A difficult winter

Sunset over Stará Oleška 10th November 2022 © Ricky Yates

I have to start this post by once again apologising for the long time gap since the last one. I had been hoping to publish the final instalment of my ongoing saga with Barclays Bank plc. I’ve already written the first half of a draft post. But unfortunately, the matter is still not resolved so I will hold off posting until it is brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

The other reason for the lack of a new post is that I have had a rather rough winter, particularly with regard to my health. Now that I am finally feeling nearly 100%, here is what has been happening to me this winter.

Back on Thursday 13th October . . . → Read More: A difficult winter

Brexit, Barclays & HSBC Banks – the second instalment

HSBC Debit card © Ricky Yates

Just one day after I wrote the first instalment of this saga, a letter arrived in my mail box. No, not the promised bank statement from Barclays, but a letter from the UK Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). It was a request for the completion and return of a ‘life certificate’ – putting it bluntly, the DWP wanted me to prove that I’m still alive!

The letter arises because I don’t live in the UK. The DWP fear that when I do ‘pop my clogs’, they will not necessarily be told and will be paying out pension to a dead person. I have had a request of this nature previously and have also once signed a life certificate for a member of the St Clement’s, . . . → Read More: Brexit, Barclays & HSBC Banks – the second instalment

HM Queen Elizabeth II – Ambassador for reconciliation in Europe

Frauenkirche, Dresden © Ricky Yates

Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, much has been written about her life and legacy. Living in Central Europe and with my ongoing ministry at the Frauenkirche in Dresden, two articles have particularly resonated with me. The first, written by the Anglo-German historian Katja Hoyer and published in ‘The Spectator’, has the subtitle, ‘She (QE2) understood the importance of reconciliation’. The second, written by +Robert, my Diocesan Bishop, has the title that I’ve stolen for this post 😉

Both articles mention that the Queen paid an eleven day visit to the former West Germany in 1965, twenty years after the end of the Second World War. Katja Hoyer goes on to say that the Queen ‘did not shy away from making difficult trips . . . → Read More: HM Queen Elizabeth II – Ambassador for reconciliation in Europe

The death of HM Queen Elizabeth II as seen from the Czech Republic

With the new King on Sunday 22nd March 2010. Photo ‘stolen’ from the Daily Telegraph

As I have mentioned previously, HM Queen Elizabeth II had reigned, until her death on Thursday 8th September 2022, for twenty days longer than I have been alive. She came to the throne on 6th February 1952 following the death of her father King George VI, and I was born on 26th February 1952. Along with over 90% of the current British population, the late Queen is the only head of state that I have ever known.

Therefore, the current wall to wall coverage by the British media and the outpouring of public grief and appreciation of her reign in the UK, is perfectly understandable. But as I have remarked previously at the time of both the . . . → Read More: The death of HM Queen Elizabeth II as seen from the Czech Republic

Brexit, Barclays & HSBC Banks

Earlier this year, I received a letter telling me of another wonderful ‘benefit’ of Brexit. The letter came from the headquarters of Barclays Bank, with whom I have banked for over forty-seven years, and told me that in a few months time, I needed to close my account or otherwise, they would do it for me at the end of August 2022.

The actual explanation was that, ‘We’re applying limitations to the banking services we provide to customers with an address in the European Economic Area (EEA). We’re sorry to say this means we need you to close your account’. This was Barclays polite way of saying that, now the UK was no longer a member of the EU, they were not prepared to go to the expense and trouble of setting up a legal entity in . . . → Read More: Brexit, Barclays & HSBC Banks