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Vol 20 No 1
Jan / Feb


The official gazette of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth:
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa

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 •  A Golden Jubilee celebration
 •  Good Shepherd busy again
 •  Kissing the feet of Jesus
 •  .. the sheep on the right .. as ZRV and St Paul’s combine

A Golden Jubilee celebration

A lone bagpiper, Sgt Maj Hammie Thompson, piped the people into the Cathedral for the golden jubilee celebration service of ordained ministry by Roy Snyman tssf.

It was held on Sunday 7 December and many friends joined the parishioners to congratulate Roy. The PE Oratorio Choir together with the Cathedral choir ensured the singing was superb, as befitted the occasion.

Professor John Rodda from Germiston was the preacher and spoke of the ‘calling to vocation’, saying, “Learn to listen, pay attention ... and learn to recognise Christ in everyone around you.” John is a medical specialist as well as a priest in the Parish of Germiston.

A celebratory feast was held in the hall after the service.

St Paul’s, in Parsons Hill, held their celebration for Roy on the actual anniversay date, Sunday 14 December. Roy kept the congregation enthralled with his many anecdotes about his days of ministry ... and prior to them too.

A breakfast was held in the hall afterwards at which a gift was presented to him by the rector, Ruthell Johnson, who spoke of Roy’s impressive CV. With chaplaincies, pastoral oversights and rector-ships it culminated in his appointment as dean of Kimberley and then  vice-provost and rector of St Mary’s. He is an Honorary Canon of two other dioceses and has just become an Honorary Canon of our diocese.

Ruthell shared a ‘special’ incident about Roy saying, “I remember the provincial synod in Swaziland at which the final decision on the ordination of women was made. Fr Roy was part of the team representing the Diocese of PE. He was strongly against the ordination  of women, yet as the synod progressed, God was at work within him. At the close of the debate Fr Roy stood up and made an impressive plea to the synod to allow women to enter the priesthood. His speech influenced the synod and when the vote was taken there  was an overwhelming majority for the ordination of women.”

Ruthell went on to talk of Roy’s 9 years as vice-provost of St Mary’s (1991 - 2001) and his ministry since retirement saying (with a twinkle in his eye), “Roy has been a valuable member of our pastoral team, and despite the length of his sermons and the naughtiness of  his humour, we have come to love him ... and no reward can be greater than that.”

Pic (top): Roy Snyman tssf stands beside the Thanksgiving Window, installed in the cathedral to celebrate his Golden Jubilee.
Pic (bottom):  The rector of St Paul’s, Ruthell Johnson, presents Roy with a gift after a celebration service for his 50 years of ordainedministry.

Good Shepherd busy again 

Pam Brown reports on some of the ministry taking place in the parish.
The Bible Study group and Sunday School of St Mark's, Humansdorp, visited Ons Tuiste on Tues 2 Dec for a Christmas tea with the group there who enjoy a home communion service every month given by assistant priest, Fiona Esterhuizen. This year's pre-Christmas  visit was enlivened by songs from the children. A sumptuous tea was enjoyed by all.

A service of blessing was well attended at the ARV clinic, Humansdorp Hospital on Monday 1 Dec, World Aids Day. St Mark's Church, Humansdorp, continues to support staff and patients in every way possible - frozen soup is delivered weekly and monthly tea requirements are supplied.

The Rotary Club of Jeffrey's Bay sent Father Christmas with full sacks of presents for the children (no photos allowed) and a wonderful morning transpired. On the Monday, World AIDS Day, the church ladies sent in a wonderful array of cakes and savouries for the  patients tea. Assistant priest, Fiona Esterhuizen, blessed the building, staff, patients, visitors and staff from the hospital who joined us on the lawn in front of the clinic for a time of prayer, remembrance and hope.

Our thanks to Matron Honey and her staff for such a welcome.

Pic (left): Olivia Mtetwa and Catherine Matflukiza hold the first quilt made by the Sinobomi Sewing circle using one of the machines donated by St Paul’s, Kent, UK. It is to be given to Magalind Kuhle who lost all her possessions in the last fire in Sea Vista. A work of love indeed!
Pic (right): The Bible Study group and Sunday School of St Mark's, Humansdorp, visit Ons Tuiste for a Christmas tea.
Pic (below): Matron Honey holds a cross donated to the clinic on the day- it was hand-crafted by a retired police officer in Storms River.

Kissing the feet of Jesus
[ Lynne Axon ]

Since 1999, St John’s in Walmer has been sending teams to Egypt, and more recently Sudan, to offer support and encouragement to Christians living and working in challenging circumstances.

After travels to these countries in September, the teams returned with eyes opened and hearts touched, filled with new insights and a deeper love for Our Father. 

During a recent report-back to the church Sue Acton from Stutterheim had this to say about her second trip to Sudan. “On our second afternoon in Khartoum, we travelled to a refugee camp outside of the city. We met with the local pastor and had a time of sharing and praying with them. Before we left, he told us about a young woman who had had a baby four days earlier. The baby had died two days later. He asked us if we would go and pray for her. We walked through the village to her home, which was just a mud hut and a  canopy in the open, where she lay resting on a bed with no mattress. Lynne and I sat on either side of her and the group prayed for her. She was only 15 years old and obviously in a lot of pain, both physically and emotionally. When the time came for us to leave, I  kissed her on her forehead, which was feverish, hot, dusty and salty with perspiration. My initial impulse was to wipe my mouth clean, but in that split second I had a picture of Jesus and of kissing his feet, which were hot, dusty and salty. As we left, we looked back  and she smiled for the first time. We later heard that she had started to improve from that day on.”

Our brothers and sisters in Sudan suffer great hardship from a government that ignores them, and puts them out in the desert with nothing - no schools, no access to medical treatment and no hope of living a decent life. Many have fled to the north from their homes in  Darfur, Southern Sudan or the Nuba Mountains, where war and persecution are the order of the day. Yet they remain firm in their faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. We at St John’s will continue to support them.

Pic: Team members with Sudan refugee in makeshift shelter.

.. the sheep on the right.. as ZRF and St Paul's combine

Instead of reading the Gospel at St Paul’s on Sunday 30 November, when members of Zwartkops River Valley Parish visited, the youth enacted it. The cast is seen above with the blanket to clothe, some water for the thirsty, some food for the hungry and the caring  hands to look after the sick and invite the stranger in, enabling those who are chosen as sheep to ‘be blessed and take the inheritance prepared for them.’ The message was made very clear through the acting of the young people.

After the service at which the rector of ZRV, Sharon Nell had preached, the parishioners joined for tea in the hall. Many friendships were renewed as with Malcolm Shepherd of ZRV and Anne and Ron Thomson of St Paul’s.

Every year the two parishes combine for a service and picnic at ZRV and later in the year a service at St Paul’s.


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