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

Cathedral of St Michael and St George

Spiritfest 2016

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 30 June 2016 to 10 July 2016 at the Grahamstown Cathedral and at other churches in Grahamstown.

The 2016 programme runs in a number of streams, namely:

Grahamstown Cathedral

Festival Worship Services

Choral Evensong - Fri 1 July

Grahamstown Cathedral Choir An inspiring choral evensong for festival goers, visual artists, musicians, writers and arts administrators. The service will feature the Cathedral Choir and original music and hymns by South Africans. During the service, Dr Sizwe Mabizela, Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University, will receive the Dean's Award from the Very Revd Andrew Hunter, Dean of Grahamstown.
Time: 17:30 - 18:30 on Friday 1 July
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral

Festival Eucharist - Sun 3 July

Dean Andrew Hunter Come and participate in a magnificent choral Eucharist with rousing hymns led by the cathedral director of music and organist Dr Andrew-John Bethke. The mass setting "A Chamber Eucharist" was written by Dr Bethke for a talented group of local singers and instrumentalists. Using a variety of musical styles from around Africa and beyond, he wrote this work as a response to recent outbreaks of xenophobic violence.
Preacher: The Very Revd Andrew Hunter, Dean of Grahamstown.
Time: 09.30 on Sunday, 3 July
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral

Sunday Mass - Sun 3 July

Fr Anthony Egan SJPresider: Fr Anthony Egan SJ from the Jesuit Institute in Johannesburg.
Preacher: Anthony Egan SJ.
Time: 08:00 on Sunday 3 July
Venue: St Patrick's Church, Hill Street

Lucernarium - Wed 6 July

Candles A lucernarium is a simple service of lighting the lamps before the darkness of evening sets in. It is an ancient liturgy which formed the basis of evening prayer from the 4th to the 9th centuries. Vestiges of it are still discernible in modern liturgies. The service will begin in darkness and will centre around lighting a central Christ candle and then lighting numerous candles around the church. A small choir will lead plainsong sections of the service. It is a must for those who enjoy contemplative liturgical worship.
Time:17:30 to 18:10 on Wednesday 6 July
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral

Festival Eucharist - Sun 10 July

The Reverend Gary Griffiths-Smith Come and be inspired by a music-filled, devotional Eucharist, with the choir of the Diocesan School for Girls in Grahamstown.
Preacher: The Reverend Gary Griffiths-Smith, the school chaplain at the St. Andrew's College in Grahamstown.
Time: 09.30 on Sunday, 10 July
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral

Festival Service - Sun 10 July

The Reverend Andile Mbete Preacher: Andile Mbete, Bishop of the Grahamstown Methodist District. Bishop Mbete is a well-known church leader, writer and radio commentator, recipient of the Metropolitan Eastern Cape Award in the religion category.
Time: 09.00 on Sunday, 10 July
Venue: Commemoration Methodist Church

Daily Mass

Mass will be celebrated daily from the 4th to the 8th July at 12:00 noon in St Patrick's Church, Hill Street.


Organ Recital - Fri 1 July

Andrew-John Bethke Dr Andrew-John Bethke, Director of Music at Grahamstown Cathedral. Don't miss this opportunity to hear an outstanding young musician and a world-class cathedral organ. The programme will include works by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn and Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély.
Time: 15:00 to 15:50 on Friday, 1 July
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral
Cost: Retiring collection

Organ Recital - Tue 5 July

Albert Troskie Methodist Church Organ Professor Albert Troskie, renowned Eastern Cape organist, composer and author, plays the recently restored 1875 Bevington pipe organ of Commemoration Methodist Church. He has selected mostly Romantic music for which the organ is ideally suited, including works by Lang, Sullivan, Mailly, Nieland, Verdi, and also music by himself, and by Bach, Handel and contemporary American composers.
Time: 15:00 to 15:50 on Tuesday, 5 July
Venue: Commemoration Methodist Church

Concert - Sat 2 July

Andrew-John Bethke A concert performance of the "Chamber Eucharist" by Andrew-John Bethke (see above), together with the world premier of the same composer’s String Quartet. Featuring the GATE Quartet: Duncan Samson, Hayley Jackson, Lizzie Rennie and Lindsay Johnston, and invited singers. All the music in this programme was inspired by the traditional music of Africa.
Time: 10:00 to 11:00 on Saturday, 2 July
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral

Arthur Wellington Methodist Choir

Commemoration Methodist Church This choir from the Grahamstown District won the 2015 Connexional Music Competition, and has toured overseas. Come and hear them sing spiritual favourites from South Africa and beyond.
Times: 15:00 to 16:00 on Sunday 3 July
Venue: Commemoration Methodist Church, Church Square

St. Michael's Marimbas

St Michaels Marimbas This year the group is going to play music exclusively from Africa. Come and enjoy the vibe presented by musicians with rhythm in their souls.
Times: 13.15 on Tuesday, 5 July
and at 13.15 on Friday, 8 July
Venue: Grahamstown Cathedral
Cost: Retiring collection

Bellringing in the Cathedral Tower

Climb the 67 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 15 people.
Bell Ringers in the Tower Times: 13.00 - 13.30 & 13.30 - 14.00 on
Friday, 1 July; Saturday, 2 July; and Saturday, 9 July
Venue: Spire of the Grahamstown Cathedral
Cost: Free, but donations will be welcomed

Art Exhibitions

40 Stones in the Wall

40 Stones Logo An exhibition (in various media) which explores the dialogue between art and faith in building relationships with God and within community. Viewers can join the discussion by engaging with the artworks and talking with the artists-in-residence, who are creating artwork during the week.
Walkabouts: 16:00 on Tuesday 5 July and at 10:00 on Saturday 9 July
Times: Daily (30 June to 10 July) from 09:30 to 12:30 and 14.30 to 20.00
Venue: The Cory Room. This is off the passage leading to the Long Table restaurant behind 108 High Street and opposite King Pie.
Cost: Free

Winter School

The Spiritfest Winter School will be hosted at St Patrick's Church, 47 Hill Street

Lectures and book launches

Mon 4 Jul
10:30 to 11:30
St Patrick's Church
Owen Franklin

The Church and Same-Gender Relationships

Owen Franklin
Owen Franklin is a minister in the gay community in Johannesburg
Tue 5 Jul
10:30 to 11:30
St Patrick's Church
Francis Williamson

Benedict Daswa, modern African martyr

Francis Williamson
Francis Williamson, philosophy lecturer at Rhodes University and leading Roman Catholic layman, tells the story of a Limpopo christian who died in 1990 rather than participate in a witch-hunt. His beatification in 2015 was the first step towards being declared a saint.
Wed 6 Jul
10:30 to 11:30
St Patrick's Church
Philippe Menache

Church Tourism in South Africa

Philippe Menache and Darryl Earl David
Book launch: Philippe Menache and Darryl Earl David launch "Church Tourism in South Africa", the third book in their popular series. Introductory talk illustrated by stunning photographs of little-known and well-known heritage architecture.
Thu 7 Jul
10:30 to 11:30
St Patrick's Church
Chris Mann

Anxiety and Grace

Chris Mann
Chris Mann explores the inner life with humour and delicacy in a series of original poems and songs, illustrated by large-scale digital images by Grahamstown artist Julia Skeen.
Fri 8 Jul
10:30 to 11:30
St Patrick's Church
Andrew-John Bethke

Celebrating the Seasons

Andrew-John Bethke
Book launch: "Celebrating the Seasons". This new book is aimed at those who lead worship either as clergy, lay-ministers or musicians. It focuses on the rich Christian symbols which are embedded within the festivals of the year.

Guided Prayer

An adventure in prayer in the midst of your daily life.

What happens? Thirty minutes Mon–Fri with a confidential prayer guide for listening, sharing and focused prayer.
Times: 30-minute slots available between 14:00 and 16:00 daily from 4 to 8 July
Venue: St Patrick's Church, 47 Hill Street
No charge. To book, email or book at the venue.

Open Mic

Harry OwenShare a poem, a story, a sacred text, a song or testimony – yours or somebody else’s – with a sympathetic audience in the beauty of a sacred site. With emcee Harry Owen, well-known South African poet and Grahamstown resident.

Time: 15:00 - 16:00 on Wednesday 6 July
Venue: Chapter House inside the Cathedral
Cost: Free, but donations are welcomed


"Romero" - A monologue with multimedia

Fr Anthony Egan SJEnter into the inspiring and moving story of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Romero, who became archbishop of San Salvador in 1977, spoke fearlessly on behalf of the poor and victims of oppression, and called upon the US to stop giving military support to the government of El Salvador. In 1980 he was assassinated, shot dead while celebrating Mass.

Devised by and featuring Fr Anthony Egan SJ - historian, ethicist and writer - on the staff of the Jesuit Institute. He has written for a number of newspapers, and is a regular commentator on radio and television.

Times: 15:00 - 16:00 4, 6, & 8 July
Venue: Wesley Methodist Church Hall (Corner Market and York Streets)