On Sunday 17th January 2016, I conducted worship in two different countries, something I shall now be doing quite regularly in 2016 on the third Sunday of each month. At 11.00, I celebrated the Eucharist and preached at St Clement’s Anglican Church in Prague. Then at 18.00, I led a service of Evening Prayer in the Frauenkirche, Dresden.
St Clement’s Church, Prague in the snow © Ricky Yates
Over the weekend, we had a further serious snowfall, so this was the scene that greeted me as I arrived outside St. Clement’s, waiting for our host Czech Protestant congregation to finish their service. It was still snowing when I took the photograph.
From the second week in January, through to around the second or third week of March, Prague enters what I always refer to as the ‘non-tourist season’. It is the time when you can walk around some of . . . → Read More: A snowy Sunday and Monday in Prague and Dresden
The rocks and forests of the Czech countryside © Ricky Yates
Yesterday, I officiated at the burial of ashes of two people, a husband and wife, into the family grave. Whilst this is something I would quite regularly do when Rector of a group of North Oxfordshire villages, this was the first time of doing so in just over six years of ministry here in the Czech Republic. I have also only conducted four funerals during that time, a reflection of the predominantly young age of the English-speaking expatriate population resident here.
However, although I conducted yesterday’s graveside service in English, it was very much a Czech occasion and was an illustration of several aspects of Czech life and culture. And because I want to protect the privacy of the family, I hope readers will forgive me for not referring to people or exact . . . → Read More: Another insight into Czech life and culture
My worn-out boots © Ricky Yates
Five weeks ago today, I returned to Prague after spending a wonderful two weeks accompanying Sybille on her pilgrimage from Prague to Santiago de Compostela, walking with her across Switzerland. Since returning, I have successfully written and posted seven blog posts about our journey together. A big ‘Thank you’ to the faithful few who have left kind and appreciative comments on these recent posts.
The evidence of how far we walked can be seen by state of the soles and heels of my much loved walking boots. In the last couple of days of walking, I did slip slightly in a few muddy places, because of the increasing lack of tread. I also discovered that the waterproof cover, integral to my rucksack, was unfortunately no longer waterproof 🙁 . I have now invested in a new . . . → Read More: Since my return from Switzerland……
Prangins Church © Ricky Yates
My final two days of walking through Switzerland, accompanying Sybille on her pilgrimage from Prague to Santiago de Compostela, took us through a series of towns and villages that are predominantly home to people who commute to work in Geneva. Whilst the surroundings became increasingly urban, there were still some attractive stretches of countryside in-between settlements.
On the morning of Tuesday 19th August, we left the Pilger Herberge and walked through the town of Gland, passing under the main Lausanne-Geneva railway line by Gland station. Walking along a series of minor roads, we reached Prangins with this delightful Church at the centre of the village and a peaceful outdoor café where we enjoyed a mid-morning coffee.
Prangins then merges with the much larger town of Nyon which we traversed, parallel to the main railway line, . . . → Read More: Gland – Geneva
The tower of St-Sulpice Church with Lac Léman beyond © Ricky Yates
After a good night’s sleep and an excellent breakfast, we bid farewell to the Jordan family and walked the 1.5km back from Ecublens, to St-Sulpice Church, in order to rejoin the Chemin de Saint-Jacques. En-route, we were able buy bread for our picnic lunch. After the rain of the previous afternoon, the morning of Sunday 17th August was fine and sunny. Not that we knew it then, but the previous day’s rain was the last wet weather were to experience whilst walking together.
From St-Sulpice to the larger town of Morges, the Chemin is almost exclusively along the shore of Lac Léman. Just occasionally, the path goes slightly inland, where somebody long ago managed to claim ownership of the lake shore, or to avoid a lakeside yacht . . . → Read More: Ecublens – Gland