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.
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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Sermon series on ‘The Big Questions of Life’
As students returned, and new students came up to the University for the first time, Dean Andrew Hunter presented a series of addresses on the ‘Big Questions of Life’ at the 7:30 and 9:30 Eucharist services in the Cathedral. On 9 February his subject was ‘Does God exist?‘ The second address, on the Sunday nearest to Valentine’s Day, was on ‘Where do I find love?’ The final address, on 23 February, will address the issue ‘Where do I find hope?’
Statement from the Cathedral Chapter of the Diocese of Grahamstown
6th February 2020
We as the Cathedral Chapter of the diocese of Grahamstown are aware of the widespread concern and anger following the arrest of a member of our church, and his subsequent court appearance on charges of sexual assault. The complainant is also a member of our church. We take this very seriously indeed and wish to make it clear that we stand firmly against all forms of gender-based violence. We are deeply disturbed by this incident.
When the report of the incident reached the Bishop, senior diocesan leaders were immediately sent to meet with the parish leadership and with the family of the complainant. Pastoral care and support has been provided to all involved. Clergy of the diocese have reached out to the family of the complainant and have been welcomed there. Ministry has also been given to the accused. Psychological and pastoral support has been extended to all others affected and has been well received.
We fully support the court proceedings currently under way. We have also launched our own internal processes. The accused has been suspended from all leadership responsibilities and offices in our church. On the advice of our diocesan Registrar (legal officer), we are waiting for the court proceedings to run their course and present their outcome and verdict.
In all this, we are guided by the ACSA Code of Conduct and Pastoral Standards, as well as our Safe Church procedures.
All of the above-mentioned supportive and intervention measures have been on the instruction of the Bishop, who is closely monitoring the situation and is holding all those affected in prayer and love. Let us all do the same in the days ahead.
Issued by The Dean of Grahamstown
Education Sunday 2 February
On Sunday 2 February learners from nine Makhanda schools gathered in their uniforms in the Cathedral to pray for God’s blessing on the new school year. Dean Andrew Hunter preached a challenging sermon which addressed issues of bullying and violence in schools, and those present, learners, teachers, parents and guardians, promised to do their best in the year ahead.
Schools represented were: Nyaluza High School, Nombulelo High School, Victoria Girls’ High School, Graeme College, Victoria Primary School, Good Shepherd School, PJ Olivier,
DSG and Kingswood College. St Andrew’s College was invited, but was unable to attend.
Kutlwano Kepadisa, Assistant to the Cathedral Director of Music, trained a special Back to School Choir consisting of learners from a variety of schools. For more pictures, see our Gallery.
Prayer for Australia in a time of bush fires
As we continue to pray for those caught up in the devastating Australian bush fires, Archbishop Philip Freier of Melbourne has invited all Christians to join him in this prayer:
Almighty God and heavenly Father, we pray for this world that you love so much that you sent your Son Jesus to be born as the child of Bethlehem: We pray for the safety of those sheltering from fires and those fighting fires, for livestock, native animals, paddocks, bushlands and sacred places. We remember our own loved ones and those who are dear to us facing this crisis. We pray for those tending to the injured, the frightened and the broken-hearted, for emergency services, emergency broadcasters, chaplains and counsellors. We ask for your forgiveness for our own failures in safeguarding your good creation, and pray for political and community leaders, and all those responding to the current crisis in our nation. Above all, we pray the peace that passes all understanding, in our nation and state, in our homes and in our hearts. This we ask in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Children’s Crib Service
On Christmas Eve children and their families gathered in the Cathedral for a (very!) informal service of Blessing of the Crib, with an impromptu Nativity Scene, coordinated by Rachel Hunter. Singing of familiar carols was led by a group of nine talented young instrumentalists, mainly string players, conducted by Assistant Director of Music, Kutlwano Kepadisa.
Nine Lessons and Carols
The Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 22 December was a wonderful choral service. Members of the Cathedral choir were joined by past choristers and friends. Most notably among their number were Glyn and Jessica Lloyd-Jones, members of the choir who had been married in the cathedral only the previous day! Their wedding – as was to be expected – was another remarkable choral service. Mrs Lloyd-Jones sang the solo verse at the beginning of “Once in Royal David’s City”. The Director of Music Cameron Luke, and his Assistant Kutlwano Kepadisa shared the conducting, and the Director played the organ. Highlights included “Bogoroditse Djevo” (Hail Mary) by Arvo Part, “The Lamb” by John Tavener, and a delightful setting of “We three Kings” by Philip Stopford.
Cathedral Director of Music gives organ recital in St Bartholomew’s
On Saturday evening, 23 November 2019, our Director of Music Cameron Luke gave his first ever recital in the southern hemisphere, on the organ of St Bartholomew’s Church in Makhanda. Listen to him playing “Penguins’ Playtime” by Nigel Ogden.
Archbishop’s St Andrew’s Day appeal
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba writes: God has been using the International Anglicans Ablaze Conferences to encourage and equip our people for mission and ministry, in accordance with our Provincial Vision and Priorities. I am looking forward to Anglicans Ablaze 2020 in Johannesburg from 23rd to 26th September next year.
Our goal is to make it possible for 1000 young people to attend, at a subsidised cost of R495 each. Adult costs are R725 & R775. To help with this we are reviving the St Andrew’s Day Appeal, which was a tradition in ACSA for many years in support of the Mission of the Church. Read more….
St George’s Fair
The date of our annual St George’s Fair was set long in advance for 2 November. As the day drew near and preparations were well in hand, it became more and more likely that the Springboks would make it to the final of the Rugby World Cup, to be played in Japan that day at 11:00 South African time. To avoid any fans missing out, the Fair organisers arranged for a large screen to be set up in the Deanery yard.
The Fair was a great success, raising over R37,000 – and as for the Springboks’ performance in beating England in the World Cup Final, that was a historic victory! Warm congratulations to Siya Kolisi and his team – and to Rodney Bridger and his St George’s Fair team! You all did us proud! More pictures of the Fair are to be found in our Gallery.
Dedication, Harvest and Patronal Festival
On 27 October the Cathedral celebrated the Patronal Festival (St Michael and All Angels postponed from 29 September), together with Harvest Festival and the culmination of our Dedication Month. At the morning services parishioners took the opportunity of an ‘open mic’ to give thanks publicly for the blessings they had received during the year. For more pictures, see our Gallery.
Spring Tea for Seniors
On 5 October the young people of the parish hosted a Spring Tea for seniors in the Deanery garden. The sun shone, the theme was floral, and a good time was had by all. For more pictures, see our Gallery.
Farewell Lunch for Dinah Flani
Mrs Dinah Flani has worked at the Cathedral office for 40 years, cleaning, fetching post, making tea and seeing that everything runs smoothly! Now she is to retire at the end of the year. The parish gave a farewell lunch in her honour on 1 October. For more pictures, see our Gallery.
Provincial Synod: Discussions and resolutions
The Provincial Synod of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa met in September 2019. To read about some of the important issues discussed and decisions made, click here.
Cathedral represented at Taizé Conference in Cape Town
The brothers from Taizé in partnership with churches in South Africa hosted a nationwide youth event (ages 18 – 35 years) from 25-29 September, the Taizé Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth, in Cape Town. Accommodation and meals were provided. Ten young people from the Cathedral attended. Archbishop Thabo Makgoba visited the conference, and you can read his address to the young people here. For more pictures, see our Gallery.
Gold Medal award for Chris Mann
The Newsletter of the English Academy of Southern Africa included in its July 2019 issue an article about the Gold Medal awarded to our Artist-in-Residence Chris Mann, together with the Citation and his acceptance speech – which was partly in poetry! You can read these here.
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. For more pictures, see our Gallery.
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…
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…