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.
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Junior Church revived!
We give thanks that Dawn Long, a Lay Minister, and experienced teacher Katie Appollis, have re-started Children’s Church during the 9:30 Sunday services. At one of the first lessons, the children learned that they were “Kingdom Kids”, and had enormous fun making themselves crowns to wear in church. So, parents and grandparents, do bring along your youngsters!
Dean Mzi appointed Vicar General
To oversee the Diocese of Grahamstown during the Bishop Ebenzer Ntlali’s absence at the Lambeth Conference, followed by a short holiday and other episcopal duties, he has appointed and licensed Dean Mzi Dyantyi as his Vicar General, for the period 18 July to 2 September 2022. We pray for Dean Mzi as he takes on this extra responsibility, and for the Bishop and his wife that God will bless them richly on their travels.
Return of the National Arts Festival
After a two-year interruption due to Covid-19, the National Arts Festival came back to Makhanda, and so did Spiritfest! We give thanks to God for the wonderful worship, and musical events which took place in the Cathedral. See the Spiritfest Videos page, and the Spiritfest 2022 Programme.
Organist beats load-shedding!
On Thursday 30 June in the Cathedral, St Andrew’s College Chapel Organist, Peter Black, played some of the great standards of the Organ repertoire, including J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Rheinberger’s towering Introduction and Passacaglia from his 8th Organ Sonata and the Toccata from Charles-Marie Widor’s Fifth Symphony for Organ. We give thanks that, after moving the time of the concert from noon to 13:00, it was possible to hear the whole of Peter Black’s programme between the end of one load-shedding, and the beginning of the next!
Congratulations to new COTT Rector
It has been announced that Dr Percy Chinganga has been appointed the next Rector of the College of the Transfiguration. Dr Chinganga is a lecturer at the College, and a member of the Cathedral staff. We congratulate him, and wish God’s blessing on him in his new role. He is seen (left) at the Festival Eucharist on 26 June, with Dean Mzinzisi Dyantyi.
The Cathedral sings!
At the Sung Eucharist in the Cathedral on 19 June, the set Psalm was No 42. The Cathedral Choir, directed by Kutlwano Kepadisa, sang ‘Soos ‘n Wildsbok‘, arranged by Renette Bouwer.
On Corpus Christi, 16 June, Byrdsongs, directed by Simon Tibbs, sang movements from the Missa Aeterna Christi Munera by Palestrina. Listen to them singing the Sanctus and Benedictus.
Trinity Sunday, 12 June
Trinity Sunday was a great occasion at the Cathedral! Dean Mzi Dyantyi baptised baby Shae Averie Sauls. Listen to the choir singing the Sanctus from the Gospel Mass by Robert Ray.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
“Very early in the morning on the first day of the week”, Easter Sunday, 17 April, the congregation and choir gathered with Ebenezer Ntlali the Bishop of Grahamstown for the lighting of the New Fire. After processing into the Cathedral, the Exultet was sung by the Precentor and Director of Music, Kutlwano Kepadisa. You can listen to an extract of it here. What a glorious service we had, as we gave thanks to God for the resurrection of our Lord!
Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
When Judas Iscariot left the Last Supper, “it was night”. In the Cathedral we experienced the darkness, when the lights went out in the middle of our Maundy Thursday service on 14 April (courtesy of Eskom!) But the beautiful service went on, and the singing, with Peter Black playing the piano instead of the organ. The Senior Iimvumi and Choral Scholars were directed by Kutlwano Kepadisa. On our YouTube channel you can hear them singing ‘Ubi Caritas‘ by Duruflé, and ‘Tantum Ergo’ by F Laloux. At the Good Friday mid-day liturgy the Choir sang ‘Adoramus te, Christe’, the Antiphon for Good Friday, music by Eric Barnum, adapted by the University of Johannesburg Choir.
Although we could not have an outdoor Palm Sunday Procession due to the welcome rain, we had a beautiful Sung Eucharist on Palm Sunday morning, 10 April, with the Cathedral Choir conducted by Kutlwano Kepadisa. Listen to them singing ‘A Palm Sunday Antiphon’ by David Morgan.
Preparations for Holy Week began with the making of Palm Crosses in the Chapter House on Friday 8 April.
For more pictures, see our Gallery.
Cathedral welcomes COTT Students
On Sunday 20 March we welcomed the two College of the Transfiguration third-year students who will be working with us this year, Jeremy Smith from Cape Town and Mvuso Mngeyane from the Diocese of Mzimvubu. Jeremy’s home parish is St Thomas’s Rondebosch, where his Rector is Claire Nye Hunter, our former Chancellor of the Cathedral. We hope that they will be happy at the Cathedral, and that God will richly bless their ministry with us.
On Ash Wednesday, 2 March 2022, as the procession entered the Cathedral, the Penitential Litany was sung, arranged by Garry Diagle. The Precentor was Kutlwano Kepadisa, and the refrain ‘Hold us in your mercy’ was sung by the Choir and congregation. To hear them, click here. There were no fewer than 18 Probationer choristers from Oatlands Primary School singing at this service, along with the more experienced members of the Choir.
Shrove Tuesday: Pancakes!
After a Covid-affected Shrove Tuesday last year, when pancakes could only be ordered online and collected, this year all options were open. Some ordered in advance and fetched pancakes from St George’s Hall. Others came and selected their choice of filling, and took away pancakes to enjoy at home, while there were also tables for people to sit down and eat right there. At the end of a hot day, those who tossed and cooked pancakes must have been delighted that the stoves were set up, not on the stage as in the past, but in the better ventilated Deanery garage. Young volunteers rushed piles of pancakes up to the Hall to be filled and sold.
We would like to thank everyone who assisted during our Pancake Tuesday, we truly appreciate all your hard work and effort. We are immensely grateful for all the donations and we managed to fundraise R5900 for the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal. We thank God for His wonderful blessings.
For more pictures, see our Gallery.
Back to School Service
What a joy it was today to be able to meet again in person in the Cathedral for our annual Back to School service. Learners, educators and parents prayed for God’s blessing on their work in the school year ahead, and committed themselves to give of their best. DSG Chaplain, the Revd Rachel Ssekimpi, challenged us in her sermon to use freedom of choice wisely!
Listen to the congregation singing ‘Ukholo lwami Ndonyuka nalo‘, led by the Chamber Choir of DSG and St Andrew’s College, conducted by Kutlwano Kepadisa. And here the Chamber choir sings ‘Ad Astra per Aspera‘ by Jacob Naverud. Kutlwano Kepadisa accompanied them on the piano.
Farewell to Jeanette Eve
Jeanette Eve, a parishioner at the Cathedral for over 40 years, has left to live near her daughter in Somerset West. She had been unable to attend services for some weeks after a hip operation, but on Sunday 16 January she was at the 9:30 service, the day before flying to the Western Cape. We give thanks for the enormous contribution she has made to the life and ministry of the Cathedral over so many years, and pray for God’s richest blessings on her in the future.
Death of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
The Most Revd Desmond Tutu, Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986-1996, died on 26 December at the age of 90. Reviled by the apartheid government, adored by congregants and freedom fighters alike, this “Rabble rouser for peace” as his biographer John Allen described him, was above all a man of God, and a man of prayer. Impressed by the Dalai Lama’s spending five hours in meditation every morning, Archbishop Tutu himself was in the habit of getting up at 4 a.m., and spending three or four hours in prayer every day. His contribution to our country’s transition to democracy is incalculable, and it is no exaggeration to call him a “global icon”. But he is remembered also as a man of joy, full of fun, with a laugh often described as a “cackle” which was irresistibly infectious, and a fund of hilarious stories. We are proud to have had him as our Archbishop. Go well, dear Arch!
After a number of well-attended memorial services all over South Africa, including one in St John’s Church East London, Archbishop Tutu’s funeral took place in St George’s Cathedral Cape Town on 1 January 2022. The preacher was the Right Revd Michael Nuttall, former Bishop of Natal, who was Dean of the Province when Tutu was Archbishop of Cape Town. He described himself as “No. 2 to Tutu”! To read this excellent sermon, click here.
On Christmas Eve, 24 December, it was great to be able to invite children again to gather for an “instant Nativity Play” in the Cathedral!