In the second week of Advent last year we in Dejvice congregation, Prague 6, were visited by six people from the congregation of Wellington Church, Glasgow. The visit was the first step towards a possible future relationship between our two congregations. Some time ago our elders had agreed to explore the idea of a link between ourselves and a congregation from another country. They set up a small group of four volunteers, including our two ministers, our church secretary, and myself, to take this matter forward and, in cooperation with David Sinclair, the Church of Scotland minister working with the ECCB, the idea of contacting Wellington Church arose. The Advent visit was the first fruit of this contact.
Our guests were with us from Friday to Monday. On the first evening our visitors attended a concert in our church and had a meal with some representatives of the congregation at a local brewery.
Saturday included an exploration of historic Prague (greatly enhanced by having our church secretary, Martina Studentova, also a professional guide, as our leader). This was followed by a visit to the Charles Bridge Museum and a boat trip on the river Vltava. A visit to Bethlehem Chapel, the re-creation of Jan Hus’s 15th century preaching station, interested our visitors so much that we spent over an hour there before tea and more concerts beckoned.
On Sunday, our guests attended our worship for the second Sunday of Advent, which included a considerable contribution from our church choir and was led by our minister, Magdalena Trgalová. This was followed by tea and coffee and a chance to meet and talk with members of our congregation, before the group had lunch in the Sinclairs’ flat.
On the final day of the visit our group were taken by our minister, Pavel Ruml, to visit the prison and the army hospital; and a visit to the WW2 Lidice memorial with Pavel and Kamil Trgala was fitted in before it was time for our guests to be taken to the airport for their return to Scotland.
The visit was one of joy and blessing, the leading of the Holy Spirit, and the beginning of a possible new connection which, while not needing to be one that lasts ‘for ever and ever’, may be one, I believe, that will bring great blessing to both our congregations.
(written for Souterrain, the Dejvice Church magazine, where the full article can be found; adapted by David Sinclair)