ve been trying to decide when I can and want to take my annual leave, allowing for Easter and Christmas when I have to be in Prague, weddings at which I have agreed to officiate, and the Eastern Archdeaconry Synod and the ICS Chaplains Conference, at which my attendance is expected. By the end of this week, I want to have something firmly booked and begin organising cover for the . . . → Read More: Looking ahead into 2015