Welcome to the Website of Grahamstown Cathedral, Makhanda!
Come in, browse around, make yourself at home! From contact details of the Cathedral staff to lists of forthcoming Sunday services, 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.
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Cathedral to re-open for worship on Patronal Festival Sunday 4 October!
After six months during which the Cathedral doors have been locked because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is with joy, thankfulness and excited anticipation that we can announce that the first services will take place in the Cathedral on Sunday 4 October, when we shall celebrate our Patronal Festival, the Feast of St Michael and All Angels. Holy Communion services will take place at 07:30 (SAPB) and at 09:30 (AAPB).
Under Level One lockdown regulations places of worship may admit 50% of the number of persons which their building can accommodate, up to a maximum of 250. In the Cathedral’s case, our capacity is in the region of 600, so the maximum of 250 applies.
All those attending the services must wear masks, and social distancing and sanitization rules will apply. It is recommended that those who attend services bring their own sanitizer, to sanitize the pews as they leave, ready for the next service. It is a good idea to arrive a bit early for a service, remembering that under Covid-19 regulations everyone has to fill in a register at the door.
Regrettably there will be no congregational singing, but Cathedral musicians will provide music, with a group of choristers on duty at the 9:30.
Communion will be in one kind (i.e. wafers only).
For those whose health or other issues make it inadvisable to attend gatherings, we intend to continue to live-stream the 09:30 services, only now these will not be streamed from the Cory Room, but from the Cathedral itself. Please bear with us as the technical team learns the necessary new skills!
Weekday and Sunday evening services will continue to be streamed online via the Cathedral Facebook page.
For further details see our Worship page.
The Cathedral is already open for visitors and private prayer during the Verger’s working hours, i.e. 9-12 and 1-3 on weekdays, and 9-12 on Saturdays. Please wear masks.
Farewell to Lynette Marais
Lynette Marais Johnson, who for 20 years directed the National Arts Festival, and for many more years was a valued and beloved member of the Cathedral family, died at home on 28 August 2020. We give thanks for her life of service, and for her endearing personality. She will be greatly missed.
In accordance with the family’s wishes, on Tuesday 8 September a simple Memorial Service was led by the Cathedral clergy, and live-streamed from the Cory Room, on the Cathedral Facebook page. Lynette’s ashes will be interred in the Garden of Remembrance at St Stephen’s Anglican Church in Sunninghill, Johannesburg.
Just five days before her death, while Lynette was already confined to bed with inoperable cancer, and cared for by her sisters who had travelled down from Johannesburg to be with her, Dean Andrew Hunter announced that he was presenting her with the Dean’s Award. He made this announcement at a service of Worship and Sacrament, live-streamed from the Cathedral Facebook page on Sunday 23 August. This honour was instituted in 2016, and is presented by the Dean to “anyone, not necessarily from the Anglican Church or the Cathedral, who has contributed significantly to the Grahamstown community”. In the Citation, the Dean wrote:
“In making this award to Lynette, we are honouring someone who has, through her leadership of the National Festival of the Arts for 20 years, served the whole of South Africa and its artistic and diverse cultural communities with dedication and distinction. Her service in the role of Festival Director brought both the tangible benefit of increased income to this city, and, more importantly, the intangible benefits of cultural wealth to the country as a whole.”
The Dean also paid tribute to Lynette’s contribution in the community, for instance through Rotary and the Soroptimists, and her faithful service at the Cathedral as a server and Lay Minister, emphasising her strength, wisdom, courage and joyful sense of fun. To read the whole Citation, click here.
Tribute from Rhodes University
The following notice was circulated on the Rhodes University TopList on 14 September 2020:
The Rhodes University community has learnt with great sadness about the passing of a passionate supporter of the growth of the South African arts sector, Lynette Marais, who Rhodes University bestowed with a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) in 2009. Read more…
Poem by Chris Mann: ‘Black Socks’
This innocent title leads us into a thought-provoking and challenging read born out of Chris’s recent experience. Thanks to our Poet-in-Residence for these timely words! Click here for the poem Black Socks. See also our new page ‘Our Artists’ (on the menu at left) for more works by our Artists-in-Residence.
Food packers are ‘Pink Buster’ dancers!
Some of our wonderful team who pack food parcels for the hungry are also talented pantsula dancers! You can enjoy their talents on the National Arts Festival Virtual Fringe in The Pink Busters. And the VFringe is available until the end of July.
Cathedral Office reopens
The Cathedral Office reopened on Wednesday 10 June, under lockdown Level 3. All visitors to the office are asked to wear masks, complete a register and sanitise their hands on entry. Sanitiser is provided.
Hours: 8—4:30 (closed for lunch 1—2).
“Tea after Church” via Zoom
Once a fortnight after the live-streamed service members of the congregation are invited to meet via Zoom for a virtual “tea after church” at 11:00. Sometimes some of those taking part are in Johannesburg or Cape Town, some are in pyjamas, some have their dogs with them, and everyone has fun catching up with news! The link for the Zoom meeting is circulated by email to parishioners two days before we meet, and put up on Facebook at the end of the live-streamed service as well.
COVID Faith-Sharing WhatsApp Group
Dean Andrew has set up a COVID Faith-Sharing group on WhatsApp, to which he sends out a reflection via voice note each evening. He and the Revd Claire are the only people able to post or comment, so those on the group are not bombarded with messages. If you would like to be added to the group, send a WhatsApp to this link: https://chat.whatsapp.com/KPIVZJ3p9Vi4Bqr0UK6R8J
Distribution of food parcels
On Thursday morning, 23 April, Cathedral members, with friends from Food4Futures and others from around town, packed food parcels for distribution to people in need in Makhanda. We give thanks for the generosity of those who gave, and those who did the packing. These efforts are ongoing, and scenes such as this will be repeated, with God’s grace and the continued generosity of volunteers and donors, as long as the lockdown continues.
Please consider giving generously to this effort.
Cathedral of St Michael & St George
Current Account, First National Bank, Grahamstown
Account Number: 52320792164
Reference: Covid Care
For more pictures, see our Gallery.
South African Council of Churches Guidelines on Funerals in a time of pandemic
The SACC has produced a useful summary of the Government regulations covering funerals during the coronavirus pandemic. It can be accessed in poster form here.
This is part of the website which the SACC developed, which contains a range of useful, and accurate content on the Coronavirus pandemic. These can be downloaded and shared in all 11 languages. It also includes links to other useful resources.
Beyond general information on the virus, the SACC will provide information on the particular challenges faced by churches at this time. New content will be added regularly. It is work in progress and will improve with time.
Requests for information to be added on the site can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please share this resource widely.
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…