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 . . . → Read More: My ongoing ministry at the Frauenkirche, Dresden

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

Living Reconciliation – 75 years after the bombing of Dresden

Frauenkirche, Dresden © Ricky Yates

On Sunday 16th February 2020, I was once again preaching in the Frauenkirche, Dresden, at the monthly English-language Anglican service of Evening Prayer. The theme of the service and of my sermon, was the title of this blog post.

As I reminded the congregation at the beginning of my sermon, the previous week had seen the 75th anniversary of the bombing raid by British and US forces, on Dresden. Those bombing raids, on the nights of 13th and 14th February 1945, resulted in the destruction of the historic centre of the city and the deaths of about 25,000 people. As I further reminded the congregation, 75 years ago the previous day, the predecessor of the dome under which they were now sitting, collapsed!

. . . → Read More: Living Reconciliation – 75 years after the bombing of Dresden

Neujahrskonzert / New Year’s Concert

The dais of the Frauenkirche © Ricky Yates

On the evening of New Year’s Day, I once more visited the Frauenkirche in Dresden. However, on this occasion it wasn’t to conduct an English-language Anglican service, but to enjoy a complete performance of the oratorio ‘Messiah’, by George Frederick Handel, or Georg Friederich Händel as the German programme correctly declared.

Therefore, instead of being seated on the main dais, or standing in the forward pulpit, I was located in a balcony, high up overlooking the dais, from where in advance of the performance, I took this photograph, leaning over the balustrade. During the performance, I had to be seated and could only hear the orchestra, soloists and chorus as the said balustrade blocked my view 🙁 However, I did stand for the Hallelujah . . . → Read More: Neujahrskonzert / New Year’s Concert

A wonderful Sunday at the Frauenkirche, Dresden

Frauenkirche, Dresden © Ricky Yates

As is explained here on the Frauenkirche website, the monthly English-language Anglican service of Evening Prayer for which I am responsible, is made possible because of the Meissen Agreement. This is an ecumenical agreement, made in 1988, between the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) – the main German Protestant Church, and the Church of England. The implementation of this agreement and seeking to take it to the ultimate goal of full communion between the two Churches, is overseen by a body called the Meissen Commission.

In August last year, having ascertained that Rt Rev’d Dr Jonathan Gibbs, Suffragan Bishop of Huddersfield, is the current Anglican Co-Chair of the Meissen Commission, I wrote to him asking whether there was any space in . . . → Read More: A wonderful Sunday at the Frauenkirche, Dresden