Bread and Salt; a Czech Symbol of Hospitality

Last November, we were pleased to welcome Rev Petr Samojsky as our visiting minister. It was a good opportunity to establish our links with the Unitarian church in Prague, where Petr is the minister. It also gave us a chance to exchange different culinary customs. On Friday 4 November around thirty members and friends gathered in the upper hall to enjoy a bring and share supper. This was superbly organised by Elizabeth Welsh. Our thanks to her and her team of helpers.

At the beginning of this most pleasant evening, our Convener, Mary McKenna presented Petr with a platter of different breads and a container of salt. Petr explained that this Eastern European custom is a welcoming ceremony for honoured guests. Many of us enjoyed dipping pieces of bread into the salt. We in turn introduced Petr to some Scottish delicacies.

During his time with us, Petr contributed to the life of St Mark’s in many ways. He led thought-provoking Sunday services, in which his amusing, but relevant ’time for all ages’ stories were appreciated by the adults and children alike. He attended several church meetings, both administrative and social. His family joined him for a long weekend, and on Sunday 20 November they accompanied a group of us to hear the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, at the Usher Hall, playing pieces by Smetana, Shostakovich and Dvorak.


Photographs by Jane Aaronson and Kirsty Murray