My ongoing ministry at the Frauenkirche, Dresden

Walking towards the Frauenkirche © Ricky Yates

I’m very conscious of two things. That I haven’t posted here for two months and that most of my more recent posts have either been about my disputes with UK banks or about the renovation of my house. So here is a new post about my ongoing ministry at the Frauenkirche in Dresden, a topic I haven’t written about since February 2020, except for briefly mentioning it in my post about last winter.

The day after our December 2022 service of ‘Nine Lessons & Carols for Christmas’, my Archdeacon Leslie Nathaniel and I had a most useful meeting with the two Frauenkirche clergy – Pfarrer Markus Engelhardt and Pfarrerin Angelika Behnke. Archdeacon Leslie asked about the possibility of having a second English-language Anglican service each month, on a weekday, with it being held in the Unterkirche, beneath the main Hauptraum of the Frauenkirche. They promised to consider this idea and get back to me in due course.

There is a regular Ecumenical Evening Prayer service held at 18.00 each Thursday in the Unterkirche. Early in 2023, one of the groups who have normally led a service each month, withdrew, because of lack of personnel. Asking me to take over their timeslot both solved a problem for the Frauenkirche authorities and gave a positive answer to our request. Therefore, on Thursday 25th May, I held my first Thursday English-language Anglican Evening Prayer service in the Unterkirche.

The Unterkirche © Ricky Yates

The Unterkirche was the first part of the Frauenkirche to be rebuilt and was completed and consecrated in 1996. It was used for regular Sunday worship whilst rebuilding continued above it. Now, when the main Hauptraum is open for visitors, the Unterkirche is kept as a place to sit quietly and/or pray. It is a wonderful venue in which to conduct worship with a relatively small congregation.

To gain access you have to walk down a flight of stone steps. Unfortunately, in advance of my first service, I managed to trip on my cassock whilst descending the last few steps and ended up in a heap on the floor. There were no broken bones but plenty of swelling and bruising. It took over two months before my right leg finally returned to its normal shape and size. I now walk down those steps very carefully, lifting my cassock as a go!

Page 22 & 23 of ‘Leben in der Frauenkirche September-December 2023

A full colour magazine entitled, ‘Leben in der Frauenkirche‘ is published three times a year. The current September-December 2023 edition features a two page bilingual article, written by me, about English-language Anglican worship at the Frauenkirche which I reproduce here. I’m hoping it will help make the new Thursday evening services more widely known as well as giving some background and history to the regular monthly Sunday evening services.

One thing this double-page spread confirms, is something I already knew from my career in publishing, before I was ordained. German needs up to 20% more space than English 🙂 On page 25, the German column starts higher up the page than the English column and my last paragraph has not been translated in full, in order to make things fit 😉

6 comments to My ongoing ministry at the Frauenkirche, Dresden

  • Pauleen Bang

    Dear Ricky
    Lovely to read another blog post but it would have been more interesting if I could read the article you included. It was much too small for my old eyes. Any chance you can send it in another form so that I can get the benefit of your writing?
    Love Pauleen

    • Ricky

      Thank you, Pauleen! I have just sent you an email with jpg of the article attached. For you, and anyone else having problems, you can go to On the top left-hand corner is a picture of the front cover of the current ‘Leben in der Frauenkirche’. Click on it & the whole magazine will download as a pdf file.

  • Richard Darcy

    Dear Ricky,

    So nice to hear about the monthly Thursday English worship in the Unterkirche. I visited the space when I attended the Sunday English service last month and it is a beautiful and peaceful place. I hope you have fully recovered from your fall.


    • Ricky

      Hello Richard – It’s very nice to have you commenting here for the first time 🙂 I concur entirely with what you say about the Unterkirche. It is a beautiful and peaceful space both for prayer and worship. Regarding my fall, as I wrote in this post, whilst it did take over two months for my right leg to recover, it has been back in its normal shape since early August. But thank you for your good wishes.

  • Sean McCann

    Hi Ricky,
    Apologies for the long delay in commenting which was caused by 75% laziness and 25% forgetfulness ?. If ever we get to Dresden, Kate and I will be sure to visit the Frauenkirche and the Unterkirche, as they both look to be exceptional spaces in one structure. Thanks for sharing this with us and I hope your prayer services are going from strength to strength.
    Apologies again,
    Keep safe,

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean – Thank you for visiting & commenting again. I was beginning to wonder where you were 😉 The Dresden Frauenkirche is an amazing building and it is a privilege to lead worship & preach in it. I’m just back from officiating at the November English-language Anglican service of Evening Prayer, tonight. And I hope you do get the chance to visit.