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
Double-flagged tram for Czechoslovak Independence Day © Ricky Yates
Friday 28th October 2016 – was a public holiday here in the Czech Republic, celebrating the ninety-eighth anniversary of the declaration of independence of a country that no longer exists 🙂 In the dying days of World War One, the new nation of Czechoslovakia was declared independent of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on 28th October 1918, by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who then served as President of the ‘First Republic’, until 1935.
Although the state of Czechoslovakia ceased to exist on 1st January 1993, following the ‘Velvet Divorce’, the public holiday remains! Interestingly, it is no longer kept as a public holiday in Slovakia. Instead, they have double celebrations on 1st January each year, both to mark the New Year and to celebrate the establishment of the separate Slovak state, on . . . → Read More: A long weekend of anniversaries and celebrations
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?
The castle on Brownsea Island, as seen from the ferry from Sandbanks © Ricky Yates
Following worship at St. Clement’s on the morning of Sunday 17th April, when I and the congregation bid farewell to Rev’d Dr Karen Moritz, I was away from the Czech Republic for the rest of the month, only returning to Prague on the afternoon of Saturday 30th April, ready to lead worship the following day. It was first a week of annual leave, which was then followed by attending my final ICS Chaplains Conference.
I drove from Prague to the UK over a period of two days, following the almost identical route I described two years ago, when I last made this journey. The only difference this time was that I spent the night of Sunday 17th, staying with the York family in Luxembourg. Then . . . → Read More: My April 2016 visit to the UK – Brownsea Island & St Tecwyn’s Church, Llandecwyn