Spiritfest is the Grahamstown Churches’ initiative in the National Arts Festival.
Spiritfest exists to glorify God and to celebrate the Arts in the context of the Christian Faith.
The National Arts Festival is taking place in Makhanda again this year, from Thursday 23 June to Sunday 3 July, and Spiritfest will be part of it! The local churches look forward to welcoming visitors, and celebrating the arts, with glorious music and thought-provoking lectures as well as inspiring worship. See also our Facebook page.
- Weekday Worship Services
- Sunday Worship Services
- Winter Talks
- Meditation and Prayer
- Walk of Prayer and Witness
- Spiritfest Online
Ingoma yoHadi (Song of the Harp) – Asakhe Cuntsulana
This 45 minute concert fuses the traditional folk South African music on the Adungu (Ugandan Harp) while evoking expressions that mirror the four phases of being, spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. Ingoma yoHadi (Song of the Harp) offers an atmosphere for meditation, stillness and serenity in which music alone makes sense of unspoken words, thoughts, and life experiences. When all is lost music remains the only hope to restore and recover. Fri 24 June 13:00 (45 mins) The Cathedral
Makhanda Kwantu Choir
Fri 24 June, Sat 25 June 11:00 (1hr) The Cathedral A concert of some of the best choral works by composers spanning the landscape of the globe. The audience will be spoiled with rich choral treasures from Russia, Poland, England, America and some excellent choral works by South African composers, including some original arrangements by the choir of some of South Africa’s most popular music. There is something for all to enjoy in this diverse programme.
Grahamstown Circuit Choir
Members of the Grahamstown Circuit Choir are drawn from a number of Methodist church choirs in the area. Come and hear them sing rousing spiritual favourites from South Africa and beyond. Sat 25 June 15:30 (1hr) Commemoration Methodist Church, Church Square
Piano Recital – Bayanda Mthetho
A youthful recital, by one of Makhanda’s young players. The concert will consist mainly of classical music, ranging from the well-known sacred composers Liszt and Bach, to modern secular works, including Ravel and Messiaen. The music chosen aims to invoke and question the sense of reality, allowing both the player and the listener to visit an other-worldly realm. Wed 29 June 12:00 (45 mins) The Cathedral Please note the organ recital on Thursday 30 June will take place at 13:00 or as soon as load-shedding ends!
Well-known Favourites on the King of Instruments – Peter Black
St Andrew’s College Chapel Organist, Peter Black, plays 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. Thurs 30 June 13:00 (45 mins) The Cathedral
A service beloved in English Cathedrals can be found right here in Makhanda. The Cathedral Choir which includes children from the Makana Choir School, and which is directed by Kutlwano Kepadisa, will lead the singing at a service of Choral Evensong. Fri 24 June 17:30 (1 hr) The Cathedral
Weekday Mass – St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Hill Street
Fri 24 June, Wed 29 June & Fri 1 July 13:15 (30 min)
The Taizé style of simple repetitive chant speaks to the heart and uplifts the soul. Come and join in 40 minutes of candlelit peaceful meditation and song. Wed 29 July 17:30 (40 mins) The Cathedral
Join us for a walk of prayer and witness, along High Street from the Police Station in Raglan Road to the Commemoration Methodist Church at the end of Bathurst Street. At various significant points we will stop to offer prayers relating to what those points signify to our town. Thurs 30 June 14:15 (30 mins) Police Station, Raglan Rd to end of Bathurst St
Festival Eucharist Services – Cathedral, Church Square
Come and participate in a magnificent Choral Eucharist. 26 June 09:30 (1hr30) Preacher: Dean Mzinzisi Dyantyi. The Cathedral Choir, directed by Kutlwano Kepadisa, will sing the Gospel Mass by Robert Ray. 3 July 09:30 (1hr30) Preacher: Sub-Dean Melany Adonis
Commemoration Methodist Church, Church Square
26 June 08:30 (1hr30) Preacher: The Rev Andile Nokwindla 3 July 08:30 (1hr30) Preacher: The Rev Otto Nshanyana
Every Nation Church, 10 Hill Street
26 June, 3 July 09:30 (1hr30)
Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk, Hillstraat
26 Junie, 3 Julie 09:00 (1hr)
River of Life Church, corner Hill & Huntley Streets
26 June, 3 July 08:30, 10:30 (1hr30)
St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Hill Street – Sunday Mass
26 June, 3 July 08:00 (1hr)
Trinity Presbyterian Church, Hill Street
26 June, 3 July 09:30, 18:30, (English), 15:00 (Vernacular) (1hr30)
Lectures with discussion
‘And yet we all die’ – The Revd Janet Trisk
Fear, fascination, forgetfulness. Most of us experience all these responses to death at various times in our lives. In this discussion I hope that we will ease the fear a little by considering “good death”; that we will temper the fascination with death with an equal passion for life and remind ourselves that to forget our mortality is part of the sickness of our times. Mon 27 June: 11:00 (1 hr) St Patrick’s Church Hall, Hill Street
‘Good Grief’ – The Revd Linda Schwartz
Grief is a complex, compelling and profound life experience. How we grieve is informed by culture, religion, societal and religious expectations, all of which potentially complicate or ease the process. This talk will discuss how we can make meaning of grief and bereavement in ways that honour our emotions, take into account its effects on our lives, and how we tell and listen to stories of grief in ways that make us stronger. Mon 27 June: 15:00 (1 hr) St Patrick’s Church Hall, Hill Street
‘God the Scientist’ – Prof Rui Krause
Tue 28 June: 11:00 (1 hr) St Patrick’s Church Hall, Hill Street As a young PhD student I was once challenged to explain how as a scientist I could believe in God. It was a question that I couldn’t easily answer, and through the years this has wondered around my mind. Add to this, attacks like the Dawkins book The God Delusion and we have the makings of a troubled relationship between science and religion. However, far from disproving God, I believe science and the scientific method can be revealing, helping to uncover the beauty of creation. Through this talk I would like to show you how I see the compatibility of faith and science, and how a faith in God can in turn provide a ‘big picture’ of the world against which science perhaps makes more sense.
Explore the tradition that comes to us through the centuries from the Desert Fathers and Mothers, led by a visitor from the World Community for Christian Meditation and the Centre for Christian Spirituality. 27 June – 1 July 09:30 (1hr) St Patrick’s Church, Hill Street
A week of Guided Prayer led by a group of prayer guides trained in Ignatian Spirituality. 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. The opening session will be online, via Zoom, on Sunday 26th June at 2.30 pm. Tel. 072 631 9048 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for log-in details. Two guides will be available in person. 27-29 June, 1 July 14:00 (2hrs) St Patrick’s Church, Hill Street You can also book an online prayer guide.
The links below are all now live.
Songs and Poems of Fafa Hopkins
The beloved Makhanda poet and troubadour Chris Mann (stage name Fafa Hopkins) died in 2021, but has left a rich legacy of recordings. Spiritfest is proud to present online Fafa Hopkins performing three of his song-poems.
In addition, you can hear one poem by Chris Mann, read by Lindsay Reardon:
This environmental network aims to support churches to fulfil God’s call to be Earthkeepers and to care for creation. They are presenting two short videos on the Online Spiritfest:
- “We must save the Water’ sung by the Cape Town Opera Chorus, recorded at the Water Justice Conference at St George’s Cathedral Cape Town, during the Cape Town ‘Day Zero’ drought.
- ‘Will you rise up with this Generation‘? Listen to the prophetic voices of young climate change activists!
If you have enjoyed one of our online programme items, and would like to make a contribution towards the expenses of Spiritfest, please send your gift by e.f.t. to Cathedral of St Michael & St George Current Account, First National Bank, Grahamstown, Account Number: 52320792164, clearly marked Spiritfest.
Spiritfest 2021 Programme
Link to Cathedral website front page