Despite a rich spiritual heritage, the Czech Republic is now the most secular country in Eastern Europe, according to a 2017 Pew Research survey that found only 29 per cent of Czechs believe in God. Brno, a lively place of innovation and creativity, is its second largest and fastest growing city after Prague. We seek to join in with what God has already started in a small Anglican congregation there to see a vibrant Christian community develop, where people can encounter the Christian faith in culturally relevant ways and in time be resourced to lead.
To lead the Anglican congregation in Brno and develop a vibrant international Christian community where people meet Jesus and grow as disciples
To create Christian community committed to missional hospitality, where all are welcome and play a part in God’s mission
More about Lea and Petra Williams
Brno, a fantastic city that we know well from Petra’s family connections and time studying there, is now home to 80,000 students and 30,000 internationals (including an influx of English-speakers), with technology companies as well as universities based in the city. In 2011, a small Anglican congregation was planted in Brno following requests for worship there. Since then, monthly evening services have been held and a small but faithful international congregation has formed. As CMS mission partners we will provide more opportunities for both Czechs and English-speakers to worship and explore issues of faith.
We long to see a vibrant international Christian community, committed to the practice of missional hospitality, where there is a place at the table for all. We want to create a place to gather and encounter God through exploring the Bible, breaking bread together and developing a church community where everyone has a part to play in the mission of God.
Petra, a Czech, moved to Glasgow as an au pair in 2005, encountered Jesus and became involved in church life. As she grew in her faith, her pastor encouraged Petra to explore theological studies. Lea, from Shropshire, came to faith as a child and was shaped by his parents’ example of sharing faith and nurturing new believers. At a young age he felt called to ordination, enthusiastically telling his teacher, “one day, miss, I will be a vicar”.
We met at International Christian College, where there was a strong emphasis on mission and global Christianity. We married in 2009, and have two children, Olivia and Theodore. After working with children and families at a church in Essex and training for ordination, Lea was ordained in 2016. We live in north Essex, where Lea is completing his curacy and Petra works as a photographer. Lea has also spent time with Anglican chaplaincies in Prague, Moscow and Brussels, and learned the Czech language. We have often spoken of mission abroad and for a number of years have been discerning a call to long-term ministry in the Czech Republic.