Annan Old and Dornock Parish

Church of Scotland


Petr Peňáz


It was lovely to see Petr, Jana and Jana back in Church last Sunday.      Petr gave us an update on what is going on in his Church, and the family news.    Sadly, Eliska was unable to join them – she is at University studying to be a pharmacist.     Jana is in her last year at secondary school, and hoping to go to University in the Autumn.    They haven’t changed at bit, (still with those lovely smiles) they all looked really fit and well.

It is so nice that they still visit us.    We in Annan Old have a very special place for them in our hearts, always thanking God for the unforgettable year they spent with us.

Looking forward to their next visit!

Today 1.3.22 we have received the following e-mail from Petr about the situation in Czech Republic as they establish camps for Ukrainian Refugees.   Please pray for peace in Ukraine.    Remember too the work of Petr and the folks who are doing so much to help.

Well my friends,

I am very grateful for your prayers and letters. The situation has worsened overnight. The number of refugees doubled in the last 24 hours (it is about 500000 now). Queues on the borders are 20 miles long, In some areas the average time to get through border checkpoints is about 80 hours. All of them women and their kids, sometimes even kids without parents. There is enough material to support the people on the border – clothes, hygiene stuff, food, but there are not enough helpers to distribute things. Trains bring refugees in and different ones take military support out to UA. More and more attacks hit civilians, Russians target civil quarters too. Slovakia asked the Czech republic to support them with our police to make procedures faster. Here in the Czech Republic every county established camps for refugees where they will stay until their “papers” are issued and then they will be sent further to towns, churches and families. Government negotiates with strategic companies to support military production, and probably the military budget will be increased. People here are refusing to buy Russian merchandise and stores dump the Russian stuff. The parliament together with the senate wants to approve that our volunteers can go and fight side by side with Ukrainians (Until now our president has to sign every single case). Sad…sad times for everyone. I took my days off (stopped Bible studies and kids group) and  will go with my wife to prepare rooms in the church if they are needed. Whole denomination creates a list of families and congregations of those who are willing to accept refugees. But not only church people are ready to help, it seems to me that the situation united the nation after many years (well, there are exceptions which are not worthy to mention, we have a couple of guys which /not whom/ I would send to Russia right away). And of course money helps, people are generous….many collections….

Have to go to sleep….talk to you soon….


25th December 2020

Greetings from Czech Republic

4th August 2020

Jana, Eliska, Jana and Petr have a “Scotland Day” in Czech Republic

We are so happy that the family remember with affection their time in Annan – just as we remember them    (Hope you’re making lots of scones Jana!!)    Miss your scrumptious cakes!

14th June 2020

Back to Church in the Czech Republic  (Eliska and Jana wearing tartan – hopefully, a reminder of your time in Scotland??)

We are so pleased that they keep in touch.

Easter 2020         Peňáz  Family – decorated eggs – love the saltire!!

February 2020 visit of Jana, Petr and Jana   (wonder where he got that hat!!!)

Jana, Petr and Jana Peňáz, along with two of their friends, came for a short holiday at the beginning of February – we were delighted to see them.   As always they were part of our Church family, joining in the various activities taking place – Singing Group, The Guild and everything else – heard Jana was at the Sewing Group too – as we had hoped, just like they hadn’t gone home.    It is so good to know that they feel at home here too.

On Sunday 9th February, after Church, we had a soup and pudding lunch when Petr showed us pictures of their new Church and the surrounding area.    We were all invited to visit them, and hopefully, maybe ‘twin’ our Churches.

Alan Dodds and Petr share the same birthday, so at the Singing Group they sang happy birthday to each other – Alan in ‘Geordie’ and Petr in Czech.

Petr and Jana were the guest speakers at the Guild, they stepped in at the last minute when the scheduled speaker called off due to the weather conditions.   Petr spoke about the period when Czechoslovakia, as his country was then called, endured the harsh conditions of Communist rule.

He then spoke on a more personal note about how this period of occupation affected his and Jana’s families.    Both families were farmers and they had their land seized and family members imprisoned.    Regulations made life difficult and it was almost impossible to produce enough food to eat.   It was very sobering for the members listening to Petr to hear of the atrocities inflicted on people in his country between 1944 and 1989, and realise they had happened during our lifetime, which gave everyone a great deal to ponder on.

On a lighter note, Petr and Jana then shared with members a number of traditions in the Czech Republic, during the Christmas and Easter periods, comparing them with those celebrated here in Scotland – some of the differences causing much amusement.

We sincerely hope that they will make another visit soon and maybe next time Eliska will manage to come too.      It is heart warming that they still remember us – just as we remember them all with much affection.

Christmas Greetings from the Peňáz Family, in Czech Republic.

Hi Petr, Jana, Eliska and Jana

Greetings from your friends in Annan Old.     It is good to keep in touch.       At the Christingle Service in Annan Old, thought back on the Service when you tried to teach us a Czech Carol, and how you sang it so beautifully.    Lovely memories.        We send you our love and best wishes for 2020.


9th June 2019

We were so pleased to receive these photos of Jana’s Confirmation plus a family photo – when around 40 attended lunch.

Congratulations Jana on your Confirmation – we send you our love and best wishes with the hope that it won’t be too long until you visit us, here in Annan.    We are so happy that you are keeping in touch.

Jana's Confimation 1Jana's Confirmation 2Jana's Confirmation 3

17th March 2019

We were surprised and so pleased to see Petr walk into Church on Sunday – it was like he had never been away, we were all eager to talk with him  –   maybe next visit he will bring  all the family.      Petr brought greetings from Jana, Eliska and Jana, also from his Church in Sloupnice.    As well as reading the Scripture Lesson,  Petr gave us an update on the family – daughter Jana was on a trip to France, Eliska is well and hoping to study Chemistry, Jana is still teaching  and Petr is still a Minister!!    It is lovely that they keep in touch – in fact several of our congregation have been to Czech Republic to stay with the family, and shortly Pat and Denise plan to make a return visit.   We were and are still, blessed with their friendship – thanks be to God.     Hope it won’t be too long before we see them all again.

New Year 2019

We were delighted to receive this photo from  the Peňáz Family, along with their love and good wishes for 2019  (They say they still miss us – a feeling which is reciprocated)

DSC_0043 (1)

Eliska was confirmed on Sunday 20th May 2018 

It was lovely to receive these photos, and we send Eliska our congratulations, love and very best wishes.

Eliska's Confirmation 3jpgEliska's Confirmation 6

A special surprise on Sunday 11th March 2018

What a lovely surprise we had on 11th March, when Petr arrived back in Annan for  a short visit – it was good to hear about Jana, Eliska and Jana, and their lives back in the Czech Republic.     We were delighted that Petr conducted the Service – he brought with him the good wishes of his family and his Church.  Petr’s Sermon can be read on this website – just click on ‘Sermons’.  We still miss them all.  Hopefully on the next visit they will come as a family and spend more time with us.

 Pictures from the Peňáz Family – Christmas 2017  ……     Jana is still baking those delicious biscuits!!


fotosbor2017skupinka detiDSC02808


Farewell to the Peňáz Family

Petr Church family Colour

After several weeks of excited anticipation, the Peňáz family finally arrived mid-August 2016.   Petr proved to be an excellent preacher of the Gospel.   We have learned much from his teachings, and it is always good to hear another person’s interpretation of God’s Word.   His sermons are on this web site, and worth hearing/reading again.

Right from the start of Petr’s ministry here, we realised his commitment, dedication and sincerity – we took the whole family to our hearts, they were all very friendly and joined in everything we did as a Church Family.    Jana, Petr’s his wife was such easy company, a member of the Friendship Club, Singing Group, The Guild, Sewing Group – indeed anywhere we needed an extra pair of hands, she was there – especially at our As Nu Sales – and her scrumptious baking was much appreciated too – her recipes are very much in demand.    The girls were very helpful too, and daughter Jana even played the piano in Church for the Sunday School one Sunday.   Yes, they were very much part of the family of Annan Old.

It was a year when they had their ups and downs too, no sooner had they got settled into the Manse when, unfortunately, Eliska their older daughter became unwell and needed a liver transplant.   Praise God, she made an excellent recovery and was soon back among us.   It was a time when we all shared their anxiety and that brought us all closer together.    We felt their pain, and rejoiced with them when all went well.

We shared all the seasons with them, learning from each other, different customs associated with the events in the Church Calendar – but always focused on the same Jesus Christ.   It was good to learn about their homeland too.    We hope they have also enjoyed learning something of our traditions – we’ve had a Ceilidh, Scottish Country Music, Concert, Riding of the Marches, and many events hoping to give them a flavour of our town and country.

All too soon, their year in Annan was over.     On Sunday 13th August, Petr preached his last Sermon.  It was so emotional for us all, having to say goodbye.  They were the recipients of many gifts, a painting with a scene to remind them of Annan, a cross made from a pew which had been removed from the Church, and other memorabilia, to show how much they were appreciated and loved by all the members.  Voluntary donations were received, enabling the congregation to present  them with  £1000.

We hope they enjoyed being with us as much as we enjoyed having them here.    We will never forget this special time or these special people who have greatly enriched our lives.    We wish them God’s richest blessings as they continue to serve our Lord, doing whatever He has planned for them.


Penaz Card         

In Petr’s last letter to the congregation, he said:

“One year ago we started to pack our stuff and today we collect our bits and pieces to move again.   The last service in our congregation was heart-breaking and I feel that it will be the same this year.  Minister’s family is on the move.   Where is our home?   It is not in Annan, nor in Dornock but neither in Sloupnice (our village).    Our home is among God’s people, in the community of saints.    And we want to say:   ‘Thank you’.   We felt your love when our daughter got ill, but we also had felt the same love before there was any sign of what was coming.     We feel your love now.    You carried our weaknesses in your prayers as did people in the Czech Republic.    We are grateful to you and to God almighty, because we have experienced a taste of heaven.     Thank you, thank you, thank you.   And as we know, it is promised by God’s word to God’s people to meet again – sooner or later.    Until it will happen, remember us with some humour and we will remember you with great respect, because your hands were wide open and your hearts as well.    In your actions we saw Jesus himself.  Thank you and God bless”.

    Petr Peňáz and family

 16 Photo of Penaz Family.

In April the World Mission Council contacted various vacant charges to say that a Minister from the Czech Republic had expressed an interest in coming to Scotland for a year. This was discussed by a joint meeting of Annan Old and Dornock Kirk Sessions and it was agreed to express an interest.

A Parish Profile was sent to Edinburgh and we heard no more until nearly the end of June when we were told that Petr Peňáz was interested in coming to Annan Old and Dornock. 

He visited the parishes between the 4th and 7th July.    While he was here he visited the Churches and the Manse, and at a joint informal meeting he gave a short presentation about himself and had a chance to meet Elders of both Kirk Sessions and members of the Nominating Committee.

 Kirk Sessions had then to meet to decide if they wished to invite Petr to be our Minister for one year.  Both Kirk Sessions met on 10th July and agreed unanimously to invite Petr to be our Minister for one year.   Petr had told us before he left that he would like to come and be our Minister for a year.    During his year here we will not be a vacancy and cannot look for a Minister.

Petr and his family – wife Jana and daughters Eliska (13) and Jana (12) will be staying in the Manse and are looking forward to being part of our community. They hope to be here mid to late August, but details will be given when we know more.