Ricky Yates – an Anglican no longer in Prague

Packing boxes © Ricky Yates

Ever since I announced that I was going to retire as the Anglican Chaplain in Prague and move to live near the Czech-German border, I’ve been asked both, whether this blog would continue, and if so, would there be a new header and tag line. This post is a definitive answer to both questions.

Whilst we currently are still living in Prague – we don’t move to the new house in Stará Oleška until Monday 15th May, I decided this evening, to ask Sybille to upload the new header that she had created at my request some days previously, in anticipation of the forthcoming change.

The new header is a combination of two photographs of mine. On the left is the gorge through which the Labe river flows north of Decín, on its way to cross the border with neighbouring Germany, where it becomes the Elbe river. On the right is the skyline of Dresden, featuring the prominent dome of the Frauenkirche.

The aim is to reflect my life over the next few years. I shall be living in Ústecký kraj, North Bohemia, but continuing in my role a coordinator of English-Language Anglican worship in Dresden, Saxony, or Freistaat Sachsen auf Deutsch.

Getting the new header uploaded and writing this new blog post, is a nice distraction to the current major task in hand. On Monday 1st May, sixty cardboard boxes were delivered to the Chaplaincy Flat, along with a massive roll of bubble-wrap and several rolls of wide sticky tape. Yesterday & today have been two solid days of packing boxes, together with separating what belongs to the Chaplaincy from what belongs to us.

We’ve made good progress, but my sixty-five year old body is aching! This evening, I also discovered a rather large bruise on my right arm, presumably where I banged myself carrying a heavy box. This is an inevitable consequence of permanently taking Warfarin following my pulmonary embolism in August 2015.

I do hope that everyone who has enjoyed this blog for the past eight years, as I have reflected on my life in Prague and my travels further afield, will continue to visit and also hopefully comment, as I move into a new phase in life. No longer am I ‘An Anglican in Prague’ but instead, ‘An Anglican in Bohemia and Saxony’.

Bubble-wrap and sticky tape © Ricky Yates

12 comments to Ricky Yates – an Anglican no longer in Prague

  • Pauleen Bang

    Looking forward to your further adventures as an Anglican in Bohemia and Saxony

    • Ricky

      Thank you, Pauleen! Now to get the rest of the boxes packed so that we’re ready to roll on Monday 15th 🙂

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,
    I love the new header, kudos to your photography and Sybille’s IT skills! 😀

    Moving house is always a major undertaking. I’ve done it a few times and I find it gets worse as one gets older; not merely because of an aching body as you point out but, also because we gain possessions and ‘treasures’ as we age which are too valuable for whatever reason to abandon, sell or donate to charity. In my case, books are the problem, a heavy, bulky problem!

    I have only been a visitor here since mid 2012 and was a ‘lurker’ for some months before commenting but I can confirm that I have enjoyed your efforts immensely and look forward eagerly to each new offering. I have since 2012 read every post on the blog at least once and many of them several times. I state plainly that wherever you go Ricky, you are a very nice guy and a decent human being.

    The ‘Warfarin bruise’ situation is very familiar to me because my late mother was on a high daily dose and in her latter years was embarrassed to leave home due to the ease with which she bruised. Even washing her hands vigorously could leave her looking as if she’d been beaten up. So take care of yourself.

    God bless, Sean.

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean,

      I’m glad you like the new header and your compliments to Sybille have already been passed on.

      Moving house is a major undertaking & we’ve given ourselves more work by agreeing to pack everything ourselves. But it does mean the move will be cheaper, either for the Prague Chaplaincy or the Dresden fund held by the Diocese in Europe in London. It’s not yet decided as to which one is paying 😉 It has also allowed us to separate things that belong to the Chaplaincy as well as sorting out things that we really do need to part with! Like you, books are the thing we find hard to part with as well as collecting more of them.

      Thank you for moving from being a ‘lurker’ to being a commenter. I wish more people would do the same as the blog get an average of 70+ visitors each day.

      Fortunately, despite taking Warfarin since August 2015, I don’t bruise very often. When I do, it’s usually the result of walking into something & I’m very aware what I’ve done. This time, I wasn’t aware of doing anything – just saw the bruise as I showered before going out for a well deserved beer yesterday evening.

      Thank you as always – Ricky

  • Hello Ricky!!
    Hm, seem that retirement is closing up on some of my blog friends now. For my own part I have at least 12 years left, we are running out of ministers in Sweden so I guess I will have my hands full for some time if I can keep healthy and sane…

    The new header is very good and I for one will keep following you .

    I fear greatly having to move again but we must very soon. We rent this house and it’s badly kept, I’m afraid. The garden is far too big, and the fruit trees are growing in a cluster, the wall and fence is falling and I am tired of running up and down the three floors. We like the village and the neighbours, yes, we like our landlord too!!

    I wish you a load of happy and cheerful packing days!!! And I do hope and really believe that you and Sybille will find your new spot in life a good one! And I will keep commenting your adventures, I know what you mean and wish more people would burst of of the corners and write to me!! God bless and Vaya con Dios!!

    • Ricky

      Hello Solveig,

      The Church of England has a large number of priests of a similar age to me who are all retiring at a similar time. But there are good numbers coming forward to train for ordination so the picture is not so bleak. And active retired clergy are a great asset for covering holidays & clergy vacancies.

      Glad to know you like the new header and that you will keep following the blog.

      Moving is not much fun but we are slowly getting there. I’m glad we gave ourselves two weeks to get ourselves sorted out & pack all our possessions into boxes. We’re not there yet but we are making good progress. Thank you as always, for visiting once more & commenting too!

  • The new banner is great–it really expresses the new reality. The photo of the bubble wrap and tape at the bottom of the post? When I first read this post on my phone, the photo was very small and at first glance looked like a frothy pint… which you doubtless deserve and (need!) in the midst of all this hectic transition.

    Packing and moving is always so stressful–especially as we get older and have more stuff. I’m like the Pope in that regard: I want to know that this bedroom in this house is the last one I will ever have and that this is the bed I will die in! Going through everything in the basement is a job for my heirs!

    I’m impressed you are doing all the packing yourself but that really is the only way to sort out what belongs to you and what belongs to the parish/chaplaincy. But every object you pick up spurs a journey done memory lane. It can’t be an easy or quick process.

    I also get lots of views to my blog but very few comments. I think our friends and readers must be the same sort of shy people who are reluctant to commit to an online public remark.?

    • Ricky

      I’m glad you like the new header, Stephen. Coming up with something appropriate wasn’t an easy task.

      As you suggest, I’m currently enjoying a ‘frothy pint’ having today completed packing all my books – no mean achievement I can assure you! We are quite pleased at the progress we’ve made as with five days to go before the move, we’ve got most things sorted. As you likewise say, moving is quite stressful.

      Unfortunately, it is easy to read something & enjoy it, but it takes a little longer to write & post a coherent comment. I’m well aware that I need to comment more frequently for others if I’m to expect readers to respond to me. My grateful thanks to you, Stephen, for regularly commenting here.

  • Sue Letson

    Hi Ricky,
    We are slow as ever to catch up with things technical! Just found your blog again, glad to hear that the move has gone well. Enjoy this next phase of your ministry, as we have found retirement from stipendiary service does not mean retirement from ministry! Hope to be a more regular visitor to your blog, after all I’m supposed to have more time now! Looking forward to seeing the pictures and analysing the geography.

    • Ricky

      Nice to have you commenting here again, Sue. You are on a list of people I was planning to write an email to, giving my new contact details.

      As I assume you’ve read, whilst I’ve drawn my C of E pension & am in the throes of accessing my UK & Czech state pension, I have been granted Permission to Officiate within the Diocese in Europe to enable me to continue with overseeing the monthly service at the Frauenkirche in Dresden & possibly helping out elsewhere in the future. So ministry continues, but fortunately with far less pressure.

      Do please continue visiting & enjoying my photos of the beautiful surrounding countryside. One of the real joys is that around 35% of the Czech Republic is forested. in marked contrast to the UK where the figure is only 10% & much of that, regimented lines of pine trees planted post-1945.

  • Sorry to be so terribly behind with blog-reading and commenting. I love the new blog title and header photo and am glad the move went smoothly. Now to catch up with the posts about your new home.

    PS. I’m not on blood-thinners and still manage to bruise terribly easily. It’s a longstanding nuisance.

    • Ricky

      Welcome back Perpetua! Very nice to have you commenting again and thank you for providing a further endorsement of the new blog title and header photo. I’ll be off to approve & reply to your five further comments in a moment 🙂

      Unfortunately, despite trying to be careful, I’ve had several further bruises during the moving & unpacking process.