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Sunday 25th June 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Second Sunday after Trinity with parallel Children's Ministry and followed by 'Picnic in the Park'
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

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Sung Eucharist for the Third Sunday after Trinity followed by Coffee Hour
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

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24th September 2010

Dear People of St. Clement’s,

I have to start this week’s Midweek Message with an apology for there being a two week gap since the last one. It really has been a very busy time in which I’ve spent six of the past fourteen days outside of Prague. Two of these were spent in the far south of Moravia where I conducted a wedding in the chapel of Valtice Castle. Then between Thursday 16th & Sunday 19th September, I was in Vienna, along with Sybille & Jack Noonan, representing the Prague Chaplaincy at our annual Eastern Archdeaconry Synod.

The Synod brings together clergy and elected lay representatives from the Anglican Chaplaincies scattered across the vast Eastern Archdeaconry of the Diocese in Europe. This stretches from Poland, the Czech Republic & Austria eastwards including all of the former Soviet Union except the Baltic States, all of the former Yugoslavia, together with Greece & Turkey. The synod programme included worship, Biblical teaching, reports from each of the Chaplaincies as well as synodical business. It also provides an opportunity for some fun, fellowship and mutual support.

I, along with Sybille & Jack, will be reporting back in detail to your Church Council regarding the synod meeting, when the Council next meets on 17th October. But briefly I will mention here the one major business item that was discussed and the resultant decision that was taken.

For many years there has been concern about the adequate provision of pastoral care for the clergy and chaplaincies of our scattered Anglican Diocese in Europe. In particular, there has been a desire to ease the burden carried by the seven Archdeacons who not only look after their respective Archdeaconries but also are the Chaplain of a large Chaplaincy as well. Our Archdeacon Patrick Curran, is not only Archdeacon of the Eastern Archdeaconry but also Chaplain of Christ Church, Vienna.

Following the work of a ‘Strategic Review Group’, their proposal for four ‘Free-standing Archdeacons’ (i.e. with no direct responsibility for a particular Chaplaincy) to replace the current situation I’ve just outlined, was accepted and agreed upon by the Diocesan Synod earlier this year, subject to finding the necessary funding. It was this proposal, and the financial implications of it, that we spent quite some time hearing about and discussing. The synod passed a resolution supportive of the plan in principal, acknowledging the inevitable additional costs that individual Chaplaincies will need to meet. What these will exactly be is dependent on whether partial funding is obtained from central funds in England & on possible private help with accommodation.

Before I start writing about forthcoming activities and events, a note of thanks to Marshall Johnson & David Hellam for leading & preaching respectively at Morning Prayer last Sunday morning whilst I was away in Vienna. Next year, when the Archdeaconry Synod meeting will be in Bucharest, Sybille & I will probably try & combine it with two weeks annual leave and get locum cover from the UK for three successive Sundays, just as happened in 2009 when John & Jane Dinnen were with you whilst we were in Turkey.

This Sunday – 26th September 2010 at 11am – Family Eucharist

This Sunday is one of three this Autumn when there will be no Sunday School and our worship will seek to be a little more ‘family friendly’. For your diary, the other Sundays are 24th October & 21st November. Having these services both gives our Sunday School teachers a break, as well as showing our children that we are all part of God’s family and can, on certain occasions, learn together rather than separately. Our readings on Sunday are 1 Timothy 6 v6-19 & Luke 16 v19-31. Both have a lot to say about money and our use of it, the Gospel reading being the story of the Rich Man & Lazarus. As I always suggest, try to read the passages before you come to worship on Sunday at 11am.

Immediately following our worship on Sunday, there will be a (hopefully!) brief Extraordinary Church Meeting for the election of two new Churchwardens. This meeting is open to all 70 people whose names are recorded on the current Church Electoral Roll. I understand that there are currently two written nominations. If there are to be any further nominations, they must be made in writing with a proposer, seconder and the consent of the candidate, all of whom must be members of the Church Electoral Roll, and must be passed to me before the commencement of the meeting.

Then, next week, I will be taking the remaining two weeks of my annual leave and will not be with you at St. Clement’s on Sunday 3rd & Sunday 10th October. Sybille & I will be leaving Prague on Wednesday 29th September and will be returning in the evening of Tuesday 12th October. During that time, there will be a locum Chaplain, living in the Chaplaincy Flat & looking after Oscar, and who will officiate on both Sundays at 11am, as well as taking responsibility for my current regular Wednesday slot at the Communio Centre at Karolíny Svĕtlé 21, Praha 1. So let me introduce your Locum Chaplain.

Your Locum Chaplain will be Rev’d Kathy Ferguson who is flying into Prague Airport on the evening of Tuesday 28th September. Kathy was my ordained part-time colleague for nearly three years between 2004 -2007 before retiring back to Mid-Wales where she lives with her husband John. He doesn’t like flying so Kathy will be here on her own. Kathy is a graduate of Oxford University where she read Modern Languages and she thus speaks fluent German and French. Her professional career was as a librarian and although English by origin, spent her working career in Wales. She trained for non-stipendiary ministry in Wales and was ordained deacon in 1988 and ordained priest in 1997, part of the first group of women to be ordained priest in Wales following the decision of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales of which Kathy herself was an elected member for many years.

As well as being my ministry colleague for nearly three years, she also has another slightly more dubious claim to fame in that she conducted Sybille’s and my wedding five years ago on 1st October 2005. I do hope you will make Kathy feel very welcome during her time with you in Prague.

Some of you will be aware that before advertising for a new Chaplain in 2008, the then Church Council were obliged to pass ‘Resolution B’ which prevented the post of being Chaplain of St. Clements being open to both ordained men & women. This was because the Old Catholic Church in the Czech Republic does not currently ordain women as priest – only as deacon. Several other Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht do ordain women priest including the Dutch, German, Austrian and Swiss Old Catholic Churches. However, when I first met Bishop Dušan in June 2008, I asked whether it would be possible for an ordained Anglican woman priest to occasionally be the celebrant at St. Clements, particularly thinking of Kathy possibly coming to provide locum cover as well as Petra Hanova who will be known to many longer standing members of St. Clements. Bishop Dušan said then that it would OK, so long as he was informed which he has been!

Whilst I know that most members of St. Clements are firmly in favour of the ministry of ordained female priests, there may be a few of you who are not and some others of you who are somewhat unsure. I invite you to come on both Sundays to experience Kathy’s ministry. She is a very positive advert for the ministry of ordained women and in her time working with me, her ministry changed the outlook and attitude of numerous former parishioners of mine from being anti to pro & never the opposite!

Whilst Kathy is here, you can contact her by the normal Chaplaincy landline 233 310 266 or the Chaplaincy mobile 737 039 082 which I shall be leaving with her. To contact her by email, please write to  kathy@oerle.co.uk . Please don’t write to the usual chaplain@anglican.cz address as you won’t get an answer for over two weeks!

On both Wednesday 29th September & Wednesday 6th October – Meet the Locum Chaplain in Prague City Centre Kathy will be available for a chat + coffee or tea & biscuits, between 4pm and 6pm at

Communio Centre Karolíny Svĕtlé 21 (nearly opposite the Rotunda of the Holy Cross) Prague 1

Karolíny Svĕtlé itself lies between Charles Bridge and Národní třída. A reminder that this regular weekly event has now moved from Tuesday to Wednesday each week.

At 6pm, she will lead a simple said service of Evening Prayer at the same venue. There will be an easy booklet to follow, just as we have on Sunday, and within the service there will be the opportunity for extemporary or silent prayer. The service itself will last no more than thirty minutes.

Then from 6.30pm until 7.30pm, there will be an Informal Bible Study, again at the same venue. Kathy will be continuing our series of studies based on the Letter of James, one of the most practical books in the whole of the New Testament. It will be chapter 4 on Wednesday 29th and chapter 5 on Wednesday 6th. If you can bring your own Bible – great! But Kathy will also have the Biblical text printed out for those who come without a Bible. You do not have to have a fount of Biblical knowledge to attend – in fact it is probably preferable if you don’t!!!!! No one will be put on the spot or embarrassed. That I promise.

At 7.30pm, everyone can either go home OR those who would like to, could invite Kathy to join them in a nearby restaurant for fellowship over an evening meal.

And finally – an urgent request

It was planned to hold another Shared Lunch in Klimentská 18 after worship on Sunday 3rd October which would give everybody a great chance to meet Kathy & get to know her better. Unfortunately, Sue Anderson who has so successfully organised our previous Shared Lunches is currently away in the UK & Sybille & I will be on holiday. Is there a volunteer to take on organising this? If so, email or phone me before Sunday so I can get publicity out to everyone.

Best wishes

Ricky