Spiritfest is the Grahamstown Churches’ initiative in the National Arts Festival.

This year the Festival runs from 27 June to 7 July 2019.

Like us on Facebook: @spiritfest.grahamstown
Follow us on Instagram: spiritfest_naf
Twitter: @SpiritfestGtown


There is no entrance charge for any Spiritfest events – retiring collection.


For photos of previous Spiritfest events, see the Spiritfest Gallery. For videos, see our Videos Page.



Come and join in a joyful and colourful march of public testimony, ending with an act of worship and song in the Commemoration Methodist Church, led by the Grahamstown Circuit Church Choir conducted by Siyabulela Lali and Reuben Maselwa, and other local choirs.
Sun 30 June  15:00 (2 hrs)   Starting points to be announced – to include the Drostdy Arch




Cathedral – Festival Eucharist Services

30 June                   09:30 (1h30)       The Cathedral. Come and participate in a magnificent Choral Eucharist, with the Cathedral Choir.
Preacher: Dean Andrew Hunter

7 July                       09:30 (1h30)      The Cathedral. The Makhanda Kwantu Choir will sing the Missa Brevis by Zoltan Kodaly. 
Preacher: The Revd Canon Dr Claire Nye Hunter


Commemoration Methodist Church – Festival Communion Services

30 June                   09:00 (1h30)        Commemoration Methodist Church, Church Square
Preachers: Revs Otto Ntshanyana and Philip Howarth

7 July                         09:00 (1h30)        Commemoration Methodist Church, Church Square. 
Preacher: Rev Philip Howarth

Every Nation Church

30 June, 7 July    09:30 (1h30)          Every Nation Church, 10 Hill Street


Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk

30 Junie                  10:00 (1hr)           NGK, Hillstraat (sien onder, Feesdiens met Drama)
7 Julie                      09:00 (1hr)           NGK, Hillstraat


River of Life Church

30 June, 7 July     10:15 (1hr30)        River of Life Church, corner Hill & Huntley Streets


St Patrick’s Catholic Church – Sunday Mass

30 June, 7 July      08:00 (1h30)        St Patrick’s Church, Hill Street


Trinity Presbyterian Church

30 June, 7 July      09:30, 18:30 (1h30) Trinity Church, Hill Street




Twee susters voel van God verlate in ‘n noodlydende en gevaarlike wêreld en sukkel om hulle geloof te behou. Aangebied deur die NG Gemeente van Dias.
30 Junie                      10:00 (1hr)             N G Kerk, Hillstraat



Choral Evensong

The Cathedral Choir will sing a traditional Choral Evensong with a difference – featuring works in different languages by South African authors and composers.
Fri 28 June                  17:30 (1 hr)           The Cathedral


Weekday Mass – St Patrick’s Catholic Church  

Fri 28 June, Wed 3 & Fri 5 July   13:15 (30 mins)           St Patrick’s Church, Hill Street



A lucernarium is a simple service of lighting the lamps before the darkness of evening sets in. A small choir will lead plainsong sections of the service. A must for those who enjoy contemplative liturgical worship.
Wed 3 July                   17:30 (40 mins)    The Cathedral





St Michael’s Marimbas

From the beating of the drum to the echoing of the marimba, calling upon nations to unite! An energy-filled experience with St Michael’s Marimbas at the Cathedral. Do not miss out on this chance to be rejuvenated!
Fri 28 June, Mon 1 July 13:00 (1 hr)           The Cathedral


Choral Extravaganza – Quava Vocal Group & Makhanda Kwantu Choir

A collaboration between two award-winning South African choirs. Hear the Quava Vocal Group from Johannesburg, and Makhanda’s own Kwantu Community Choir, sing a selection of the best choral works from Africa and all over the world. Both choirs won Diplomas at the World Choir Games in Pretoria in 2018!
Sat 29 June                         11:00 (1hr)             The Cathedral


Be Still and Know

Let your heart be touched and your soul become still in the presence of the Lord, with 40 minutes of contemplative Taizé hymns and excerpts from classical works by the Rocher family – Salomie (organ/ piano), Conrad (violin), Julius (violin) and Cornelia (viola).
Sun 30 June, Tue 2 July    12:00 (40 mins) N G Kerk, Market Street


Trinity Tenors

Enjoy listening to the lovely voices of Sisa Nomana and Sibu Mkhize. The repertoire of Trinity tenors is a combination of classical and popular music, including well-loved religious works such as ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘How great Thou art’.
Mon 1, Tue 2, Thurs 4 July 17:30 (50 mins)  Trinity Presbyterian Church, Hill Street


Sweet is the Fruit of the Prickly Pear

Chris Mann takes on the role of backveld troubadour Fafa Hopkins in a unique programme of original songs about the deep south of South Africa. Good medicine for  RAPS (Repetitive AfroPessism Syndrome).
Tue 2 July                   17:30 (50 mins)               The Cathedral Coffee Shop, inside the Cathedral


Organ Recital (I) ‘Hymns without Words’ – Stephen Holder

Many great composers have based organ works on the melodies of favourite hymns. Come and enjoy a number of such pieces, by Bach and Balbastre, Dyson, Nystedt and Tanke. Stephen Holder taught music at Kingswood College and was the Chapel organist until his retirement at the end of 2018.
Tue 2 July                           13:00 (50 mins)     Commemoration Methodist Church, Church Square


Organ Recital (II) ‘Toccatas, Adagios and Fugues’ – Christopher Cockburn

The brilliant virtuosity of the toccata, the expressive lyricism of the adagio, and the formal complexity of the fugue make up a programme of strong contrasts by composers from different times and places. Christopher Cockburn, a member of staff of the Music Department of UKZN, is a former Director of Music at Grahamstown Cathedral.
Wed 3 July                         13:00 (50 mins)               The Cathedral




Climb the narrow spiral steps to view the oldest bell tower in South Africa and learn how the enormous bells are rung.  15 people maximum per tour. Reserve your place at the base of the tower.

Sat 29 June,  Fri 5 & Sat 6 July  13:00 – 13:30 & 13:30 – 14:00 Ringing Chamber, Cathedral Tower



40 Stones in the Wall Group Exhibition

Curated by Jonathan Griffiths and Eben Lochner.

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

Venue 1:
Open daily          27 June – 6 July: 10:00 – 16:00, 17:00 – 20:00. 7 July: 10:00 – 12:00
The Cory Room, behind 108 High Street, next to the Long Table Restaurant

Venue 2: 
Open daily          27 June – 6 July: 09:00 – 17:00. 7 July: 09:00 – 12:00
Kim Webber Real Estate, 38 Somerset Street (opposite the Arch)


Delve/Delft: Solo Exhibition by Heidi Salzwedel

An exhibition of drawings dealing with place, history and spirituality through the lens of two towns that share the same name: Delft in Holland and Delft in Western Cape.
Open daily          27 June – 6 July: 09:00 – 17:00. 7 July: 09:00 – 12:00
Carinus Art Centre, Beaufort Street


‘The Horn of Plenty’ – Painting-Poems

Let poet Chris Mann guide you around a selection of the original works from the book. Paintings by Julia Skeen combine with Chris’s poems to form unique works of art.
Wed 3 July            15:00 (50 mins)                               Chapel of St Mary & All Angels, Rhodes University



Lectures & discussions, 11:00 (1 hr). The Cathedral Coffee Shop, inside the Cathedral

(except second lecture on 4 July, see below)

Mon 1 July:             ‘The Kin-dom of God in an Age of Uncertainty: Christian Public Witness Between Pope Francis and Donald Trump’ – Fr Anthony Egan SJ

Tue 2 July:              David Manning, stained glass expert, gives an introduction and tour of the historic Cathedral windows

Wed 3 July:            ‘For God’s sake hold your tongue and let me love: the many loves of John Donne.’ – Prof Paul Walters

Thurs 4 July:         ‘Student protests, mediation and peace-making at Rhodes University, 2015 – 2016’ – The Very Revd Dr Andrew Hunter

Thurs 4 July:         David Manning, stained glass expert, gives an introduction and tour of the chapel windows of historic Grahamstown  schools.
Meet at the St Andrew’s College Chapel, corner of Worcester & Somerset Streets at 11:00

Fri 5 July:               ‘Art, reality and theology: the role of the arts in God’s big story’ –  Thorsten Marbach, engineer and theologian.



Christian Meditation

Explore the tradition that comes to us through the centuries from the Desert Fathers and Mothers, led by visitors from the World Community for Christian Meditation and the Centre for Christian Spirituality.

1 – 5 July                    09:30 (1hr)                          St Patrick’s Church, Hill Street

Spiritfest Gallery

Spiritfest 2018 Programme

Spiritfest 2017 Programme