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

Anglican worship in Brno

The rear of Kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie with the entrance to ‘The Upper Room’ on the bottom right © Ricky Yates

On 18th December 2011, aided by several members of the Prague Anglican congregation, we held the first ever English-language Anglican service in Brno – a Service of Lessons and Carols for Christmas. Since the beginning of 2012, I have conducted a regular monthly service in Brno, usually on the second Sunday evening of each month, along with an additional service each year, on the evening of Easter Day.

As I explained in my post entitled ‘Holy Week and Easter Day 2014 in Prague and Brno‘, in March 2014, we suddenly lost the use of our previous Brno worship venue. Fortunately, the Roman Catholic Jesuits came to our rescue, offering us the use of the most appropriately named ‘Upper Room’. . . . → Read More: Anglican worship in Brno

An interesting encounter and conversation at the end of a Christmas party

Our Christmas Party invitation

On the evening of Wednesday 10th December, Sybille and I attended the British Ambassador’s Christmas Party held at the Embassy in Mala Strana, one the nice little perks of being the Anglican Chaplain in Prague. Just as we were leaving the main reception room to go downstairs to collect our coats and head home, Sybille stopped to say ‘Hello’ and stroke Maya, one of the Ambassador’s two adopted Czech cats. Maya was occupying a vintage chair by the door, which had a rope stretched across between the two arms, to prevent humans sitting in it. But clearly such regulations do not apply to cats!

Standing nearby were two couples, with one of the couples speaking to each other in German. The German-speaking lady turned to watch Sybille speaking with the cat so I asked her whether she was German, (rather than . . . → Read More: An interesting encounter and conversation at the end of a Christmas party


Neratov Church © Ricky Yates

Neratov is a small village located on the eastern side of the Orlické hory, in the valley of the Divorká Orlice – ‘Wild Eagle River’, which forms the border between the Czech Republic and Poland. Between 1723-33, a large baroque Church was built here, to house a statue of the Virgin Mary that had been previously donated by the parish priest of Rokynice v Orlických horách, situated on the other side of mountain range. Thus Neratov became a place of pilgrimage and Marian devotion.

The Church, built on a rocky promontory overlooking the village, is most unusual in one particular aspect. It has a north-south, rather than the traditional east-west, axis. The only other Church I know built in this manner, is the new Coventry Cathedral, which is at right-angles to the old ruined Cathedral.

On 10th May 1945, two days . . . → Read More: Neratov

I do not have a criminal record in the Czech Republic

My certified ‘Extract from the Criminal Records of individuals’ which declares that ‘there is no information about convictions regarding this person’.

This is what this two page official document, which I successfully obtained today, declares. In the nearly five years I have now lived in the Czech Republic, I have thankfully, done nothing to officially trouble the Czech Police or judicial authorities.

Whilst I can, and have 🙂 , made jokes about having evidence of my lack of criminality, the reason behind my obtaining this certified ‘Extract from the Criminal Records of individuals’ today, is quite serious. It is part of fulfilling the requirements of the ‘Safeguarding of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults Policy’ of the Diocese in Europe and the wider Church of England.

When I was offered the post of being the Anglican Chaplain in the Czech Republic, back in May 2008, it . . . → Read More: I do not have a criminal record in the Czech Republic