Anglican worship in Brno

The rear of Kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie with the entrance to 'The Upper Room' on the bottom right © Ricky Yates

The rear of Kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie with the entrance to ‘The Upper Room’ on the bottom right © Ricky Yates

On 18th December 2011, aided by several members of the Prague Anglican congregation, we held the first ever English-language Anglican service in Brno – a Service of Lessons and Carols for Christmas. Since the beginning of 2012, I have conducted a regular monthly service in Brno, usually on the second Sunday evening of each month, along with an additional service each year, on the evening of Easter Day.

As I explained in my post entitled ‘Holy Week and Easter Day 2014 in Prague and Brno‘, in March 2014, we suddenly lost the use of our previous Brno worship venue. Fortunately, the Roman Catholic Jesuits came to our rescue, offering us the use of the most appropriately named ‘Upper Room’. This is my long-promised post about our new Brno worship venue.

‘The Upper Room’, is part of Kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie. Access to it is through the door seen here at the bottom right of this photograph, on the corner of Jezuitská and Mozartova, Brno. There then follows the only slight drawback to our new worship venue – having to climb up two floors via a stone spiral staircase. This does mean that it is wheelchair unfriendly and somewhat difficult for toddlers in buggies.

However, once up the stairs, everything else is ideal. ‘The Upper Room’ has a fairly low ceiling, together with excellent heating, meaning that it is warm in winter! It is not overly large, so that the current relatively small congregation doesn’t rattle in it but gives us the right amount of room into which to grow. Then there is an excellent electronic keyboard, seen on the left of the photograph below, which Ailsa our keyboard player, says is better than the one in our previous venue! At the back of the room, there are simple kitchen facilities, allowing us to share refreshments together following worship. And at the top of the stairs, just outside the room, is a most useful toilet.

The interior of 'The Upper Room' © Ricky Yates

The interior of ‘The Upper Room’ © Ricky Yates

As you can see, it being a Roman Catholic Chapel belonging to the Jesuits, we are overlooked by statues of St Francis Xavier & St Ignatius Loyola, whilst behind the altar is a painting depicting the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, a doctrine without Biblical foundation. But beggars can’t be choosers and the Brno Jesuits have been wonderfully hospitable towards us.

Anglicans often describe themselves as the Via media, the middle way and as a bridge between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. By borrowing Kostel sv Kliment from the main Czech Protestant Church in Prague and ‘The Upper Room’ from the Roman Catholic Jesuits in Brno, I believe we are a very practical expression of being that Via media. And because we do not own our own places of worship, we can concentrate on being what ‘the Church’ should be – the worshipping people of God.

Since May 2014, monthly Brno services have moved to being held at 17.00 on the first Sunday of each month. Full details, including a map, can be found on the Brno page of our Church website.

8 comments to Anglican worship in Brno

  • Ricky: I always enjoy your posts and the photos are a great touch. Thank you so much for always including a photo or two or three!

    On my laptop, it’s hard to see the details of the painting behind the altar of “The Upper Room,” but are you sure its the Assumption? It looks to me like it is Mary depicted as the Woman-Clothed-With-the-Sun who is “standing with the moon beneath her feet and with a crown of twelve stars upon her head” (Apoc. 12), which is customarily used to illustrate the Immaculate Conception.

    Keep up the great posts! Did you see the “Nimrod” post on my blog this morning? I was quite surprised with what I found out as I was researching that one!


    • Ricky

      Stephen – thank you both for your compliments & for once more commenting here.

      I’ve just had a closer look at both the photo I posted & at a couple of others that I took. Whilst Mary does have a crown of twelve stars, she isn’t ‘standing with the moon beneath her feet’. Instead she is surrounded by little angels who I take as welcoming her into heaven. The dedication of the Church, Kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie, translates as Assumption of the BVM so I’m fairly sure I’m correct!

      I’ve just opened your blog & shall go there shortly to read.

  • Em

    Looks like a very nice place to worship! Your comment on what “the Church” should be was right on the mark. When I worked for a summer in Medora, North Dakota, a seminary student/missionary set up a church in a decrepit little storefront – and the body of people who attended made it “the Church” 🙂 Cheers to what you’ve done in Brno!

    • Ricky

      We were very fortunate to be offered the use of ‘The Upper Room’ nearly a year ago, after we unexpectedly lost the use of the small Hussite Church we were previously using in Brno. Whilst occasionally, not owning the two places where we worship in Prague & Brno, can be a disadvantage, I’m very pleased that I don’t have any concerns about repairs to the Church roof or maintaining the Churchyard!

  • What a lovely little chapel that is, Ricky. It’s a pity it has access problems, but I can well imagine that once inside it is very conducive to worship and good fellowship.

    • Ricky

      It is a lovely little chapel, Perpetua. I’ve just got back from conducting worship there this evening, to read your comment. I do wish there was a solution to the access problem but putting in a lift would cost an arm & a leg! Our next service there will be on Easter Sunday evening & mark the first anniversary of worshipping in ‘The Upper Room’.

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,
    Continued success to you and your congregations in both Brno and Prague and long may the example of cooperation between Christians be seen in both churches where you are pastor. In this divided world we all need help and encouragement to reach out to our fellow human beings as brothers and sisters regardless of faith, race, colour or any other seeming difference. The examples of Christian fellowship provided in Prague and Brno by the sharing of facilities by Christians of different traditions is an inspiring one. Isn’t ‘The Upper Room’ an apt setting for one of these acts of fellowship considering Jesus words; ‘That they all may be one’. God bless the work Ricky.

    • Ricky

      Thank you, Sean. I couldn’t agree more with every sentiment that you express here.