Slovaks and Czechs living in Monaco were made very welcome at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Monte-Carlo on Sunday, April 21, to hear from Ivan Elko Archbishop of the Lutheran Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovakia.

Archbishop Ivan is the uncle of one of the Monaco church’s regular worshippers, Tatiana Parackova, and had been invited by Father Hugh Bearn to deliver his own sermon.

Archbishop Ivan centred his address to a full church by emphasising the importance of ecumenical relations, informal partnerships and outreach between different denominations within the Christian faith.

Whatever Christian denomination we belong to, we are all brothers and sisters before God, he added.

This was his first time in an Anglican Church, Archbishop Ivan said. He added that coming to Monaco he had not known quite what to expect, but the warmth of the welcome he and his wife have received has bowled him over.

Children at the Sunday School entered into the spirit of the event by learning a few lines of the Lord’s Prayer, but since the Slovak language is one of the most difficult to learn, the original intention of learning the prayer was abandoned and instead the youngsters recited the words in English to an appreciative audience in the Church library following the service.

The children learned that Slovakia, the central European nation of five million people, is famous for its caves, its mountains and its bears!

The important occasion was also attended by Mr Eric Blair, Britain’s Honorary Consul in Monaco, and Mr Stéphane Valeri, CEO of Monaco’s Société des Bains de mer.

MAIN PHOTO: Tatiana Parackova, President of the St. Paul’s Church Council Hope Swales, Stéphane Valeri, Eric Blair, Dr Stuart Bradley (holding cross, Churchwarden), Archbishop Ivan Elko, Peter Coleridge (Treasurer), Russell Crump (Churchwarden) and Father Hugh Bearn of St. Paul’s Monte-Carlo Ian Brodie