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A flying Visit by Martin Horak – 8th May 2023

What better way to round off a busy Coronation weekend than to host a flying vist from Martin Horak, our minister in 2011/12.

Martin had been invited to attend a Spring Training School or URC Ministers together with Filip Keller, who had served at St John’s URC church in New Barnet. The new Synod Moderator George Watt is keen to take up contact with Martin’s denomination after a Covid induced pause.

Jennifer Cameron had come down from Ware to be with the other 12 church members there to welcome Martin. We had cake a plenty and the remaining ‘Fizz’ from the Coronation Charity Lunch on Friday.

Martin told us a little about his church in Brno,  still with a large congregation with a good spread of ages right down to young children. However, they are also facing challenges, not least increasing secularisation, and the cost of supporting their two ministers. Although Martin has a 3-year contract, he has decided not to put in for a further renewal when it comes up in two years’ time. He feels the church needs a change of leadership and some new ideas. He’s not ready to retire and will be looking for new challenges.  

The children Klara, Barbora, and Dan are now 22, 20 and 18 respectively. Klara is in her final year at university studying Environmental Analysis. Barbora has just secured a place at a Prague University Art School for a fashion design course. Both girls are now living away from home.

Martin had brought the pictures taken for their grandmother’s birthday celebration.

Dan, still at home with Martin, is in his final school year with hopes to study psychology at university, though securing a place will be tough. Jennifer can remember looking after Dan on many occasions with copious Lego, and David and Pauline remembered taking him to Duxford RAF museum.

Sadly, Martin and Gabriela separated about six years ago and their divorce came through last Christmas. The children have a good relationship with both of their parents. Gabriela continues her career as a military chaplain in a hospital and is planning to move to a hospital in Prague on a more permanent basis.

Good to have time for a real ‘catch up’. And we took a little video to share with those who could not make the day.

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