Czech clergyman with Cumbernauld connection writes his life story.

The Bisek family
The Bisek family

The dramatic tale of a clergyman and his family hounded by the secret police in their homeland before finding sanctuary in Cumbernauld has now been published.

For Reverend Tomas Bisek has written Finding My Way: Memories of a Czech Dissident 1939-2008.

Mr Bisek was a member of the outlawed Charter 77 group and was tailed by the security services before making a life for himself and his family after finding a post at Condorrat Parish Church in the 1980s.

The pastor had been forced to feel Czechoslovakia with wife Daniela and his four young children.

For not only had he signed Charter 77, which criticised the Communist Government for human rights violations, the authorities took particular exception to the year he had spent studying at a theological college in the United States.

And his book details the uneasy process involved in unsparing detail.

Speaking from his native Prague, Mr Bisek said: “When we were in Cumbernauld we struggled with the feeling of having betrayed our colleagues in Chapter 77.

“The language and change of culture caused a number of problems for us –but we had nice neighbours in Balloch and at the church.

“To the people of Cumbernauld myself and my wife Daniela would like to send our warm greetings.

“We feel very comfortable in Prague and make frequent visits to the UK to see our sons, daughters and grandchildren.”

As a bonus, the couple celebrated their Golden Anniversary last month in Prague.

Daughter Lucie who became a teacher and is now living in Stirling with a family of her own described the book as “a real treasure.”

She said: “I read it in Czech and in English.

“There were some surprises. I learned so much about my dad.’’

Poignantly that is because Mr Bisek and his wife told the children nothing, so as not to compromise them in any way.