People and Places

People and Places is compiled by Maggy Clarke. Extracts from People and Places may be reproduced if author is acknowledged.

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People and Places, July 2018

Kwantu Choir

Although the Festival had not yet begun, early June saw a number of concerts in Grahamstown. The vocal group Byrdsongs, founded and conducted by Simon Tibbs, gave a concert in the Monument on 2 May. This talented group of singers includes John Jackson and Asakhe Cuntsulana. A week later Kwantu Choir, conducted by Kutlwano Kepadisa (Kepa) gave an invited audience the opportunity to preview their Festival concert. By no means exclusive was the annual Big Hymn Sing, when true to form the Cathedral was packed to standing room only on 10 June. The junior and senior choirs of Kingswood College were joined by the Victoria Primary School and VGHS choirs, and the Chamber Choir of St Andrew’s and DSG, as well as Kwantu Choir and of course the Cathedral Choir, both of the last conducted by Kepa. Each choir contributed one item, and the popular hymns in which everyone joined, were led with a swing by the Kingswood College Concert Band. Each hymn was introduced by the Revd Tim Marshall, Kingswood Chaplain, with a few helpful words to explain the meaning and theology behind it.

During the winter vac Rachel Hunter had the opportunity to go to Australia. Attending a football match, she was the victim of a freak accident in the crowd, and suffered a broken nose! We pray for her, and for Mother Zelma CR, who was taken ill while in the UK visiting her friend Sue Hennessy, and had to be admitted to hospital. We pray also for the Dongwana family, on the death of Revd Lunga’s mother Lulama Dongwana.

It was good to see Lorraine Nicholson in church, on a visit from the UK and looking well. Aphiwe Mame has finished his journalism degree and is back in Grahamstown, at least for a while.

We give thanks that the Cathedral finances are on a firmer footing. The Churchwardens reported that pledges received since the end of 2017 are keeping more or less up to date with the amounts promised, and that there was an increase in the amount pledged. Well done, and let’s keep it up!

Congratulations to Tristyn Burger on being named as Pick n Pay Sports Hero of the Week. This Grade 7 girl captains the VP tennis and hockey teams, as well as being Deputy Head Girl. Congratulations also to Richard Antrobus, whose production received a Naledi award.

On 20 June, at 3 pm on a Wednesday afternoon, fire broke out at Eluxolweni. By the mercy of God, it was not in the middle of the night! As it was, a copy-book fire drill was held, with all the boys behaving perfectly, and all accounted for and uninjured. The fire was caused by an electrical fault in a geyser, and damage was confined to the ceiling and roof of the kitchen.

At the end of June the National Arts Festival began, and this year Spiritfest had a bumper programme, particularly in the area of music. The Cathedral was the venue for many of the events.

There were lively concerts by our own St Michael’s Marimbas under Asakhe Cuntsulana, by Kwantu Choir under Kepa, and by Fafa Hopkins (a.k.a. Chris Mann) who presented his song poems with graphics by Julia Skeen Mann.


Sadly the Cathedral was unable to welcome our Director of Music Designate, Cameron Luke, to give an organ recital as scheduled during Spiritfest, due to ongoing problems with his South African work visa. Many thanks to Fr Noël-Jean Creille from Port Alfred, who stepped in at almost no notice and gave a delightful concert.

The Spiritfest Winter School and Open Mic both took place in the Cathedral Coffee Shop, situated in the Chapter House. Much food for thought and interesting discussion in a congenial space, with coffee and cake too.

Bayanda Mthetho played the organ at the Choral Evensong, under the watchful eye of his teacher, Jovan Heynsen.

And above all there was wonderful worship of almighty God! The Cathedral Choir sang Choral Evensong on the first Friday evening, and on the first Sunday they were joined by the Kwantu Choir for the Festival Eucharist. The quiet candlelit plainsong service, Lucernarium, followed on the Wednesday evening. On the final Sunday, 8 July, a number of Cathedral members joined the ecumenical street parade from the Drostdy Arch to the city centre. At the 9:30 Festival Eucharist which followed we welcomed the Choir of Jesus College Cambridge, conducted by Richard Pinel, as well as local soprano soloist Emma Farquharson. The music of these singers was a foretaste of heaven!

One of the Spiritfest exhibitions this year was in the Cathedral, two sculptures by Niel Jonker of Archbishop Tutu and Fr (later Archbishop) Huddleston. These will remain there, at the back on your right as you enter the Cathedral, before being moved to be displayed further in the College of the Transfiguration. Do pay them a visit.

See more photos in the Spiritfest 2018 Gallery.

People and Places, June 2018

During May the Cathedral welcomed the Ven Eduardo Bukutu from Niassa Diocese in Mozambique. He was waiting to take up an appointment at home in Lichinga as the next Dean, and came to learn from Dean Andrew something of what the job involves. He preached on Ascension Day, and Trinity Sunday. We pray for God’s blessing on him in his new post.

A new team of College of the Transfiguration students joined us at the Cathedral for ministry experience. Welcome to Balungile Ngubo, Enrico Heuwel, Jonathan Bukutu (son of Dean-elect Eduardo), Koena Mphoshi, Luvuyo Mvaphantsi, Mlamuli Masondo, Tebogo Monyai, Tercia Meyer and Zipho Mbambo.

Four more Lay Ministers were licensed recently: Siyabulela Fobosi,  (left), and left to right Sylvester Appollis, Tendai Goto, and Ayanda Mpofu. We give thanks for their gift of ministry, and pray for them in this new area of service.

Congratulations to Richard Antrobus, son of Margie and Geoff, on receiving nominations for the Naledi Awards for his production ‘Cloud Catcher’.

Duma Myemane is rejoicing that her daughter Nobulani gave birth to a baby girl. Although Nobulani lives in Cape Town, she came to Grahamstown to give birth in Settlers’ Hospital.

Isabel Bridger died on 26 May, and her funeral took place in the Cathedral on 2 June. We pray for the family: her husband Ernest, and their children with their spouses: Rodney and Mandy; Donovan and Dean; Michelle and Ronaldo (Cathedral), Mark and Belinda (St Clement’s) Celeste in KZN, and all the grandchildren. We also pray for Nzulu Nzwana, one of our boy choristers, son of Canon Lawrence Nzwana, on the death of his grandmother.

The Cathedral Student Ministry has been busy. In response to a challenge to “fast that others may be fed” (go without one meal a week) they raised R340, which they gave to Kay Marx for the Grahamstown Feeding Scheme. And they organised an afternoon of fun and games on 12 May in St George’s Hall, for children of the Cathedral family, which was greatly enjoyed. For more photos, see our Gallery. The Student Service on 27 May had a theme of anointing and prayer for the exams. The next Student Service will be on 22 July. In the meantime we pray for all those writing exams at schools, colleges and at Rhodes.

On Friday 1 June there was fun for all the family at a Song and Dance evening held in St George’s Hall. Many thanks to the organisers, June Venn and Rose Spannenberg and the MC Theo Duxbury. For more photos, see our Gallery.

On 3 May a concert in the Nuns’ Chapel on Rhodes Campus featured students who are being trained as solo singers. Among these beautiful voices were Anelisa Kelemi of the Student Ministry team, our Acting Director of Music Kutlwano Kepadisa, and Asakhe Cuntsulana, who is usually too busy playing an instrument in the Cathedral (marimba, drum or flute) for us to hear how well he sings.

Further afield, on 3 June Chris Mann and his wife Julia Skeen provided half the programme at a sold-out afternoon of poetry and music in the historic Richmond House Museum in Port Alfred. Chris, thankfully much better now after his knee replacement, entertained the appreciative audience with his original song-poems under the title ‘Sweet is the fruit of the Prickly Pear’, while Julia’s graphics were projected on the wall above his head. Also thankfully much better is Peter Breetzke, who recently underwent cataract surgery, but was back at the organ at the 7:30 Eucharists after only one Sunday off.

The wedding of Prince Harry of Britain and Meghan Markle on 19 May had many of us clustered round TV sets, despite being so far from Windsor, England. It was a thrill to hear the choir of Windsor College Chapel sing two anthems which are also in the repertoire of our Cathedral choir. Indeed the very next day we heard them sing one of them at our Sung Eucharist on Pentecost Sunday, ‘If ye love me’ by Thomas Tallis.

As this month of June draws to a close we look forward to welcoming the colour, excitement and multiple talents that are on offer here in Grahamstown at the National Festival of the Arts. The Spiritfest programme is particularly rich in music this year, as well as lectures, book launches, exhibitions and of course wonderful worship. Check out the programme on the Spiritfest web page, or in the Festival brochure.

People and Places, May 2018

We welcome two more new Lay Ministers, admitted on Sunday 15 April. Kundai Jimu (left) and Anelisa Kelemi are both involved in the Cathedral Student Ministry. Until recently Anelisa was in the Cathedral Choir, which she had been a part of since she was at school, and she preceded Kutlwano Kepadisa as Choir Intern. The CSM has started an appeal to people to fast for one meal a week. The money saved will be collected at the Student Services for donation to a feeding scheme.

The Cathedral Choir was delighted to hear the news after Easter that two of their members, Jessica Smith and Glyn Lloyd-Jones, had announced their engagement! The last similar occasion was way back in 1990, when choir Director Christopher Cockburn and choir member Karin Mitford-Barberton became engaged. They were married the same year and so have celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary. The Rhodes University Chamber Choir can also claim Jessica and Glyn’s romance as one of many which have flourished over the years. Warm congratulations, and may their lives together be richly blessed.

Congratulations also to Tristyn Burger, who has been appointed Deputy Head Girl of Victoria Primary School, and to chorister Siyolisa Sandi, also a VP pupil, on being selected to play netball at Provincial level, and receiving her sports half-colours.

Pat and Sally Terry are enjoying a well-deserved holiday in the UK, specially timed so that they could be present when their daughter Helen gave birth to their granddaughter Scarlett Olivia Livermore.

We continue to pray for the recovery of Chris Mann after his knee surgery, and for Ann Stockwell. After her broken hip she required a full hip replacement, and spent some time at Aurora in Port Elizabeth for rehabilitation. It is great to see her back in the congregation again, walking with just one stick. Happily British Airways have been sympathetic to Ann and Peter’s plight, and have granted them replacement tickets for their cancelled trip to the UK, which can be used at any time up until January next year. They are specially grateful also that Ann’s hip broke while they were still in Port Elizabeth rather than when they were overseas.

John Claughton, a former member of the Cathedral congregation who was living in Brookshaw Frail Care, died on 15 April. We give thanks for his life, and pray for the many friends who mourn him. Prayers are also asked for Claire Nye Hunter and Dean Andrew on the sudden death of their dear friend Chris Bush, and for Nceba January whose aunt died recently.

The CR Sisters held their Associates’ Day on 14 April. It was good to see Larry Collett and Rita Macrae. Larry Wilmot preached and celebrated at the Eucharist, and Maggy Clarke gave a talk on Brahms’ ‘German Requiem’ illustrated with recorded excerpts from the work.

Daphne Rink, mother-in-law of our former Dean Chich Hewitt, left Grahamstown at the end of April to join one of her daughters who lives in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal. We wish her every blessing as she ‘down-sizes’ yet again, and moves from Somerset Place to a flat on her daughter’s property.

Dean Andrew and Claire Nye Hunter visited KwaZulu-Natal for the wedding of her godson on 28 April, and the following day had lunch with Marian and Wayne Jayes in their lovely seaside home in Tongaat. The other lunch guests were A-J Bethke and his little adopted son Caleb! A-J recently bought a flat in the same building in Durban where he had been renting, and moved a few floors higher, literally ‘going up in the world.’

News of A-J’s predecessors in charge of the Cathedral Music, Barbara and Wilf Stout in Scotland, is that they now have a grandson as well as a granddaughter. Their younger son Mick had to have surgery for colon cancer not long ago, but is bravely undergoing the necessary treatment and looking forward to marrying his very supportive fiancée in July.

Namso Nyamela sent Easter greetings and love to everyone at the Cathedral. She is working as a Junior Environmental Scientist at Jones and Wagener (J&W) Engineering and Environmental Consultants in Gauteng. She has recently moved into a granny flat in Centurion, not far from the office where she works, and has joined St Martin’s by the Field in Irene, Centurion. One of the things she likes best about J&W is that the staff meet for prayer at lunch time every Monday. To read all her news, click here.

Theuns Pauw (right) preached in the Cathedral.

The Freedom Day long weekend saw the beginning of the week-long Grahamstown for Jesus Mission, led by a team from African Enterprise. The Team Leader, Theuns Pauw, preached at the Cathedral on 29 April. On Workers’ Day, 1 May, the Cathedral family was well represented at the Mission’s March of Reconciliation from Fingo Village to Church Square. People of all colours, ages and denominations took part, some even on horseback, with a bagpiper and a banner leading the way. At the Police Station Mission organisers presented a certificate to the Grahamstown Police, in appreciation for their work and assure them of our prayers. Brigadier David Kanuka, who received the certificate, was deeply touched at this unusual recognition and support. The Police Band then led the March for the rest of their route to Church Square, where the Eluxolweni marimba band played, the Foxfires (AE youth volunteers) danced, and Mayor Nomhle Gaga attended the open-air evangelistic service addressed by African Enterprise’s Stephen Lungu. For more photos, go to our Gallery.


People and Places, April 2018

Carlos Respeito

A warm welcome to Carlos Respeito, a theological student from Mozambique, who is doing his seven-week parish placement at the Cathedral as part of his BTh degree. He is in his fourth year at the College of the Transfiguration.

Over the weekend of 3-4 March the Cathedral Student Ministry held their annual Camp at Assegaai Trails, with Revd Claire Nye Hunter and Mama Jane Bradshaw. Although a smaller group than hoped for, the 13 of who came had a wonderful time of “Faith, fun, fellowship, food and frolics!”. They got to know each other at a deeper level in between all the laughter, hiking, games, swimming, Bible quizzes and charades. On Sunday they had an outdoor informal Eucharist which included learning new songs of worship in different languages, and spending an extended time of meditation and reflection on their own. For more pictures, see our Gallery.

Our Annual Vestry Meeting took place on 11 March. Congratulations to our newly elected Churchwardens, Ronaldo Burger and Paul Walters, and Parish Councillors Jane Bradshaw, Rodney Bridger, Theo Duxbury, Siphiwe Ncaca and Lungile Pinxa. Sister Carol CR will continue to represent the Sisters. Thanks to those who stepped down after serving faithfully during the past year: Churchwarden Ian Meiklejohn, and Councillors Cathy Euijen, Patrick Pringle and Rose Spannenberg. One Resolution was taken at the Vestry meeting, in which concern was expressed about the state of Makana Municipality. On 28 March a delegation from the Cathedral met with the acting Municipal Manager, Mr Ted Pillay, and presented him with the Resolution. It covered issues of water, roads, sewerage, financial sustainability of the municipality and good governance; and expressed the support of the Cathedral Parish for all who are seeking to improve things. The Dean reported that it was a helpful, positive meeting. The full Resolution can be read here.

On 18 March four new Lay Ministers were licensed at the 7:30 service: Lithemba Busakwe, Lou-Anne Liebenberg, Dawn Long and Luvuyo Mvaphantsi. We give thanks for their devotion and pray for them in their ministry.

As a step in the direction of becoming a ‘green’ Cathedral, a third rain-water tank was installed at the Deanery in March, as well as a solar geyser.

We pray for the Palmer family on the death of Ann, and give thanks for her long life. Highly respected Catholic theologian and long-time Grahamstown resident, Professor Brian Gaybba, also died recently, and we pray for his widow Monika and the family.

Prayers are asked for Chris Mann, who is recovering from a knee replacement, and Jenny Walsh, Rod’s wife, in Cape Town, who has had a hip replacement. Ann and Peter Stockwell suffered a double blow when Ann fell and broke her hip on the eve of their departure on a long-awaited six-week trip to England to visit their children Andrew and Clare. At the time of writing Ann was still in hospital in Port Elizabeth, and of course the trip to the UK had to be cancelled. We give thanks that Peter Breetzke is recovering well from the after-effects of his broken wrist. He has resumed some carpentry, and we will soon be hearing him at the organ again.

Please pray for the Eluxolweni Home, which has been experiencing a financial crisis, that they may be enabled to continue their vital work with young boys who might otherwise be living on the streets.

We welcome back Patrick and Cathy Pringle’s daughter Janet, who returned to Grahamstown from Goa on 8 March.

Many youngsters who enjoy singing would think that being onstage with Sibongile Khumalo would be an impossible dream. For members of Grahamstown school choirs and the Kwantu Choir, among others, this dream came true at the performances of Masicule on 25 and 26 March. The Cathedral Choir was well represented, and Kutlwano Kepadisa (Kepa) had the unforgettable experience of conducting the massed choir and Mama Sibongile herself in ‘U ae kae’. That and a number of other items on the programme were arranged by Gareth Walwyn, who directed the Masicule production team. As well as singing, Asakhe Cuntsulana accompanied one item on the drum, and Bayanda Mthetho another on the keyboard. The Monument Theatre was almost full on both evenings, and the crowd went wild for the stirring and magnificent music. Perhaps you think Sibongile Khumalo would be a hard act to follow – well, Xolisa Foley, a boy soprano from the Cathedral Choir and Kwantu Choir, did just that with Junaid Douglas as they sang solos with the massed choir in the final item of the concert. They acquitted themselves splendidly!

Passiontide and Easter together form the high point of the Church’s year, and at the Cathedral they were celebrated with beautiful worship and music. The Holy Week services were inspiring, with addresses on Good Friday by a variety of speakers including Revd Boitumelo Gaborone from Trinity Presbyterian Church and Revd Vuyokazi May from Commemoration Methodist Church. Thanks to the choir Juniors and Kepa for hours of extra practice which resulted in some exquisite singing at the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services, from plainsong to African traditional. A small group of adult choristers sang at the Easter Vigil service, with the Exultet beautifully chanted by Kepa, and Markus Mostert on the organ. At the second Easter morning Eucharist we welcomed the Wind Band of D F Malan High School from Bellville, Cape Town, directed by Faan Malan, who made the hymns go with a swing. Thanks to Jovan Heynsen for playing the organ for that service. The band returned in the afternoon to give a concert of rousing music.

Congratulations to our Cathedral Rhodes Graduates: Rose Kadye (Doctorate), Lesley Bloy (Masters), Rosa Msweli, Noxolo Kheswa, Tendai Goto, Lydia Kudye, Ayanda Mpophu, Telya de Ricquebourg, Taku Chinogwenya, and Katryn Niewoudt. In addition Prof Peter Mtuze, Archdeacon of King William’s Town West, was awarded an honorary doctorate and Dr Vicentia Kgabe (Rector of the College of the Transfiguration) a post graduate diploma in Business. Well done everyone! For more pictures, see our Gallery.


People and Places, March 2018

This year people were quick to notice that Ash Wednesday fell on Valentine’s Day. Suggestions appeared on Facebook of customised Valentine cards, including: “Won’t you be my Valentine, you miserable offender” and “Remember you are dust but awfully lovable dust”! But our traditional evening of Shrove Tuesday pancakes on 13 February was an ideal occasion to spread a little love. The team led by Sally Terry outdid themselves, and the final sum raised for the Bishop’s Appeal for Training for Ministries was in the region of R6,900. Sally expressed thanks to the cooks, the fillers of pancakes, and all those parishioners whose donations in advance ensured that almost all the takings were profit. An amazing total of 750 pancakes were made, and those who sat down to eat enjoyed a delightful evening with friends.

A warm welcome to all new arrivals at the Cathedral, including new students. We hope you will feel very much at home. We welcome back Matthew Jennings, Cathy Euijen’s son, who has returned from a gap year and is beginning his studies at Rhodes. Also most welcome are all the returning students. Among those is Asakhe Cuntsulana, leader of our marimba band, and it is exciting to hear them in action again. The junior choristers are now to be heard again at alternate morning and evening services, conducted by Kutlwano Kepadisa (Kepa). The Choral Evensong on 11 February was a special commemoration of George Herbert, at which Prof Paul Walters gave an informative address about Herbert, and two hymn settings of his poems were sung. There were also anthems to George Herbert’s words by two of our past Music Directors: ‘Bitter-Sweet’ by Christopher Cockburn, and ‘The Call’ by A-J Bethke. At the Ash Wednesday evening Eucharist the choir sang the famous ‘Miserere’ by Allegri.

Markus Mostert

Our Director of Music designate, Cameron Luke, continues to keep in touch from the UK as he battles to obtain his essential visa to work here. He assures us that he really wants to be with us! In the meantime, it is a great joy that in answer to prayer Markus Mostert has joined us as temporary organist, and is able to play for almost all our services. The Dean ‘discovered’ him playing the organ for the Back to School service at Commem. His contribution is being enthusiastically received by the congregation – many thanks, Markus!

The Dean was recently taken up the Cathedral tower by Prof Richard Grant, to see the workings of the Cathedral clock. It was installed in the old tower in 1873, and re-installed after the present tower was built, in 1879. The clock is now operated using electricity, rather than a clockwork mechanism. People who have been involved in its maintenance include Richard Grant himself (for some 30 years), Wayne and Jonathan Jayes, and Ian Meiklejohn. The story of the clock can be read on the Cathedral website.

Thelma Neville

On 4 February Thelma Neville died in Brookshaw HomeoH, at the remarkable age of 101. Her funeral on 17 February was planned in advance by Claire Nye Hunter and Thelma herself, in meticulous detail down to the colour of Claire’s clerical shirt (it had to be pink.) It was a fitting send-off for this feisty journalist and devoted Cathedral parishioner. The one Tribute which Thelma allowed, was at her request by Nickie Turner, daughter of her old friend Richard Buckland. Claire preached the Sermon, apologising at the end that she had exceeded Thelma’s customary time-limit of 10 minutes! Both tribute and sermon can be read on our website.

Another notable character who died recently was Dean Andrew’s uncle, Clive Ryneveld, who died in Cape Town. Not many people manage to play rugby for England as well as cricket for South Africa. In addition he was a lawyer and a Member of Parliament, one of the group of United Party MPs who broke away, with Helen Suzman, to form the Progressive Party. Geoff Antrobus’ mother Sheila died on 31 January in Kenton-on-Sea. The Sub-Dean Mzinzisi Dyantyi’s aunt died, as well as an aunt of Nceba January, Ronaldo Burger’s uncle Ian Nelson, and Vernon Woods, a relative of Jeanette Hodgson. We give thanks for their lives, and pray for all their families. We also continue to pray for Isabel Bridger who has had a long spell in hospital, and is now recovering at home.

Revd Claire with Rosa

The Hunters and Bishop Moses

Dean Andrew and Claire travelled to Queenstown to attend the Consecration and Installation of Moses Madywabe, a former priest of this Diocese, as the second Bishop of Khahlamba, on 22 February. At the request of the Archbishop, Claire led the Bishop-elect’s five day retreat here at the CR Sisters’, and was the preacher at the consecration. They were happy to meet up with Rosa Msweli, last year’s chairperson of our Cathedral Student Ministry team, whose home is in Queenstown.


People and Places, February 2018

Best wishes for special blessings in 2018! In this edition of ‘People and Places’ we look back over December and January, the traditionally quiet period in the life of Grahamstown, when exams are over, and schools, COTT and Rhodes are on holiday.During 2017 the choir anthems were from time to time accompanied on the piano by a 14-year-old Graeme College boy, one of our choristers, Bayanda Mthetho. He only started learning the piano when he was eleven, but he has already passed Grade 7. In 2016 he began organ lessons with AJ Bethke, but these unfortunately had to stop when AJ left after Easter. Later last year the committee of the Makana Choir School put out an appeal on the Cathedral website for someone to sponsor Bayanda to have organ lessons with Jovan Heynsen, a music specialist on the staff of St Andrew’s College and DSG. To everyone’s great delight an anonymous donor responded, and offered to pay for six months’ organ lessons. And then, to add to the joy, the family of the donor offered to match the sum, so Bayanda’s organ lessons are covered for the whole of 2018! Read a message from the family here. Anyone who attended the Midnight Mass or the Christmas morning Eucharist at the Cathedral, will have heard Bayanda playing the organ.

The junior members of the choir were on holiday, but evening services continued in December, with a Taizé service on the first Sunday, followed by a Lucernarium, and then a second Carol Service for which Stephen Holder played the accompaniment. The children’s Crib Service on Christmas Eve is growing in popularity. People from other congregations, and out of town visitors, brought their children to enjoy the fun of dressing up as Nativity characters and hear the story (as written by Canon Claire) beautifully narrated by sisters Tyreece and Tristyn Burger. Adults whose children were not present still came along! Thanks to Nicola Hunter there was another delightful ad hoc orchestra to accompany the carols: piano, flute, clarinet, oboe, cello and three violins. The flautist was Dorothy Holder, a welcome visitor from Cape Town.

Other visitors earlier in December were Rod and Jenny Walsh, also from Cape Town. Rod, a retired but very active priest, looked after the Cathedral on more than one occasion when Dean Andrew Hunter was away studying for his Masters in 2011. Aphiwe Mame has made a welcome but brief reappearance in the Cathedral Choir during the vacation, before he returns to UCT to begin his Honours in Journalism.

Waiting for Graduation in Durham, England.

After Christmas Paul and June Walters travelled to the UK to attend the graduation of their son Charles with his Masters in Theology from Durham University. The ceremony was held in the ancient and beautiful Cathedral. Charles told them that he found the Durham people specially warm, but the same could not be said for the temperature: it was 5° when they were queuing from 8 – 9:30 a.m. to enter the Cathedral!

Shocking news from the Jayes family in Tongaat, KZN, is that Wayne, Marian and Jonathan were held up at gunpoint in their home on 9 January, tied up and robbed. Marian’s car was stolen, but was later recovered. We give thanks that they survived this ordeal, and pray for their recovery after this traumatic incident. Lou-Anne and Lyndon Liebenberg were involved in a car accident in December. We give thanks that they escaped without serious injury. Peter Breetzke was less fortunate when he fell just before Christmas and broke his wrist quite badly. He expects the plaster to be taken off at the end of January, after which he will need physiotherapy before he can drive again. Prayers are asked for his complete recovery. We pray for Dean Andrew, whose uncle Michael Gainsborough died in the UK in December, and for our Music Director-designate, Cameron Luke, on the death of his father in January.

We are grateful for the assistance of a number of musicians who have played for Cathedral services while we await Cameron’s arrival. Recently we have had John Jackson playing the piano, Penny Whitford on piano with Claire Nye Hunter on violin – and on 21 January it was a treat to hear Christopher Cockburn on the organ again! A former Director of Music at the Cathedral, he left 15 years ago to take up a lecturing post in the music department of UKZN.

Congratulations to Kutlwano Kepadisa (Kepa) and his choir Kwantu. They have received sponsorship which will enable them to take part in the World Choir Games in Pretoria in July. They thank their friends, supporters and families for their assistance with fund raising, their thoughts and prayers. We wish them well as they begin the process of preparation. Congratulations to Onwaba and Abongile Dongwana on their return from circumcision school, and on their success in Matric. Onwaba will be going to Rhodes, and Abongile to UCT to study commerce. Other matriculants included Cwayita Bam, who will be starting at NMMU this year to study law, and Graeme College boys from the Cathedral choir Sixolile Lamani and Sivu Ngqiyaza. Hlumela Maqwili, who is now in Matric at DSG, has been chosen as one of this year’s Prefects. Congratulations and best wishes to them all in their further studies.

Clergy involved in the Back to School service: Canon Claire, Dean Andrew, Revd Boitumelo Gaborone (preacher, Trinity Presbyterian), Vuyokazi May (Commemoration Methodist), Revd Tim Marshall (Kingswood Chaplain) with Paul Guthrie, Kingswood Senior School Headmaster.

Last year the Cathedral Student Ministry said farewell to a number of graduating students. These included Chairperson, Rosa Msweli (also Children’s Church teacher), Noxolo Kheswa (Honours), Teyla de Ricquebourg (B Pharm) ,Odi Lehasa, Theo Duxbury and Lesley Bloy (Masters Degrees). They will all be greatly missed. The good news is that Theo will be back at Rhodes this year to continue with a PhD in Pharmacy. Namso Nyamela is soon to complete her Masters, and has started working in Gauteng.

The annual ecumenical Back to School Service took place in a packed Commemoration Methodist Church on Sunday 28 January. The youngsters were entertained and inspired by the sermon from Revd Boitumelo Gaborone of Trinity Presbyterian Church. Among the choirs which sang were the Cathedral Choir Juniors together with Kingswood College Choir, conducted by Kepa.

The following story is an illustration of the truth that when we pray, sometimes God says, Yes, sometimes No – and sometimes “Wait, I have something better for you!” Since leaving us after Easter, AJ Bethke has been living with his parents in Cape Town. His research fellowship ran until the end of October. In the meantime he applied for a number of posts both in South Africa and overseas without any immediate results, and kept praying for the right way forward to open up for him. Unemployed from the beginning of November, he signed up for a course in teaching English as a foreign language, and began to volunteer at a local Home for babies. Then, suddenly in December, doors began to open in amazing ways. AJ was offered TWO posts at South African universities, the second of which he accepted: Lecturing in Music Theory at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, based in Durban, to start on 15 January. But a more astonishing and wonderful gift was in store for him – he had the opportunity to fulfil his dearest wish and adopt a little one from the babies’ home where he was volunteering. Little Caleb was born on 20 April 2016, and had been “looking for a home since he was born”. AJ says “He has been in a wonderful environment at the safe house with loving house parents and nursing staff.” On 20 December Caleb moved into the Bethke home, and quickly settled in. AJ’s mother Erica drove up with him and Caleb to Durban over the weekend of 13 – 14 January, and they spent one night in Grahamstown with Maggy Clarke. They had to hurry off the following morning, but just managed to greet a few people at the Cathedral before the 8:30 service. AJ is a radiantly happy new father, and Caleb obviously adores him. We rejoice with them, and pray for them in the future.