Welcome to the Makhanda/ Grahamstown Cathedral Website!
Come in, browse around, make yourself at home! From contact details of the Cathedral staff to lists of the music at the next Sunday service, interesting information about our beautiful building, and lots of news (and archived news) of People and Places connected to the Cathedral family – it’s all here. Click on ‘Videos’ on the side menu to hear some of the music of Grahamstown Cathedral.
Articles from this website may be quoted if author and Grahamstown Cathedral Website are acknowledged.
The late Michael Künz of Growing the Church in Cape Town set up this site for us. We thank God for his life and contribution to the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
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New! Multi-media presentation about the Cathedral: ‘Masithi Amen‘
Sarah James, a Rhodes University journalism student, has just completed a project titled ‘Masithi Amen’. This is a multimedia story on the Cathedral of St Michael and St George which was completed over approximately 6 weeks. It provides a rounded picture of our Grahamstown Cathedral community, including interviews and music as well as pictures and text. Do take the time to explore ‘Masithi Amen‘ – best enjoyed on a laptop or desktop computer.
Special prayers in violent times
On Sunday 8 September our 9:30 Eucharist began with the young people processing with posters, and a special ceremony of prayer with lighting of candles. We were remembering with love and sadness those who have recently died in attacks on women, children and foreigners, and praying to God to use us in turning the situation around.
Dean Andrew Hunter writes on the State of the Nation
The cruel and terrible rape and murder of Uyinene Mrwetyana, a UCT first year student, has shaken us all to the core. We are a nation in mourning and rage, horror and despair. Her death at the hands of a member of our civil service, in the middle of the day, in a suburban post office, has come to represent so much of what is wrong with our country, our society: a man with a criminal record, using his position to lure a young woman into his government office, his place of employment, to then assault, rape and murder her. This as yet officially nameless person has destroyed not only the life of one of our own. He has all but destroyed her family. But he has also burst the fragile bubble of complacency in which we have been living, with regard to the extent and scope of gender-based violence in our beloved country. Click here for more…
Taizé Pilgrimage of Trust Conference
Theodore Duxbury, Chair of the Cathedral Student Ministry, is appealing for financial assistance for young people from the Cathedral to travel to the Pilgrimage of Trust Taizé Conference in Cape Town from the 25th – 29th of September 2019. For details click here.
Dean making good progress after hip replacement
The Revd Canon Dr Claire Nye Hunter writes:
These past few weeks following Andrew’s total hip replacement operation in Cape Town have been a most extraordinary journey towards healing. We have experienced an abundance of God’s grace shown to us in a multitude of ways… more
Artists-in-Residence on tour
Over the weekend of 24-25 August, Julia Skeen and Chris Mann presented work from this year’s Spiritfest at the McGregor poetry festival.
In the tiny chapel in McGregor Julia presented ‘The Horn of Plenty’, a series of paintings which embody handwritten poems that aim to transfigure our appreciation of such ordinary fruits, plants and vegetables as Mushrooms, Rice, Aubergines, Figs, Prickly Pear and Sweet Potatoes.
Chris offered ‘Sweet is the Fruit of the Prickly Pear’, a series of songs and ballads based on living in the troubled hinterlands, with titles such as Small Town Late Night Berg-wind Blues, Aardvark and Hinterland Heroes. The latter affirms such unsung forces for good as eco-activists and a whistle-blower murdered for exposing corruption in a small town.
The following week Chris was to be the guest speaker at the annual prize-giving for creative writing students at the Durban University of Technology after giving a workshop for fifty creative writing students. This follows on from a colloquium for artists he facilitated at the GFI gallery in Port Elizabeth earlier in August.
Sad news of bereavements
We have received the sad news that Andile Mize, the elder brother of our Verger, Sly, and son of the Revd Mluleki Mize, died on Sunday 4 August. Please pray for the Mize family in their grief. May Andile’s soul rest in peace and rise in glory.
Due to this bereavement, the cathedral will have to be closed on weekdays until a replacement for Sly is found.
The Revd Luthando and Lusanda’s baby boy, Lumnene, died on 31 July at Greenacres hospital, in PE, aged three months. Our hearts go out to them in this time of loss and grief. May their darling child rest in peace and rise in glory, and may the parents and the whole family know the grace and love of God.
Back to Church Sunday
The Revd Trevor Pearce of Growing the Church writes:
“Did you know that 82% of the unchurched would be interested in coming to church if invited by a friend
and yet in the last year only 2% of church members have invited someone?
National Back to Church Sunday is all about helping you bridge that gap in your church by providing one Sunday a year where all your members are equipped and encouraged to invite friends, family and co-workers to church. The great thing is that it works! Over 40,000 churches have participated and on average churches grow by 27% on BTCS and 97% of churches say that BTCS encouraged their members
to be inviters and will participate again. BTCS can help your church become more outwardly focused.” Read more…
The date of National Back to Church Day 2019 is Sunday 15 September, although churches are welcome to choose another day to suit their programme.
Visitor from the UK
We recently welcomed Sarah Mortimer, a theological student from Sarum College, Salisbury, in the UK. She spent three weeks at the College of the Transfiguration, and getting pastoral experience at the Cathedral.
Cathedral Choir on the Radio
On Sunday 21 July our Cathedral Choir was heard on Classic 1027. Peter Terry (brother of Pat, and former boy chorister at the Cathedral) now anchors the choral music programme on from 7 to 8 a.m. on Sundays. He played four items from our 2014 and 2015 CDs: Christopher Cockburn’s setting of Psalm 23, Ntsikana’s Bell arranged by Glyn Lloyd-Jones, Ubi Caritas by Durufle, and the Responses by Patrick Wise. Listen again to see if more items are featured. (This is a Johannesburg radio station, but people with DSTV can get it through their TV sets.) Thank you, Peter Terry!
OHC Brothers leave Hillandale
After twenty years of ministry at their monastery Mariya uMama weThemba, the Benedictine Brothers have closed their Guest House, and moved to St Benedict’s Priory, at Volmoed, near Hermanus. The Prior, Brother Daniel, wrote:
“Since our last newsletter, quite a lot has happened for us. Our Council has approved the closing of the work of the Order of the Holy Cross here at Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery and the opening of a new work”, read more…
We give thanks for the work of the Benedictine monks at Hillandale since 1998, and pray for them in this new phase of their ministry. We thank God that the work of Holy Cross School continues, and pray for the staff and students.
National Arts Festival, 27 June – 7 July
The National Arts Festival has come and gone, bringing welcome visitors and exciting shows to Makhanda/ Grahamstown. As always the Cathedral was a major venue for events in Spiritfest.
We enjoyed wonderful and uplifting worship, full of music. There was an organ recital by former Cathedral Director of Music Dr Christopher Cockburn, and a concert by the Makhanda Kwantu Choir with Quava Vocal Group. Each of these choirs received from the National Arts Festival an Ovation Award! Many congratulations, especially to Kutlwano Kepadisa (“Kepa”) and his choir.
Once again, after a three-year gap, the Cathedral bell ringers welcomed members of the public to ascend the tower and attend a fascinating and inter-active explanation of how the bells are rung. Some visitors even got the opportunity to ring a bell!
The Chapter House turned into a Coffee Shop for the inside of a week, and during that time it was the venue for the Spiritfest Winter School, with lectures on subjects from how stained glass is made to ‘Why God loves Art’.
For details of the Spiritfest programme, which also took place in a number of other local church venues, see the Spiritfest page. For a wide variety of pictures, visit the Spiritfest Gallery. For video clips from some of the Spiritfest events, see the Videos page.
Trinity Sunday celebration of Dean Andrew’s Doctorate
Bishop Ebenezer Ntlali celebrated and preached at the main morning Eucharist on Sunday 16 June, after which there was a splendid sit-down lunch.
Dr Rose Spanneberg was among those who made speeches, and Theodore Duxbury acted as MC in his inimitable style. For more photos, see our Gallery.
Ordained Deacon and Priest at one service!
We rejoice with Prof Geoff Antrobus, a long-time Lay Minister at the Cathedral who on 8 June, in St Philip’s Church East London, was ordained both deacon and priest in the same service. Geoff, seen here with Dean Andrew Hunter, is licensed to the parish of St Peter Sidbury. May God bless his ministry richly!
Baptisms, and children admitted to Communion
On Sunday 26 May Baptisms took place at the 9:30 Eucharist service, at which the Bishop presided. The Dean also admitted a number of children to Holy Communion. As Revd Claire explained, “Baptism is the single sacrament of initiation into the membership of the body of Christ. The sign of the cross made on our foreheads shows that we belong to Christ. We are welcomed and born anew into the Christian family of the church. At the Eucharist each week, we reaffirm and renew our Baptism.
Cathedral choristers wanted!
The Cathedral choir is recruiting. If you are interested in joining and becoming part of a team of talented musicians, we would be pleased to hear from you. Initial enquiries may be made to the Director of Music Cameron Luke (062 987 0397, call or SMS) or the Choir Intern Kutlwano Kepadisa (Kepa — 078 869 0880).
Bell Ringing and Access to the Cathedral Tower
Want to go up the cathedral bell tower? Would you really like to be a bell ringer?
We welcome visitors to the bell tower but would ask that you always contact a bell ringer to lead you or your guests into the ringing chamber – for your safety. Furthermore, only a bell ringer is able to demonstrate ringing to you and your experience is not complete without seeing this! We try not to leave the bells in the (dangerous) position of being ‘rung up’ after we leave the Tower but sometimes this is necessary -especially with the heavier bells which weigh more than 500 kg and take time to get into a position for ringing. Your cooperation is much appreciated.
We hope to be able to teach ringing later this year so please let us know if you are interested. Contact Catherine Letcher (073 613 9114), or Cameron Luke (062 987 0397).
Thank you. Catherine Letcher, Richard Tyson, Fiona Semple and Cameron Luke.
For more about the Cathedral Bells, go to our Bells page.
Anglican Consultative Council passes Environment resolution
The Anglican Consultative Council, meeting in Hong Kong in May, passed an important resolution on the environment. The resolution recognised that there is a global climate emergency and requested that churches develop action plans and resources for sustainable living. Read more…