Spiritfest 2017 Programme

Return to this year’s Spiritfest programme.


Choral Multi-Media service ‘Under African Skies’

The service will feature choral music and hymns from South Africa and beyond our borders sung by the Cathedral Choir, in a darkened church with powerfully gripping images of the African continent  and skies, projected on a big screen. Devised by Ron and Jenny Gill. Choir directed by Kutlwano Kepadisa.

Fri 30 June                          17:30 (1 hour)                    The Cathedral


Sunday Unity Mass – St Mary’s Catholic Church

A Mass of Unity as four local Catholic congregations come together from different parts of town to celebrate and worship.

Sun 2 July                            09:30 (1½ hours)               St Mary’s Catholic Church, Cnr Albany Road and Fitchat Street.


Weekday Mass – St Patrick’s Catholic Church                   

Fri 30 June, Wed 5 & Fri 7 July   13:15 (30 mins) St Patrick’s Church, Hill Street


Archdeacon Thami Mhlana

Festival Eucharist – Cathedral

Come and participate in a magnificent Choral Eucharist.  ‘A Little Jazz Mass’ by Bob Chilcott will be presented by a talented group of invited musicians, directed by Kutlwano Kepadisa.

Preacher:  The Venerable Thami Mhlana, Rector of Holy Cross, Mdantsane, and Archdeacon of East London West. One of the leading women priests in the Anglican Diocese of Grahamstown.

Sun 2 July                            09:30 (1½ hours)               The Cathedral


Festival Service – Every Nation Church

Come and join in the vibrant worship of the Every Nation Church as they celebrate the presence of God in the midst of the Festival.

Sun 2 July                            09:30 (1½ hours)               General Lecture Theatre, Rhodes



A lucernarium is a simple service of lighting the lamps before the darkness of evening sets in. It is a simple but deeply moving liturgy which formed the basis of evening prayer from the 4th – 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. A must for those who enjoy contemplative liturgical worship.

Wed 5 July                          17:30 (40 mins)                  The Cathedral


Ecumenical Street Parade

Bishop Andile Mbete

Sun 9 July                            08:00 meet at the Drostdy Arch to process at 08:15 down High Street with the Methodist Young Men’s Guild, the Arthur Wellington Choir from Port Elizabeth, and banners, in this act of public testimony!


Festival Service  – Commemoration Methodist Church

Preacher:  Andile Mbete, Bishop of the Methodist Grahamstown District. Bishop Mbete is a well-known Church leader, writer and radio commentator, and recipient of the Metropolitan Eastern Cape Award in the Religion category.

Sun 9 July            08:30 (1½ hours)                               Commemoration Methodist Church, Church Square


The Revd Vic Graham

Festival Eucharist – Cathedral

Come and be inspired by a music-filled, devotional Eucharist, music led by a group of invited singers.

Preacher: The Revd Vic Graham. Vic is the incumbent at Christ Church Grahamstown, has a counselling practice, and is a spiritual director for many.

Sun 9 July                            09:30 (1½ hours)               The Cathedral




St Michael’s Marimbas  

Come and enjoy the vibe presented by Asakhe Cuntsulana and his band of young musicians with a uniquely African rhythm in their souls.

Fri 30 June, Mon 3 July  13:15 (45 mins)                 The Cathedral


Praise and Worship Medley: Grahamstown Circuit Choir

The Grahamstown Circuit Church Choir is comprised of smaller society choirs which perform at important church events. The first conductor was Jabes Foley who wrote hymns that are still sung today. The present conductors are Siyabulela Lali and Reuben Maselwa. Come and hear them sing rousing spiritual favourites from South Africa and beyond.

Sun 2 July                                            15:00 (50  mins) Commemoration Methodist Church, Church Square


Open Mic, Acoustic and Unplugged

Singer song-writers and a capella musicians, don’t be shy, get up there and share your talents and your soul with an appreciative audience in one of Grahamstown’s most beautiful and historic churches.

Mon 3 & Thurs 6 July      17:00 (1 hour)                    Trinity Church, Hill Street


Stephen Holder Organ Recital: Mystery, Modes and Grace

Stephen Holder

Plainchant is the traditional ancient music of the Christian Church. Every piece in this programme either uses the Chant as a basis for its composition or is, in one way or another, a response to this music and the Church’s liturgy.  Includes works by Louis-Nicolas Clérambault, Flor Peeters, Denis Bédard, Léon Boëllmann and Einar Traerup Sark.

Stephen Holder teaches music at Kingswood College, Grahamstown, where he is the Chapel organist.

Tue 4 July                             13:00 (50 mins)                 Commemoration Methodist Church, Church Square




40 Stones in the Wall Group Exhibition

Curated by Jonathan Griffiths, Eben Lochner and Paul Greenway

A collective of young artists from across the country explore the relationship between faith and artistic practice in this group exhibition. Various media.

The artists who will show their works this year are: Duncan Stewart, Elbie Erasmus, Lana de Villiers, Zacharia Mukwira, Mareli Els, Franli Meintjies, Inge Semple, Mosa Kaiser, Heidi Fourie, Heidi Salzwedel and Charl du Preez.

Heidi Fourie: ‘A Stone became a Mountain’

Zacharia Mukwira: ‘Identity Parade’

Duncan Stewart: ‘Jacob’s Descent’


The Cory Room, Behind 108 High Street, next to the Long Table Restaurant

Open daily          29 June-8 July: 09:30 to 12:30 and 14:00 to 20:00

Sun 9 July:           10:00-12:00


Walkabouts:      Tues 4 July:         16:00

                                Sat 8 July:            10:00


Book Reading

The Bear Who Stepped Up – Written and Illustrated by Hilary Murdoch.

This book came out of the tragedy of losing a friend in a terrorist attack and then seeing his wife journey through her grief.  An inspiring short story for anyone (adult and/or child) who’s ever lost someone they love, encouraging reflection on life and death, and the impact of our lives. Followed by a short discussion time for those who wish to stay.

The Cory Room, Behind 108 High Street, next to the Long Table

Mon 3 July:         11:30; 14:00

Tue 4 July:           11:30

Wed 5 July:        11:30; 14:00

Thurs 6 July:       11:30    

One Hour. No charge.


Solo Exhibition: ‘Stand’ Jonathan Griffiths

Carinus Art Centre, Beaufort Street

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” In this exhibition the artist explores our relationship to God’s word through a series of allegorical portraits.

29 June–8 July:                 09:00 to 17:00

Sun 9 July:           09:00 to 12:00

Walkabouts:      Mon 3rd July:    10:00

Wed 5th July:    15:00


SPIRITFEST WINTER SCHOOL: ‘Faith and Resistance’

Lectures, discussions, Book launch

Spiritfest 2017 picks up the Festival theme of #must fall, looking at aspects of the struggle for freedom and justice from the perspective of Christian faith.

11:00 (1 hour) The Cathedral Coffee Shop, inside the Cathedral


Fr Anthony Egan SJ

Mon 3 July:  ‘The Ethics of Protest”: Fr Anthony Egan SJ. When is it right to protest? What kind of protest is legitimate? Is it sometimes better not to protest even in the face of injustice? Drawing on historical examples, moral philosophy and theology, an attempt to develop a coherent moral theory of protest.

Anthony Egan SJ is a Catholic priest based in Johannesburg, where he works at the Jesuit Institute of South Africa and the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, University of the Witwatersrand. The author or co-author of a number of books, chapters in books, journal and newspaper articles, he is by training a historian, political analyst and moral theologian.


Zuko Blauw

 Tue 4 July:   ‘Sister Aidan lives on’.  Zuko Blauw and Sister Aloysia Zellman describe how a youth centre has been set up to commemorate Sister Aidan Quinlan, a Dominican nun and medical doctor murdered during the 1952 riots in Duncan Village, East London.

 Zuko Blauw is Principal Museum Human Scientist (Historian) and Head of Department at the East London Museum, and chairs the Sister Aidan Quinlan Community Trust.  Sr Aloysia Zellmann, OP,  works with Mr Blauw on the Sr Aidan Quinlan Community project in Duncan Village.


Lindsay Kelland

Thurs 6 July:       ‘Recovering from Rape together’: Lindsay Kelland. The talk will cover aspects of rape such as rape having both direct and indirect harms—that is, harms to the victim/survivor of the rape and harms to our community more broadly. Victims’ relationship with themselves are harmed, and their relationships with others, as well as their sense of being at home in the world. Dr Kelland works for the Allan Gray Centre for Leadership, Ethics and  Philosophy at Rhodes University.


Chris Mann

Fri 7 July:     Book launch: ‘The Road to Emmaus’ by Chris Mann

How can we strengthen the resilience of our spiritual life in an era of increasing turbulence? Grounded in the Gospel and ordinary experience, Chris Mann’s new book presents moments of insight that will stimulate readers to centre and invigorate their faith.

“To be read, re-read, savoured, and prayed” – Andrew Hunter, Dean of Grahamstown Cathedral. Previous books by Chris Mann include Lifelines and Rudiments of Grace.

Chris is Emeritus Professor of Poetry at Rhodes University, and convenor of Wordfest South Africa.


Sat 8 July       Panel Discussion, ‘Faith and #mustfall’: Christian students and student leaders at Rhodes/ UCKAR make sense of recent campus protests.




‘The Book of Joy’ by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, currently 12th on the New York Times best seller list.

Discussants: Anton Krueger, a Buddhist, and Vicentia Kgabe, rector of the Anglican College of the Transformation.

Eden Grove Seminar Room 2

Sat 1 July 11:30 (1 hour)



Guided prayer allows one’s prayer life to become enriched. Through experiencing  different  ways of praying  you will become more aware  of God’s presence in your  daily life.


What happens: 30 minutes Mon to Fri with a confidential prayer guide for listening, sharing and reflecting.

St Patrick’s Church, 47 Hill Street

3-7 July                 30-minute slots available between 10:00 and 11:30. No charge. To book, email [email protected]  or book at the venue.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer



As a Christian, would you have killed Hitler?

Hear John Ramsdale bring to life the riveting story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who was executed for his part in the plot to kill Hitler. As presented to acclaim in St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town. John Ramsdale is a veteran Shakespearean actor from Cape Town who, since the early 1960s, has taken part in productions at

John Ramsdale

Maynardville, the Little Theatre and the Baxter. He was a member of the Drama Centre in District Six and was involved in a number of productions during the early years of the Space Theatre.

Mon 3 & Thurs 6 July      15:00 (1 hour)    St Patrick’s Church, 47 Hill Street



Share a poem, a story, a sacred text, or a 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.

Wed  5 July                         15:00 (1 hour) The Cathedral Coffee Shop, inside the Cathedral

Link to Cathedral website front page