A deputation visit for ICS

As mentioned in my previous post, part of the reason for UK trip was to fulfil a deputation visit on behalf of the Intercontinental Church Society (ICS) who both prayerfully and financially support the Prague Chaplaincy. This was organised earlier in the year when Sybille and I had originally planned to spend two weeks holiday in the UK. Therefore on Sunday 18th July, I was the preacher and celebrant at the 9.45am Eucharist at St. Luke’s Parish Church, Goostrey, Cheshire.

I had originally asked Phillip if I could borrow his car & drive myself from Derby to Goostrey. However, in response to my request, Phillip kindly offered to come with me and be my chauffeur. We set out early at 7.40am as although the journey should only take just over an hour, I wanted to allow time for any hold-ups en-route and arrive at the Church in good time.

It was only when we had been driving for about ten minutes across Derby, heading for the A50 to Stoke-on-Trent, that I realised my cassock alb & stole were still hanging up in the wardrobe of the guest bedroom in Phillip’s house! For years when Rector of the Shelswell Parishes, taking my clerical robes with me in the car to a service, was a matter of habit. Almost two years of only having one Church and therefore being able to leave them hanging in the vestry, very nearly caught me out.  A quick return journey to collect them meant we left the house for the second time at 8am. Fortunately, there were no delays on the A50, A500 or the M6 and we safely arrived in Goostrey soon after 9am.

St. Luke’s, Goostrey have financially supported the work of ICS for a number of years. My task was therefore to thank them for that support, explain something about what ICS does, and in particular, say something about the life and work of the Prague Chaplaincy. But I also had my normal Sunday task of preaching from the biblical readings set by the Lectionary for that Sunday.

Earlier in the week, when I looked at the biblical readings, I discovered one those wonderful coincidences – what I often call ‘God-incidences’. On the front cover of the current ‘ICS News and Prayer Diary’ are words of St. Paul, “Christ in you, the hope of glory. It is he whom we proclaim….” Colossians 1. 27-28. What was the New Testament reading set for the day? Colossians 1. 15-28 containing those very words! This wonderful ‘God-incidence’ enabled me to give an exposition of the biblical text whilst at the same time quite naturally saying something about the purpose of the Prague Chaplaincy and the support it receives from ICS.

The Goostrey congregation were warm and welcoming. They are currently in an interregnum as there previous vicar had to retire because of ill health and his successor is yet to be appointed. Therefore having me come and cover a Sunday for them was particularly appreciated. Whilst the liturgy was familiar being ‘Common Worship Order 1 in contemporary language’, just as we use at St. Clement’s, Prague, one unfamiliar task was having to publish banns of marriage, something I haven’t done for over two years. Whilst I can conduct a legal wedding here in the Czech Republic, this can only happen once the couple have completed legal preliminaries with the local Registrar, not after the publication of banns of marriage in Church by me!

The return journey to Derby went smoothly after which Phillip, Charlotte and I enjoyed a Sunday pub lunch at the ‘Seven Wells’. Whilst I have now quite happily lived without a television for nearly two years, I do just occasionally wish I could watch the odd sporting event that appeals to me. Therefore, I did thoroughly enjoy spending the rest of Sunday afternoon, watching the final round of the Open Golf Championship from St. Andrews on Phillip & Charlotte’s TV and seeing the young South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen, become Open Champion for the first time.

3 comments to A deputation visit for ICS

  • Karin Shepherd

    Hi! So glad you enjoyed your holiday to the UK! It is nice to get away and enjoy family, even preaching again at St. Lukes! I wanted to comment on your not having a tv. I thought we were the only people on earth who did not watch tv! I don’t know your reason, but here in Greece all channels are in Greek (although I hear it is a good way to learn Greek). Also, we don’t want to pay for cable or satellite (beings we are on our pension). What amazes me is that we don’t miss it! Haven’t had it for almost 10 years now so the TV habit is long gone. HOWEVER, when the World Cup was on, we did enjoy watching it at the outdoor taverna in our village on big screen while drinking a beer or eating waffles with ice cream and Nutella!

    Do you find you read more now? Walk more? There IS life without TV. We are proof! Ha ha!

    Karin on Paros

  • Ricky

    Hi Karin,

    Thank you for once more leaving a comment on my blog. Just to clarify; I wasn’t ‘preaching again at St. Lukes’ – I’d never been to St. Luke’s, Goostrey before!

    Regarding not having a TV. We had one in the UK but we watched it very infrequently, usually in my case, when there was some top quality sport on. A UK TV doesn’t work in continental Europe so we got rid of it before moving to Prague in September 2008.

    Our reasons for not having a TV here in Prague are similar to yours in Paros. All channels here are in Czech. We did think about Czech TV helping us learn the Czech language but I doubt if it would. Unfortunately, American & British films & TV programmes are dubbed rather than being subtitled. If they were subtitled then you would hear the English and be able to read the Czech. But if you cannot hear what is being said in English, then it is rather difficult to understand the dubbed Czech!

    One of the reasons that most Dutch and Scandinavian people are able to speak English so well is that American & British films & TV programmes are subtitled & not dubbed when shown on Dutch & Scandinavian TV.

    Like you, we cannot really afford to pay for cable or satellite and anyway, I have a particular aversion to paying for anything in which Rupert Murdoch has an interest! Also like you, we don’t miss it either.

    Matches from the World Cup were shown on a big outdoor screen in Old Town Square and I did think about possibly going to see one but eventually never did. Instead, as you suggest, we walk a lot, read more and know that it is perfectly OK to live without owning a TV!

  • Karin Shepherd

    Yes,you are absolutely correct, Ricky. I just re-read your blog. I read too quickly and somehow got the wrong idea about St. Lukes being your “home church”. I will try to slow down in the future! 🙂

    Karin on Paros