Three days to go……..

St. Vitus Cathedral & Prague Castle © Ricky Yates

Yes – it is only three days to go before Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, arrive outside St. Clement’s Anglican Episcopal Church, ready to join the regular congregation for Sunday Morning worship. So I thought my blog readers might appreciate an update as to how preparations for the big day are going.

Liturgy – Earlier yesterday, I finally finished drafting and typing the Order of Service that we will use on Sunday. Normally at St. Clements, everybody gets an Order of Service containing the liturgy, a hymn book, together with a copy of our Weekly Bulletin which contains the text of the Collect and Bible Readings, the notices for the coming week and contact details for me and members of the Church Council.

For this special service, I always planned that we would produce a single booklet containing not only the liturgy, but also the words of the hymns and Bible Readings, together with the weekly notices. The idea was that this would be something people could take away with them as a memento of this special occasion.

Putting something like this all together, always takes far longer than you originally think it will.  And having to make considerable changes late last Thursday hasn’t helped the cause. But hopefully now, the master copy currently sitting on my desk, will be passing through my little photocopier in the next couple of days, producing for each booklet, five A4 pieces of paper printed on both sides, which when folded and stapled, will create a 20 page A5 booklet.

Security – This seems to be becoming the ever increasing nightmare with regard to the Prince and the Duchess attending Sunday worship at St. Clements. Later today, I have yet another meeting at the Church with both Czech & British security personnel.  Last Sunday, there were already signs erected all around the Church, saying parking would be prohibited between 8am and 1pm on Sunday 21st March. I gather that even the very convenient recycling bins that are on the street alongside the Church, are to be removed.

All I do hope is that over zealous Czech police do not prevent members of the regular congregation gaining access to the Church on Sunday. The Church service was always envisaged as a semi-private event as far as the British Embassy was concerned. However, the protocol office of the Czech President and the Czech police seem to think differently!

Visitors – One of the most amazing things about this Royal Visit is the number of friends and relatives of regular members of the congregation, who suddenly want to come to Church! Yes – please forgive my little dose of cynicism, but it is a case of ‘to see and be seen’. Of course they are welcome to come though, for security reasons, I’ve said that they do need to come with a regular member who can vouch for who they are. But I do hope that this visit will raise the profile of the Church and bring us into far better contact with the wider English-speaking expat community here in Prague.

The Press – Today I was interviewed by Tomáš Kutil, a journalist from Katolický týdeník, (Catholic Weekly), the foremost Roman Catholic newspaper in the Czech Republic. He wanted to know my thoughts about this forthcoming Royal Visit as well as to know more about the Anglican Church. It will be interesting to see what appears in next week’s edition when it is published on Tuesday 23rd March.

But whilst there is considerable press interest about the Royal Visit to the Czech Republic, I am very disappointed with the attitude of the BBC. I do not have a television so I keep up-to-date with what is going on in the world by regularly visiting the BBC News website. So far, there has been absolutely no coverage whatsoever of the Royal Visit to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic on the BBC News website. The Royal Couple are now in Hungary having spent the past three days in Poland.

The British media who are covering the trip in detail, are ‘The Daily Telegraph’, frequently known as ‘The Torygraph’, and the ’Daily Mail’, the newspaper produced for all those unable to think for themselves! The BBC is often accused by Conservative Party politicians, of being left-wing rather than unbiased as it is meant to be. By ignoring this three country official visit by Their Royal Highnesses, and leaving coverage to the right-wing press, the BBC are giving further ammunition to all those who would want to damage and dismantle it.

My Accredited Photographer wife – Talking about press coverage reminds me to say that, for the first time ever, Sybille has become an accredited Press Photographer. She has been granted accreditation to cover the arrival of the Prince and Duchess outside St Clement’s Church. We are off to the British Embassy today to pick up the official documentation.

The idea is that the photos she takes can be reproduced in our Diocesan Magazine, ‘The European Anglican’ and also appear on the Diocesan website, as well as on . I may even be allowed to post one or two on this blog!

Sermon – What are you going to preach about? This is a question that has been asked of me several times in recent days. Looking at the Biblical readings set by the lectionary for this Sunday, one verse continues to resonate with me. It is the words of St. Paul when he says, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings” – Philippians 3 v10. The joy of resurrection but, before that, suffering. Very significant words to ponder as we enter Passiontide, Holy Week and Easter.

12 comments to Three days to go……..

  • Good Morning! Dobry den!

    I want to wish you the very best (of luck) with your exciting Sunday worship service. You are so personable, that I can’t help but think that the Royal couple will enjoy your sermon. I also suppose it is a very nervous occasion (for you), so I will say a little prayer for the day. I hope the “regular” congregation are allowed in, and that they can for a few minutes, refrain from gawking and listen to your always uplifting words. It will be a very rare Sunday Service! I await photos!

    Karin on Paros

  • Ricky

    Dobry den Karin – Thank you for both visiting the blog and for your kind comment. I’m fine at the moment but I fear I might get a little nervous as Sunday morning gets ever nearer. Your ‘little prayer’ will be very much appreciated.

  • Ricky thanks for the update. Exciting times indeed. I look forward to some more of the same. Good luck with the sermon. I wonder are you a tad nervous?
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Wa Thon (???????????????)Prachuap Khiri Khan =-.

  • Ricky

    Mike – Thank you for once more visiting and commenting. As I say in response to Karin above, I’m fine at the moment though I might get a little nervous nearer the time.

  • Myra Blackmon

    Tom and I are loving the updates. If I weren’t in the final throes of prep for my three-month teaching gig in China, I’d hope a flight just to be there. St. Clements will always be a very special place for us! Please pass along our warmest greetings to our friends there!

  • Myra Blackmon

    Oops. Hop and flight, that is!

  • Ricky

    Hi Myra – I think you actually mean ‘hop on a flight’, but don’t worry – the sentiment is understood and appreciated!

    I’ve checked a couple of times (including just now), but you haven’t started blogging yet about your China adventure. Let me know when you do as Sybille & I will follow it with great interest.

  • Oh dear, I didn’t tell the Englishman I invited he should come with me. Well I hope he gets in.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Original Thinking in Olomouc: A Grain Silo Reborn =-.

  • Ricky

    Karen – I did say in both last week’s & this week’s Midweek Message & verbally last Sunday in Church, that friends who want to come on Sunday should come with a regular member of the congregation who could vouch for them. Why don’t you wait outside & meet your English friend & come in with him?

  • Carolinka

    Greatly enjoyed all your blogs, which I’ve finally got round to reading, and Sybille’s super photos – what a performance, what a lot of work, but you made it all seem effortless and normal, as it were, really wonderful!
    Enjoyed this evening as well, finally making it to the last of your Lent series

  • Ricky

    Hi Carolinka – It was a lot of work but, in the end, very worthwhile particularly if it gives St. Clement’s a higher profile in Prague and beyond. Glad you also enjoyed Thursday evening. As Karen said, it is not the sort of discussion that you normally have in everyday life!

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