A long weekend of anniversaries and celebrations

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

Are Czech Churches welcoming?

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?

My April 2016 visit to the UK – Brownsea Island & St Tecwyn’s Church, Llandecwyn

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

Farewell to Karen

From l to r: Yours Truly, Rev’d Dr Karen Moritz, Jack Noonan © Sybille Yates

On Sunday 17th April, I, together with the St Clement’s congregation, bid a sad farewell to my friend and ministerial colleague, Rev’d Dr Karen Moritz.

As I explained in a post in May 2011, Karen is an ordained minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She has been in the Czech Republic since September 2010 as a mission co-worker, working with the Ceskobratrská církev evangelická (CCE) / Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB), the main Czech Protestant Church, which is a united Lutheran/Presbyterian denomination. The Kliment congregation of the CCE/ECCB own Kostel sv Kliment, the Church building where we worship in Prague.

Since successfully getting Karen licensed under the Ecumenical Canons of the Church of England, she has contributed enormously to the . . . → Read More: Farewell to Karen

When I’m Sixty-Four

Yours Truly on 11th March 1956, aged 4

Tomorrow will be my sixty-fourth birthday. Yes – on 26th February 1952, in the upstairs bedroom of a semi-detached house in Allesley, Coventry, UK, Yours Truly made his entry into the world. Of course, if I had arrived three days later, then it would only be my sixteenth birthday as 1952 was a leap year 🙂 , just like 2016.

The reason I was born at home and not in hospital, was because my two older sisters had been born in hospital. My mother had had no problem with either delivery so was told that baby number three could be born at home. My mother was under the care of her district midwife, a situation which is now much more widely understood by the younger generation, because of the TV series ‘Call the Midwife’. However, I chose . . . → Read More: When I’m Sixty-Four