A Concert, a Chrism Eucharist and a Feature Article


Naši pevci and Nsango Malamu in Kostel Salvátor © Sybille Yates

Holy Week 2011 proved to be very eventful and, to be chronologically correct, I really should have written and posted this article before writing and posting about the Royal Wedding. Therefore, before we get too much further into the fifty days of the Easter season, here is a short illustrated résumé.

On Monday 18th April, Sybille & I attended an evening concert given by the ecumenical choir Naši pevci who were the choir that participated in our service entitled ‘On the Feast of Stephen’, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 26th December 2010. The concert took place in Kostel Salvátor, which like the Church building in which the St. Clement’s Anglican congregation worship, also belongs to the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren.

The concert celebrated the life and work of Dr. Albert Schweitzer and therefore featured works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn. But to celebrate that part of his life spent as a medical missionary in Gabon, there was also African singing and dancing, performed by Nsango Malamu. In between each item, the life story of Dr. Schweitzer was narrated, unfortunately only in Czech. The photograph shows both Naši pevci and Nsango Malamu receiving the applause of a packed Church at the end of the concert.

With Bishop Dušan Hejbal after the Chrism Eucharist © Sybille Yates

On Tuesday 19th April, I attended the annual Chrism Eucharist which took place in the Old Catholic Cathedral on Petrin Hill, overlooking the centre of Prague. At this service, the oils used to anoint candidates for baptism, confirmation and for anointing the sick, are blessed. The service was presided over by my Czech boss, Bishop Dušan Hejbal. After the service, as well as being served some very enjoyable refreshments, I finally managed to get a good photo of the two of us together.

Wednesday 20th April is probably best described as ‘media day’. As Karen, one of my most faithful commenters, has already pointed out in a previous comment, ‘The Prague Post’ that day published a feature article about me. This was the outcome of an interview I had given to their reporter Lisette Allen, a few weeks earlier. The original printed version contained two factual mistakes, together with a typo. I’m pleased to say that all three have now been corrected in the online version which you can access here.

Then in the afternoon came the phone call that I’ve already described in my previous post, inviting me to appear on Czech TV as part of their coverage of the Royal Wedding. And the Wednesday of Holy Week was also the day that we finally managed to bypass Czech bureaucracy and, much to Sybille’s pleasure, were allowed to adopt a dog! But that story requires another post!

New plaque outside Kostel sv. Klimenta/St. Clement's Church © Ricky Yates

6 comments to A Concert, a Chrism Eucharist and a Feature Article

  • What a terrific photo of you and the Bishop!

  • Ricky

    Hi Karen,
    Yes it is a great photo. Previous attempts to get a good photo of the two of us have never turned out very well.

  • Great photos, Ricky and what an interesting life you lead. Good luck with the adoption – what kind of dog are you hoping to find?

  • Ricky

    Hi Perpetua,
    Glad you like the photos. We already have the dog – a labrador mix. He should feature in my next post.

  • “I’m slightly wary of the ‘in’ thing these days, people who say they are ‘spiritual’ and don’t really define what that is,” Yates says.

    AMEN to that! Great article about your good self and I hope the Church grows and grows, didn’t realise the costs were so great… have you ever thought of running a Christianity Explored course? Or Alpha etc?

    • Ricky

      Hi Wandering Pilgrim,
      To answer your second point first – yes we are planning to run a ‘Christian Basics’ course of some sort in the Autumn.

      As for costs – you aren’t alone in not realising what it costs to run an Anglican Chaplaincy in continental Europe. Despite what many people consciously or sub-consciously think, we are not the spiritual arm of the UK Department of Social Security or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office & therefore are not government funded. The ‘limited financial support from the Church of England centrally’ mentioned in the article, is a partial contribution towards mantaining my clergy pension by deeming Prague to be a mission post.

      There are two major costs – one is paying me, together with associated employer social security & health insurance & partial pension contributions. The other is paying the mortgage on the Chaplaincy Flat. Being a relatively new Chaplaincy, we don’t yet own a property & are therefore just over five years into a twenty year mortgage agreement.