Arms of the Cathedral of St Michael and St George Anglican Compass Rose

Cathedral of St Michael and St George

SpiritFest 2013

Square Spirit Fest Logo Spirit Fest Logo

SpiritFest forms part of the National Arts Festival and is a celebration of the arts in the context of faith. A variety of events unfolds over the period from 27 June 2013 to 7 July 2013 at the Grahamstown Cathedral and at other churches in Grahamstown.

The programme runs in a number of streams, namely:

Festival Worship Services

Choral Eucharist - 30 June

Come and participate in a magnificent Choral Eucharist (Messe Basse by Gabriel Fauré) and rousing hymns led by Cathedral Director of Music and organist Dr Andrew-John Bethke together with the Grahamstown Cathedral Choir and the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra. Worship in dance by DaySpring Dance Company from the Christian Dance Academy in East London.

Father Michael Lapsley SSM

Preacher: Father Michael Lapsley SSM
Time: 09.30 on Sunday, 30 June
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral

Marimba Mass - 7 July

A marimba mass featuring St. Michael's Marimbas

Preacher: Professor Michael Whisson
Time: 09.30 on Sunday, 7 July
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral

St Michaels Marimbas

Festival Choral Evensong


The Cathedral Choir will sing a traditional Anglican Evensong with a programme of South African church music, including composers such as John Knox Bokwe, Christopher Cockburn and Andrew-John Bethke. This is an a capella experience not to be missed.
Time: 17:30 - 18:30 on Friday 28 June
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral

The Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom

Sung by the Greek Orthodox Dormition of the Theotokos in Port Elizabeth.
Officiant: The Reverend Fr Joachim
Time: 17:30 - 18:30 on Wednesday 3 July
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral


Gospel Africa Music Concerts

These popular concerts are back.

Times: 19.00 on Friday 28 June
and at 19.00 on Saturday 29th June
Venue: Trinity Presbyterian Church, Hill Street
Tickets: R30 at the door.

Choir and Organ Concert: Wind and Fire

Cathedral Choir

The Cathedral Choir and Director of Music Andrew-John Bethke present a varied programme of choral and organ music which celebrates the Spirit. The musical selection includes items from the Renaissance right through to a work composed especially for this festival. Come and experience cathedral music at its best.

Time: 15.00 on Saturday, 29 June
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral
Cost: Retiring collection

St. Michael's Marimbas

Marimba group

Enjoy a variety of sacred and secular music from Africa and abroad played by the St Michael's Marimba groups. This is our 8th year at the Festival.

Times: 13.15 on Tuesday, 2 July
and at 13.15 on Thursday, 4 July
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral
Cost: Retiring Collection for the Marimba players

Organ Recital

Andrew-John Bethke

Dr Andrew-John Bethke will present a varied programme of music for the organ, including a sonata by Mendelssohn, a transcription of Bach's Sinfonia from Cantata 29 by Marcel Dupre and an original composition by the organist himself! Andrew-John holds a Fellowship Diploma in Organ Performance from Trinity College, London; an MA in Sacred Music and a PhD in Liturgical Musicology. He has performed widely in South Africa and Internationally.
Don't miss this opportunity to hear the magnificent cathedral organ.

Times: 15.00 on Tuesday, 2 July
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral
Cost: Retiring collection

Bellringing in the Cathedral Tower

Climb the 65 Cathedral Tower steps to view the oldest of South Africa's seven bell towers and see how the bells are rung. Each tour is half an hour long and can accomodate a maximum 12 people.

Dates and times Saturday, 29 June; Monday, 1 July at Times: 13.30 - 14.00 & 14.00 - 14.30 and
Tuesday 2 July; Wednesday 3 July; Thursday 4 July at Times: 12.00 - 12.30 & 12.30 - 13.00
Venue: Spire of the Grahamstown Cathedral
Cost: Retiring collection

Art Exhibitions

Julia Skeen: "I am the Vine" Meditations on the Seasons of Jesus Christ

Julia Skeen

Julia Skeen's four powerful iconic paintings of Christ are the focus of a meditation that leads participants into the mystery of His continued presence in the world. Guided by the artist, an experienced meditation practitioner, the encounter should leave participants spiritually centered and refreshed.
The iconic paintings can be viewed daily during Cathedral opening hours: 10.00 - 16.00.
Guided Meditations:
Times: 10:00 - 11:00 on Tuesday 2 July and Thursday 4 July

Icons of the Eastern Orthodox Tradition

An exhibition of icons of the Eastern Orthodox Tradition
Time: 10:00 - 16:00 on Wednesday 3 July (one day only!)

Julia Mitchell and Lindi Arbi: Hymns from the Table

An exhibition of paintings and sculptures using the table as a setting upon which to explore experiences of joy, wonder, nostalgia, ambiguity. These artworks present a visual feast to be contemplated and savoured. Paintings include Sunny Contemplations, of small things, Midnight Feast, Blues, Object Relations and Mannikins by Julia Mitchell.

Julia Mitchell Art

Sculptures by Lindi Arbi such as Supplication for Rhino which explore the ironies of 'immortality' through popular culture.
Lindi Arbi Art Time: 10.00 - 17.00 daily
Venue: The Cory Room (next to St George's Hall & the Long Table, behind 108 High Street.)

Winter School

The Spiritfest Winter School which will be run in the Chapter House of the Cathedral will comprise three elements:

  1. Lectures
  2. Screening of Films
  3. Book Launches


Mon 1 JulFather Michael Lapsley SSMRedeeming the past: My journey from Freedom Fighter to Healer. the lecture includes a short film
Tue 2 JulProfessor Peter RoseThe God Particle: Why all the fuss about the Higgs boson?
Wed 3 JulDimitri PaizisEastern Orthodoxy: Art, Music and Liturgy
Thu 4 JulProfessor Francis Williamson & Reverend Claire Nye HunterNear death experiences and beyond: Preparing for the Journey
Fri 5 JulJulia SkeenJerusalem the turbulent: Why does this city keep shaking the world?

Times: 11.00 to 12.00 daily
Venue: The Chapter House inside the Grahamstown Cathedral
Cost: Retiring collection

Lunch-time films

Redeeming the Past: My Journey from Freedom Fighter to Healer: Fr Michael Lapsley SSM

Short film as part of lecture
Time: 11:00 - 12:00 on Monday 1 July

The Bible - Epic Miniseries

The blockbuster rated Bible Epic Miniseries, released in March of this year on the US History Channel, has broken viewing records and is rated one of the most successful film production this year.

The Bibile Epic Miniseries

With international casting, the new epic covers Genesis to Revelation in ten episodes and the producers, Emmy award-winning husband and wife team, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, said

We wanted to show how the Old Testament connects seamlessly to the New Testament. How they are one sweeping story with one grand, overriding message.

Spiritfest Winter School Film will be bringing the new Bible Epic Miniseries to the National Arts Festival this year and, while the series launch was too late to get into the main Festival brochure, this cutting edge series will be screened in the Cathedral as an addition to the Winter School programme.

Episode NoEpisode NameDateTime
1 & 2In the Beginning & ExodusThursday 27th10:00 - 11:30
3 & 4Homeland & KingdomFriday 28th10:00 - 11:30
5 & 6Survival & HopeSaturday 29th10:00 - 11:30
7 & 8Mission & BetrayalSunday 30th12:00 - 13:30
9 & 10Passion & CourageMonday 1st9:00 - 10:30

History of Orthodoxy

This ambitious project is designed to be the most detailed worldwide television presentation of the Orthodox Church, Her traditions, and Her sacramental life. The programmes, produced in English and Greek, will serve as an educational tool for the Christian Orthodox Church in addressing the needs of a world-dispersed audience, and in making Orthodoxy better understood among those who are unfamiliar with this ancient Christian Church.
Time: 13:00 - 14:30 on Wednesday 3 July

Amasango - The Gates

Hope for the lost - this new documentary on the work of Jane Bradshaw and the Amasango Career School in Grahamstown tells the story of rehabilitation through education for street children and other drop outs from main stream education. This film has been selected to screen at two international film festivals. The film will be introduced by the writer and director, Nicola Barbour.
Time: 13:00 - 13:30 on Friday 5 July

Book Launch

Redeeming the Past: My Journey from Freedom Fighter to Healer Fr Michael Lapsley, SSM
Time: 12.00 noon Monday 1 July
Venue: The Chapter House inside the Grahamstown Cathedral

Book Store

The booksellers, Bargain Books will have a selection of books of Christian and theological interest available for sale in the Cathedral daily.