It is not possible to identify the exact date on which life began for the Anglican Church in Alexandria, But it is recorded by Bishop Gray, in his journals, that on 22 August 1850, he rode from Salem to Churchplace (now Alexandria) where the English speaking community spoke to him of their desire for a resident English speaking minister. Until this time they had receive services once a month conducted by the Revd T Henchman. Colonial Chaplain at Uitenhage, the Revd P Copeman was appointed to the chaplaincy of Sidbury in 1857, with special permission to live on a farm close to Alexandria. In May of 1856, the first recorded baptism, that of William Henry Deacon, appears in the register, with the Revd Mr Copeman officiating. It is interesting to note that the descendants of both these persons still worship in the parish, as the year 2000 draws closer! The Bishop of Grahamstown, the Rt Revd Henry Cotterill laid the foundation stone of Christ Church Alexandria in 1860, and first reference to the completed building is found with the recorded marriage of James Edward Nightingale and Louisa Short, in July 1863. Only in 1904 was the commencement made with the building of a Rectory, and this was completed the following year, at a cost of stlg604.
Ministry in the Western Suburbs of P E began early in 1961 with Holy Communion being celebrated in "St Anne's", the lounge in the home of Mr and Mrs R Paterson. In June that year the hall behind Lawrenson's Garage became available and services began being held there. Soon
afterwards the church was named the "Francis Phelps Church". In 1965 the Revd John Dunn became assistant priest at St Hugh's and in charge of Francis Phelps Church. In his time a new sanctuary was built on and the name of the church changed to All Saints. Synod in 1966 resolved that All Saints' Church, together with St Alban's, Draaifontein, and Holy Trinity, Thornhill, should become a separate Pastoral Charge. With the growth of the Western Suburbs and therefore the church, a plot of land was bought and the present church building and rectory were built and
opened in 1974 by Bishop Philip Russell and consecrated by Bishop Bruce Evans in 1977. The area covered by the parish extends from Greenbushes in the west and includes Sherwood on one side of the N2 and Bridgemead to Westering on the other. All Saints' have many active groups involved in outreach of one form or another: House Churches; Liturgical Dance Group; Music Group; Knitting and Sewing; Youth; etc. We are involved in the Transformations movement which has linked with the SACLA follow-up, and also with Exodus Initiative, seeking to show forth the love of Christ in practical ways in the community. All Saints' vision is:- All Saints' Church seeks to be: People of God, Under God's authority, A united family, Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Worshipping God, Proclaiming the Good News of Jesus to the wider community through word and action.
St Alban, Draaifontein - On 15 July 1888, when Mr Johnson was tenant on the farm "Draaifontein", the first service was held in the old homestead, and it was through this that the first seed of Anglicanism was sown in the district. Canon Mayo and Dr Wirgman from St Mary's made the journey to Draaifontein on horse-back, taking two days over the journey. In 1901 the first church building was completed, on two morgen of land donated by Mr J J Beckley. Materials for this building were shipped from Britain and brought from North End to the farm by ox-wagon. It was dedicated as "St Alban", a daughter church of St Mary's, in 1904 by Bishop Cornish. With the growth of the church a tram was purchased in 1951 and used as a Sunday School and in 1972 the present church building was dedicated, with the Sunday School and kitchen extension added on in 1976. At this time St Alban's had become a chapelry of All Saints, Kabega.
All Saints United
This little Church is, sadly, no more. In the months during the run up to the 1994 elections this isolated place of worship, situated alongside the main highway northwards was too tempting a target for frustrated arsonists and was put to the torch. Before this happened Anglican congregants had become so few, that the building had been leased to the local Methodists at the nominal rental of R1 per annum! First record of a service at Paterson, or Sandflats as it has also been known, is taken from Alexandria records of 1893. For some time the place was under the pastoral care of the clergy from St Mary's Church, PE, but was placed under the care of the rector of Alexandria in 1941. The original wood and iron church later became the "mission church" while the brick building, recently reduced to ashes, was built in 1902.
Christ the King
In 1960 as 'coloured' families were forced to move out of South End, Fairview, Sidwell and other parts of `white' Port Elizabeth, because of the Group Areas Act, people started meeting for worship in the home of John Kannemeyer in Kobus Road, Gelvandale. In a memorandum to the PE Church Extension Board the Revd Reginald Fane later in the year, indicated that there were 63 families using the house church for worship services. With the house becoming too small, services moved to Gelvandale Primary School No 2 and at this stage Gelvandale was regarded as a chapelry of St Michael and All Angels. Negotiations for a church site had begun in 1957 and a site was eventually procured in 1958. A loan for the building of the church was received from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) and the foundation stone was laid on 25 October 1964, by Bishop Gordon Tindall. Costs had risen drastically since the first estimate in 1962 and the diocese was forced to sell St James, Sidwell, to pay the builders. The first Rector was the Revd Roy Lord. Since then a rectory, and a hall have been built and a stained glass window installed above the altar. One of the largest church buildings in the diocese, Christ the King has been host to many diocesan events, including the Thanksgiving Service for the ministry of the late Bishop Bruce Evans and the Enthronement of our present Bishop, Eric Pike. The parish now has a roll of about 400 families and their vision is: The worship of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit will continue to be the reason for our existance and the focus of our worship. It is our desire to provide a stable form of worship incorporating new Liturgical developments and music that are theologically sound and culturally helpful. It is our intention to expand and deepen our ministry to children beyond the `classroom' situation into their community and every day lives.
Church of the Ascension
In the African township of Cradock, recently resited and named Lingelihle, there stood a wood and iron building known as St Peter's Church, (where the present incumbent of the Church of the Ascension was baptised)! The priest-in-Charge was the Revd John Zolilo. In 1928 the Revd James Calata took over. He was a powerful evangelising force, both among the Black and Coloured members of the community who worshipped together in those days, and it soon became necessary to build a new church. Because there was already a thriving St Peter's Church in Cradock the name was changed to St James and the church was consecrated on 23 October, 1931. With the inexorable passage of the apartheid years, the Coloured community of Lingelihle was moved to a new township known as Michausdal on the opposite side of the National Road and a buffer zone was created between the boundary of Cradock and Ligelihle. St James Church fell within the buffer zone and was later demolished, without compensation being paid. A new church needed to be built in the township and Bishop Robert Selby Taylor came to inspect the site. As he and the group walked up the slight incline towards the site he exclaimed "Ah! We will call it the Church of the Ascension!" The foundation stone was laid by Archdeacon JG Heath on 1 December 1963 and Canon Calata became the first Rector and served the parish for 42 years. With the move of the coloured community to Michausdal it became evident that a new church had to be built as the people were having to cross the National Road to worship at St James. The new church was dedicated on Ascension Day, 8 May 1975. One of the priests to serve there was the Revd Lawrie Wilmot for whom special permission had to be obtained for him to reside in the Priest's house in Michausdal because of the provisions of the Group Areas Act. After his departure ministering to the church and people became the responsibility of the successive rectors of St Peter's Church, Cradock.
St Francis of Assisi
The Parish of St Francis of Assisi, Humansdorp embraces the Chapelries of All Souls, Blue Lilies Bush; St Boniface, Kruisfontein; and St Mary the Virgin, Graslaagte, set in the vast area of the Tsitsikamma. All Souls was founded in 1898 and when built it provided the only church and school in the whole Tsitsikamma. The Anglican Church has played a prominent part in the provision of schools in this region, and headmasters of Blue Lilies Bush have played a significant role in the development of the church. There has been marked growth in the past 30 years under the leadership of Mr L Taute, the Revd Bob Petersen (who was priested, becoming the first priest to live in the area) and currently Mr DAW Muller, headmaster and chapelwarden. St Boniface was started with a very committed group of people who met in a home years before the chapel was built in 1938. It was serviced by St Mark's, Humansdorp until it became part of the Parish of St Francis of Assisi. The chapel was extended in 1980, and again in 1994. St Mary, Blessed Virgin, was started when the site of the present school was secured in 1958, and both men and women joined together in making blocks on site and building the chapel. The congrgation also gathered together and built a beautiful Rectory which the present Rector moved into as soon as it was ready. Under his ministry the Parish has gone from strength to strength and the Chapelry was exteded in 1994 to house the enlaged congregation.
St Mark, Humansdorp
The parish of St Mark, Humansdorp covers a huge area at the Western edge of the Diocese - a strip approximately 100km long and 40km wide. When the parish was founded in 1893, the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk donated the land on which St. Mark's now stands. Services had been held in the town since 1870 when the then Rector of Uitenhage, the Revd W Llewellyn, used to trek in by ox wagon on a quarterly basis The church of St Mark's was built in 1898 and extended by the addition of the chancel and a tower as a memorial to those who fell in the Great War of 1914-18. In its 102 years the parish has now had 20 incumbents. During the apartheid era the original parish of Humansdorp was been divided into three parishes - St Mark's, St Francis of Assisi and St Patrick's -all serving the same area. The chapel of St Paul, was built in the farming community of Hankey in 1910 and was the smallest church in the diocese of Grahamstown. When the building and land were taken away by the Department of Community Development, a new, very attractive small church was built in its place in the town in 1971. The chapel of St Francis was built in Jeffreys Bay in 1938. This lovely church has served the community well. It provided a home for the neo-natal Methodist Church when they started a work in Jeffreys Bay, and is currently providing a starting base for the Presbyterian Church.
St Patrick, Humansdorp
The original Church was built in c1899, but the Humansdorp Municipality moved the Church to a new site in 1926. The Parish was served by a Catechist for many years and now has the limited services of a Priest from Port Elizabeth who visits the Parish each month. At one time the Parish had 11 outstations including St Paul, Goedgeloof and St Barnabas, Snyklip.
Holy Spirit church was built in 1960 and the then Bishop, Robert Selby Taylor, made a personal loan to the parish to enable them to build the adjacent hall at the same time. When the Diocese was looking for a suitable Church for Bishop Bruce's enthronement in 1975, Holy Spirit, with its seating for 1300 under one roof was the natural choice. For many years the choir, led by Jessie Haya, was known far beyond the borders of Kwazakhele.
The Trinity congregation was founded in 1854 when a group of parishioners who, according to the Declaration of 1859, "voluntarily retired from St Mary's Church ... because of the introduction of novelties and the propagation of doctrines which seemed to us inconsistent with the plain truth of the Gospel, as contained in the Holy Scriptures and held by our venerated Church." The original church was built at the bottom of Military Road. However, with the need for ministry to the growing population on the Hill, the Bishop recommended that the congregation should rather move there. This church was opened for worship on 1 April 1866. There was seating for 160 people and in 1867 this was increased to 380. The hall was built in 1882, and in 1884 the Nave was extended so the church could seat 483 people. On 1 April 1897 a deranged woman set fire to the Church. The inside of the building and the roof were destroyed but all the walls as well as the tower remained intact. Services continued, being held in the school room and the hall of the Grey Institute. Less that six months after the fire the foundation stone of the re-built and larger Church was laid. Holy Trinity was only constituted as a parish in 1930 and over the years has had many ups and downs. Looking to the future, the Mission Statement is "Making friends, Becoming disciples, Serving Jesus."
One hundred years ago a gift from one church to another enabled St Barnabas to be built, thanks to the generosity of the local N G Kerk community, who donated the ground. At the same time services were started in the Schoombee area - perhaps this could be claimed as the oldest, continuing and thriving House Church in the country?
St Lawrence, Tafelberg, was consecrated by Bishop Allan B Webb in February 1894.
St Anne's, Hanover, was consecrated in March 1896.
St Thomas', Midros, has been a thriving House Church for many years and is looking forward to receiving the Jubilee Thank-offering from the Diocese so that it can start building the planned multi-purpose church complex.
Christ Church, Colesberg - In 1820, after the British settlers landed in Algoa Bay, a number of them trekked as far north as the Colesberg district where they settled. Numerically small, most of them attended the Methodist Church whilst some attended the Dutch Reformed Church where services in English were regularly held at the time. In 1848 the church officials in Cape Town decided to appoint a Rector of Colesberg and Dr CEH Orpen arrived. At first services were held in the Court House or the London Mission Chapel, which was later known as St Stephen's Church. In 1854 the present church, designed by Sophy Grey, was completed, except for the Chancel and porch, which were added in 1880. Twelve Rectors ministered in the parish until 1940 when it was felt that it should be served from Middelburg.
Holy Cross Steynsburg - In 1885 the first Priest-in-Charge arrived in Steynburg to minister to the people of the area. The use of a house and store were obtained in 1890 and the latter converted into a Chapel, all of which became lovingly known as the Old Rectory. The present Church was built in 1902 and consecrated by Bishop Cornish in March 1904. In 1989 Holy Cross became a Chapelry of St Barnabas, Middelburg. St Anne, Hanover Present
St Boniface, Kwanomzame - The Title Deeds to the original Mission House are dated 1903. This house was sold in 1947 and the "new" Mission House built in 1949. With the Government's Separate Development policy St Boniface was forcibly removed to the new township of Kwanonzame in 1989. Churches included in this parish are: St Agnes, Noupoort; St Francis, Colesberg; St Martin, Hanover and St Andrew, Steynsburg.
Saint Peter -Kinkelbos
St Peter's stands alongside the main road 48kms from Port Elizabeth, on ground donated by one time churchwarden R J Newcombe. The first building dedicated in 1909 was made of wood and iron, but was rebuilt in brick in 1940. The wood and iron hall has been used for community functions since 1931. Despite paucity of numbers, the St Peter's congregation is one of the most remarkably active groups of people in the Diocese with a very high percentage actively involved in Bible Study groups and effective community outreach.
Saint Andrew and St Anne
This Parish was granted a site in Kwanobuhle in March 1971, but it was only 13 years later that building commenced. There have difficulties with the building due to drainage, and clay problems, but these can be solved. The Parish looks forward to growth and stability in the future.
From 1920, when Walmer Township came into existance, until 1941, St Stephen's, New Brighton, cared for the few Anglicans living in the Township. A temporary church was then built, but was burnt down, and in 1961 the Moravian church was vacated and bought by St Augustine's, which was granted Parish status. Since the 1970's, St Augustine has been growing strong. It has suffered ups and downs, but on the whole it survived the hardest times, emerging with full potential and well motivated to face the challenges of her future development. With the new opportunities, St Augustine has come under the direct focus of the diocesan visionary leadership. It has been designated a missionary District, and a missionary Priest has been placed in the Community. The new church building and rectory were completed in 1998. It should be remembered by generations to come, that St Augustine`s congregation survived disintegration because of the combined efforts of the Christian church both black and white in Walmer area. At least one white has registered as a member of the congregation as this document was being compiled for Jubilee celebrations. St Augustine's will also be remembered as the first black congregation in South Africa to willingly accept the ministry of a woman Priest, the Revd Diana Nkesiga.
University and Technikon Chaplaincy: - The Revd Diana Nkesiga
The foundation stone of St Barnabas' Church was laid on 13 May 1904 as a result of evangelists from St Paul's Church being sent into the northern areas, with the Dedication Service being conducted on 9 December 1904. The first service was held on 6 November 1904. The church of St Matthew's in Sidwell,which at one stage became a separate parish, and St Christopher's, a house church in Algoa Park, followed as a result of the growth in the Sydenham area, but in turn closed down. It was not until 1916 when the first vestry meeting was held at St Barnabas, that Chapelwardens/Churchwardens were elected. Up until that period St Paul's nominated an official to be responsible for the conduct of the affairs of St Barnabas' Church. In 1940 the Revd L M Morran became the first Rector at the new Parish of St Barnabas, having previously been Priest-in-Charge for approximately one year. The Hayman Hall was officially opened on 15 April 1926 by Archdeacon Flack. It was named after Capt William Hayman of the Church Army who worked in the Sydenham area and was partly responsible for the establishment of St Barnabas' Church. The foundation stone of the new Church was laid on 20 August 1960 by the Rt Rev Selby Taylor, Lord Bishop of Grahamstown. The 75th Anniversary of the Church was celebrated with a special service on 10 June 1979. The original Rectory was purchased in 1933, however, in 1962 the property at 7 Rhodes Street was purchased as the Rectory. There are approximately 150 families on the parish register at present and the parish has a vision of outreach into the area, in terms of evangelism.
St Cuthbert's Gray Memorial Church, which was consecrated in March 1884, commemorates two saintly men whose lives are separated in time by almost twelve centuries - St Cuthbert and Bishop Robert Gray. Called St Cuthbert's because of Bishop Gray's connection with the See of Durham. With the expan-sion of Port Elizabeth residential area to Westbourne Road and surrounds the need for another Anglican church was seen and in June 1882 the Town Council granted a piece of ground for the erection of a church in memory of Bishop Robert Gray. Due to lack of funds the first building was of wood-and-iron, designed by Mr WT Miles, the municipal architect, and his fine memorial altar, made in PE can still be admired in the present building. Services there were conducted by the clergy of St Mary's, however, towards the end of 1886 the Revd John Fitch Sinden was appointed Priest-in-Charge and was installed as Rector when St Cuthbert's finally became a separate Parish in August 1907. The new chancel was built in 1889 and the original rectory in 1910 but it was not until 1932 that the present nave and vestries were completed and consecrated. In 1947, as a war memorial, it was decided that a chapel be built and that the great west window, (of stained glass), be installed. St Cuthbert's is a vibrant parish, well set to take the Gospel of Jesus out to the needy in every form. This it intends to do in earnest in the years ahead.
St Cyprian's started in Korsten and as it grew bigger the church started meeting in a school and later in the Kwazakhele Welfare Community Hall in Daka Street. Having been granted land on Boxongo Street it was felt that this was not near enough for easy access by the parishioners and the diocese asked that they be allowed to swap for the present site in Sali Street. Two years of correspondence finally bore fruit and the powers that be allowed the swap. In 1975 the Rectory, minus inside walls, was erected on the site and has served as the church ever since.
St David's was built on land donated in 1937 by Mrs Natalie Cullen and dedicated by her husband, Bishop A H Cullen in 1939, but records show that services at Bushman's River were held as early as January 1911. Early services were held in the home of the Revd Voyle Morgan who bequeathed the house to the diocese as a holiday home for clergy. This cottage has since been disposed of and the diocesan trustees are waiting to reinvest the proceeds in suitable real estate. Extra improvements in size and function have been necessitated by a growing congregation which averages between sixty and seventy most Sundays, but which balloons to over 800 for the three services catering for the Christmas holiday influx. The firm foundation laid by generations of faithful priests, aided by generous and God-centred laity, that enables this parish to approach the next century with confidence.
Saint Francis Xavier
The Sisters of the Community of the Resurrection pioneered the work of the church among the Chinese in Port Elizabeth. Converts started worshipping, at the turn of the century, in a school room in Queen Street. After the last world war efforts were made to build a church and this came to fruition with the building in Brassel Street which was consecrated in August 1954. This church was conveniently situated in the centre of town - no more than one bus ride for any parishioner. With the introduction of the Group Areas Act the Chinese community was moved to Kabega and eventually a new church building was erected closer to 'home' and this was dedicated by Bishop Bruce Evans in December 1981. Placed under the care of All Saints shortly after moving to Kabega, 1996 will see St Francis granted full parochial independence.
In 1922, Canon Mayo, the Rector of St Mary's Church, started visiting the parishioners in a developing area called Fairview. The pastoral work started to develop and building a church became a need. Canon Mayo remarked: "A church on a hill cannot be hid", and so chose the present location. The present Mayo Hall was the original church building with the turning of the first sod on 25 April 1925. As Mr Jenkins, one of the pioneers in establishing the parish church, turned that first sod a small golden-coloured cross was revealed which was taken as a sign of the Lord's confirmation of the site for His church. In 1931 St Hugh's became a chapelry of St Mary's and paid an assessment. During the same year, a bell, called `Little Hugh', was installed and pealed the call for people to come and worship. In 1932 Fairview was renamed Newton Park, with St Hugh's becoming a separate parish in 1953, with responsibility for St Albans, Draaifontein and Holy Trinity, Thornhill. When Kabega started flourishing it was also responsible for All Saints Church. It took 30 years to accumulate enough money to start building the present church structure. In August 1955 the foundation stone was laid. Above this is a 700 year old stone shaped like a crozier and was part of the Angel Choir (St Hugh's tomb), in Lincoln Cathedral, of which he was Bishop. It was sent in 1951 when it fell from the Choir. Over the past years the main hall has been added with a kitchen and then the Training Centre, with the Diocesan and Bishop's office upstairs. One of the many blessings is that of many vocations to the ordained ministry raised and nurtured the parish. Many members of the clergy in this diocese and around, were formerly parishioners at St Hugh's. We pray that the Lord of the harvest may raise many more men and women to the ordained ministry in the years ahead. Another blessing is the establishment of the Maranatha Foundation. This complex of cottages provides homes for many of the senior parishioners, with a superb Frail Care Centre attached. This, along with many other parish initiatives, is a sign of the ongoing commitment to mission.
Saint John the Baptist
The foundation stone for the original (Sophy Grey design) church of St John the Baptist was laid on 23 April 1881. For the first 12 years it was a chapelry of St Mary the Virgin, but in 1893 the old rectory was built and the Revd A Cass, the First Vicar, was installed. The first School in Walmer operated from the church until 1906 when the 4th Avenue School was built. In 1956 the old church building was demolished to make way for the present building and the project was completed with the addition of a fine pipe organ in 1965. A spurt of growth followed and the debt on the buildings was paid off, enabling the Church to be Consecrated by Bishop Gordon Tindall on 2 June 1968. The rapid growth in the parish was continued through the involvement of lay people in responsibilities for both the spiritual and temporal affairs of the parish as various working groups developed and added impetus to the growth. In many parts of the world there was a Renewal of the Holy Spirit being manifested and this joy spread through St John's as many people came to recognise the power of God the Holy Spirit as He poured out His gifts on the Church. In 1987 a major decision was made to build 12 retirement cottages on the excess land around the complex which has resulted in a happy community of folk living there. In 1994, as a result of a vivid vision and prophecy from Ezekiel 47, the choir vestry was relocated and the old area, with its beautiful stained glass windows, was converted into a much needed chapel and dedicated as "The Chapel of the Living Waters."
St Katharine's, (dedicated to Katharine of Egypt, Saint and Martyr) was built of local stone in 1867, although services had been held as early as 1825 by the Revd Francis McCleland, Colonial Chaplain stationed in Port Elizabeth. The Revd Philip Copeman was appointed to Uitenhage in 1847, but it was only when the Revd William Llewellyn arrived in 1856 that the congregation grew large enough to justify the building of the church. A feature of the church in Uitenhage down the years has been the ecumenical outreach, fostered by the Anglican priests. A total of 41 clerics in holy orders have been associated with the parish. The Church Hall proved to be too small to cope with the growing parish, and a new complex, referred to as "The Abundant Life Centre", was built recently to make ample provision for any future growth.
Sister Jean Mary CR was instrumental in starting the Church of St Luke the Evangelist. With the opening of new suburbs in the Northern Areas she felt the need to start a house church. The Schoeman home in Dolph Street, Bloemendal, was the first home with five families gathering there; followed by the Zacharias home, the Ingram home and finally the Adam's home as the number of families grew. At this time the Revd Bryan Bartleet, Rector of St Mary Magdalene, celebrated the Holy Eucharist there once a month. When the congregation grew to about 30 families the Greenville Primary School was used and Deacon Andrew Jantjies conducted Services and ministered amongst the people. A tent at the back of 42 Harker Street was the next move when the authorities stopped schools being used for church services. With the help of some members of their 'link' parish, All Saints, Kabega, a roof was extended from the back of the garage and canvas was used to make side 'walls' for a more 'permanent' structure and the Revd Andrew Jantjies was appointed Priest-in-Charge of the Chapelry of St Luke's. Under the Rectorship of the Revd Raynard Schovell the present building was erected in 1987 and St Luke's became a parish in 1989. The congregation has grown to approximately 300 families, a rectory has been built and a pre-fab building obtained for the Sunday School. Plans are afoot to complete the church building and their vision is to draw as many people as possible to the Lord. St Luke the Evangelist endeavours, by grace, to be servants, full of faith in Jesus our Lord and Saviour, within the local community.
Saint Margaret of Antioch
In Summerstrand Anglican worship in house groups started in 1946 when priests from St Mary's conducted monthly Communion Services. A member of St Mary's staff came to live in Summerstrand, and services were held in his lounge. In 1956 the Municipallity offered a church site and a hall/church was built in 1961, dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch by the then Bishop of Grahamstown, the Rt Revd Robert Selby Taylor. In 1968 the Revd John M Dunn arrived to take charge of the work at St Margaret's and became the Priest-in-Charge in the year after the synod's declaration of the constitution of the parish. With an energetic young priest in charge progress was rapid, marked by a steady increase in the congregation, expansion in the range of church activities and further building. First came the enlargement of the existing hall/church together with the Lady Chapel, vestries and small hall. These additions were dedicated at the end of 1971. All that now remained to be built was the church itself and this was achieved by 1977. The Rt Revd Bruce Read Evans, dedicated the church on 10 October 1977 and exactly eight years later he consecrated the church. The last bricks-and-mortar venture was to buy the house next door to the church in 1987 for use as a future rectory.
Saint Mark and Saint John
The Church of St Mark and St John the Evangelist was built in 1972 to provide a place of worship in the expanding area of Gelvandale for the people of St Mark's, Crawford Street, St Peter's, South End, and St Gregory's, Fairview, who were forcefully removed from those areas because of the Group Areas Act. However, the people had begun meeting in Gelvan Park Primary School, having their first Eucharist there on 26 December 1970. The first Rector, the Revd Michael du Plessis, was instituted and the Church was dedicated on 18 March 1973. This is truly "A Church set on a hill that shall not be hidden". The enthusiastic congregation has had to extend the church and the parking area, to cope with growing numbers. Looking ahead: Two recent missions have brought, with a deeper awareness of the Holy Spirit's presence and power, an increasing commitment to the work of God, not only in the parish but beyond its borders. We pray that we will continue to learn to be open to God's will for us and to live it out in our lives. He who has brought us together, from scattered communities, as the people of St Mark and St John the Evangelist, is with us still, calling us to walk with Him as we worship, serve and shine with His light.
Saint Mary Magdalene
It could largely be said that the Church as it is today owes its existence to the upheavals which resulted from the mass removals of formerly settled communities. Its origins, however, pre-date this and are the work of the Sisters of the Community of the Resurrection who carried out the pastoral work amongst the people of Windvogel, which at the time would have been the extreme northern tip of Port Elizabeth. The naming of the parish is owed to Sister Mariya CR. The Revd Bryan Bartleet, then Rector of St Peter's, South End, ministered with the Sisters in the area. As the congregation grew the use of the Machiu Primary School was obtained for Sunday services and they were given chapelry status. In 1973 the congregation had grown so large that services had to be held in the West End Community Centre and building of the present church began the following year. The Revd Bryan Bartleet became the Priest-in-Charge and, as he believed that to be relevant the church must serve the greater community the complex was, and still is, used for this purpose with Adult Literacy classes and an Educare Centre being two of the most notable works. The parish declared this year, "A year of prayer for our parish and our families".
St Matthew's started seven years ago when people who had moved to this new area began meeting for worship in a house in Ndema Street. Together with its mother church, St Peter's, funds were raised and the building went up and was dedicated by Bishop Eric Pike on 16 October 1994.
Saint Michael and All Angels
Essex Street Mission Room, Port Elizabeth, was the forerunner of St Michael and All Angels, being blessed by Canon J Cowan in 1938. By November 1940 the Revd Harry Burvill, Incumbent of St Philips and St James wrote that the church was raising money for the erection of St Michael's. Sunday 27 July 1941 was a momentous occasion with the laying of the foundation stone by Archibald, Bishop of Grahamstown. The Revd Harry Burvill was joined in his ministry by the Revd G Walters as assistant Curate, with Sr Mabel and Miss Walker joining the ministry in 1941. On 31 January 1942 the dedication of the Church of St Michael and All Angels by the Lord Bishop of Grahamstown, took place. All were present from the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and the whole Anglican family of Churches. In his sermon the Bishop spoke of the dedication of the great Warrior Angel"as being peculiarily suitable at this time of war, for we need to remember that the spiritual warfare between the forces of good and evil is ever going on." The church continues to serve the community of Schauderville and, over the years, many members of the parish family have found their vocation in the ordained ministry: Cyril Mueller, Theodore Thomas, Andrew Jantjies, Trevor Adams, Cliff Felix, Roland Prince and the late Witness Mpuntsha. The parish priorities for the following years are, "To do more for senior citizens; and to strengthen our youth ministry through equipping our Sunday School teachers".
The foundation stone of St Nicholas, Charlo was laid in 1937 and the building was consecrated by Bishop Archibald Cullen on 7 October, 1939. It was at that stage a "district church within the Parish of St Mary's". Since then it gained parish status, then lost this to fall under the Parish of St John the Baptist, Walmer and again gaining parish status in 1977 with the Revd Brian Bird as its first Rector. In 1968 the original building was lengthened to make space for a Sunday School and club house. Later a pre-fab building was erected to house the growing Sunday School and further development was the addition of the church porch. The original garage was converted into 'The Lighthouse' with the parish office, and book and tape library. Once again the building is bursting at its seams and needs to expand. The first phase of the new building project has just been completed, which is the new toilet block and our vision is to start the second phase of the new church building some time in 1996.
The original church was established more than 100 years ago as a chapelry of All Saints, Somerset East. A new site was procured in 1977, and in 1980 Mr C van Steijn of Cradock built the present church and rectory. The church was dedicated on 1 March 1981 by the Rt Revd Bruce Evans.
St Paul's is the second oldest Anglican Parish in Port Elizabeth. Sunday School was started in 1850, the first services for adults began in 1853 and the laying of the foundation stone of the original church took place in October 1854. Part of the early ministry of the parish was the establishment of a school in 1861. In its time, the parish has given rise to many congregations, of which St Mark's, and St Matthew's no longer exist. By the time of the establishment of the diocese of Port Elizabeth, St Paul's had already moved to its present site in Parsons Hill. The original Church stood on the corner of Albany Road and what is now Main Street. In 1960 the move finally took place. Reasons for the move were the decreasing population around the old church, the expropriation that was to accompany the widening of Main Street and the deterioration of the buildings. A service in the old Church on the morning of 11 December was followed later in the day by a procession to Parsons Hill and the dedication service of the new church. This was conducted by Archbishop Robert Selby Taylor, then Bishop of Grahamstown. The present Church reflects the continuity of witness over more than 140 years, in the magnificent stained glass windows, the pulpit, lectern and other items transferred from the original church. These are now housed in a modern building, a feature of which is the Chapel. One side of the chapel is glassed in, enabling the congregation, while they are at worship, always to be reminded of the needy world for which Jesus died and in which we are to proclaim and show his love.
The history of St Peter's began at St Monica's, an Anglican church used also as a school, in Veeplaas. In 1952, during unrest, it was burnt down and the congregation started meeting for worship in a shack called "Mtslane". With the Group Areas Act being enforced the 'coloureds' were move from Veeplaas where they had worshipped at St Luke's, so the Xhosa congregation took over the church. At the time Holy Spirit Church in KwaZakele had responsibility for them. However, St Luke's was expropriated and the present site was obtained and St Peter's built. It was dedicated in March 1977 by Bishop Bruce Evans. Extensions were added in 1994 to the church, and at Patronal Festivals and other functions it can be used as a hall after the service. They have many active groups in the church: MUCFL ; Nomazo Group of Women; Bernard Mizeki Guild; A Youth Group (growing fast - with an active Social Worker playing a key role in it); Preachers' Guild and a Choir (that has won many trophies). St Peter's has only had three Rectors since its inception - The Revd Sipho Mawa and The Revd Jessie Ngcangca being the first two. Their vision is to be a church that is going out to evangelise and bring people to know Christ, be in fellowship with one another by caring and loving concern, so that they can be a united family in God.
Saint Peter and Saint James
When Bishop Robert Gray visited Cradock in 1848, he found sixty families who called themselves `English Church People', but no church. A meeting was called and the only remaining church erf was secured. Ten years later St Peter's church was consecrated by Bishop Cotterill, the sanctuary and chancel being built of local stone given by the people. A Rectory was purchased in 1860, and a room in the rectory was made available for a library, used by local inhabitants including the well known author Olive Schreiner. The Parish Hall was built in 1893; the Lych Gate and stone wall were erected in 1949, in memory of parishioners who fell during World War II; and a new rectory was built in 1962. In 1974 the property suffered sadly when the Great Fish River came down in flood, and floodwaters two metres deep caused great devastation to the whole property. During the past two decades the Parish has suffered the same fate as many other rural parishes, with a loss of members mainly due to the drift of people from the rural areas to the more prosperous urban areas. On top of this almost a decade of crippling drought conditions which has seen many traditional farmers dispossessed of their land due to financial pressures. St James, Michausdal (See Church of the Ascension)
St Philip's Mission Church began in about 1872 amongst families which had moved from the Western Cape to PE. They were Dutch speaking, and beginning in a wool store in Strand Street, and then at the Mechanic's Institute in Donkin Street, lack of space took them to St Paul's Boys' Schoolroom. They became the responsibility of the Rector of St Paul's, but the ministry prospered under a Mr PR Mollett, teacher and Catechist, (who later became St Philip's first Rector), and led to an application for land from the Municipal Council. This was granted under a special Deed of Transfer dated 1883, which vested the property in the congregation under three Trustees, one of whom was the Mayor of Port Elizabeth, for the time being, and the other two elected by the congregants. This Deed was instrumental in discouraging expropriation during the apartheid era. The foundation stone of the present church was laid in May 1883 and the church dedicated in 1884. The congregation has seen many ups and downs, losing numerous parishioners to other parishes with the Group Areas forced removal of families from Central and South End. A number, however, persisted in worshipping at St Philip's even though the Diocesan authorities expressed the view that its closing was inevitable and the last Rector appointed was in 1960. It does seem that God indeed had a purpose in forestalling the complete uprooting of this vine. It remains to be seen whether the present congregation can enter into the opportunities and fresh transforming vision the Lord has been setting before St Philip's. Many are praying that once again it will fulfil its calling to be a `missionary church'.
In November 1937, the newly formed PE Church Extension Board resolved that a church should be built in the vicinity of South End, and in December 1937 a loan was approved by St. Mary's. With added financial help from Holy Trinity and St. Cuthbert's a hall was erected on the site in 1939.
Saint Simon of Cyrene
This Church was built in the Thomas Gamble Township in 1978/79 to replace the Church of St Gabriel's. The Revd Cyril Muller led the people's campaign to plan and finance the new Church which was dedicated on 29 April 1979. At that time St Simon of Cyrene was a Chapelry of St Katharine's, but in 1983 they became a Parish in their own right.
Parish Profile update entered 16th December 2011
ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH, NEW BRIGHTON
Parish Profile, 2011
The history of St Stephen’s, curiously enough, has its origins outside the current location of St Stephen’s in New Brighton and dates back to 1869. It was in 1869 that Reverend W. Greenstock saw the need for a church to serve “the Fingo Location” on Richmond Hill. Consequently, on 4 December 1873, with the help of a loan from Rev S Brook, a site was purchased in Port Elizabeth Central by the Lord Bishop of Grahamstown and converted into the first St Stephen’s Church. Priests who served at St Stephen’s were Revds D Malgas, J W Gawier and W P Momoti.
On 1 July 1904 the Bishop of Grahamstown transferred the land to the Municipality of Port Elizabeth. But it continued to be used by the church until 1927 when the Council sold it by public auction on condition that the buildings were demolished. They were demolished and so ended the first St Stephen’s Church.
The Municipality then sold a site at Mount Road to the Diocese specifically “for a native church.” The foundation stone of this church was laid on 19 March 1927, and the church was dedicated as “St Stephen’s mission” on 26 June 1927. In the meantime, on the side, New Brighton was growing. St Stephen’s, Mount Road, ceased to be used in the early 1960’s and was sold to the United Pentecostal Church in 1967. That ended the second St Stephen’s Church.
On 14 October 1937 the Port Elizabeth Church Extension Board under the chairmanship of the Venerable HLG Edwardes with Canon J Cowan (Rural Dean and priest-in-charge of the church’s work in New Brighton) as one of its members, met to look into the question of raising funds for new churches. One of those churches was to be St Stephen’s. Mobilisation of resources, including financial resources, began with the Mayor, Mr Jack Walton, the Rector and Churchwardens of St Mary’s Church and Mr W van Rooyen playing various roles. Plans for the building of St Stephen’s were submitted by Mr Fleming of Johannesburg with Mr Owen Laton (Architect to the Church Extension Board) offering to oversee the work on behalf of Mr Fleming.
On 4 February 1941 the Native Affairs Board took a decision on the identified site, and in March of the same year authority was given for the work to proceed on the site of the present St Stephen’s. Initial funding for the new church was generously donated by some of the urban churches (Holy Trinity, St Cuthberts, St Mary’s, St Saviour, St Philip, St Barnabas, St Paul and St John’s). The foundation stone of the Church was laid by Mr JL Walton on 25 May 1941 in the presence of a fairly large number of people. He was thanked profusely by the Bishop of Grahamstown and the Church Extension Board. He also kindly paid off all the financial debt that had been incurred at that point towards the building of St Stephen’s. (Mr Walton was the son of Sir Edgar Walton, a member of St Cuthbert’s Parish). Rev D Mbopa, then Rector of St Stephen’s, took responsibility for paying off subsequent church debts.
St Stephen’s was consecrated on Saturday 26 July 1941 by the Rt Rev Archibald Howard Cullen, Bishop of Grahamstown, and the Deed of Consecration signed.
In his sermon, the Bishop expressed his “thankfulness that such a magnificent church had been built to the glory of God” church.
That marked the birth of the present St Stephen’s Church which is situated at 94 Gratten Street, New Brighton.
2.VISION AND MISSION
The leadership of St Stephen’s at the request of the Rector, Archdeacon Zweli Tom, set out to craft a vision and mission statement. He identified certain congregants to undertake that task. Led by Ayanda Mantshongo and Ntombizakhe Qongqo respectively, two teams for the vision and mission statement consulted extensively and made powerpoint presentations. These consultations culminated in the launch of a booklet on the vision, mission and goals on 29 August 2010.
The vision says we strive “to be faithful stewards of God’s gifts, empowered by the Holy Spirit whilst growing in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.”
Against this background the Church then asked itself what it is that it wants to do that is, its mission. It became apparent that for St Stephen’s to realise its mission its members had to commit themselves anew (a) to proclaim the Good News of Christ, (b) to utilise their God-given gifts for the benefit of the Church, (c) to develop relationships and partnerships with other Christian communities, (d) to reach out and be of use to the wider community, the people of God.
The underlying philosophy and guiding principle is faith in action. Hence the formulation of various goals to realise our vision and mission. Informed by the Biblical teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, some of the envisaged goals include, (a) the initiation of programmes which can help parishioners live out their faith, (b) the promotion of spiritual upliftment, (c) the optimal use of human resources so as to encourage the proper management of assets and promotion of high standards of financial control. Last, but not least, St Stephen’s wants to create an enabling environment where its members can use their talents, gifts and abilities to reach out to the wider community.
(We invite those who are interested and want more detail to get hold of our Handbook which can be obtained from our Parish Office)
3.APPLICATION OF THE VISION AND MISSION
In pursuit of our vision and mission there is a range of activities that are in place and plans that need to be sustained. Mention will be made of only a few of those. The Church and Community Partnership Committee has established some partnership with Cowan High School in New Brighton. It is called Cowan Afresh. This is a significant partnership, given the important role Canon Cowan played in the establishment of St Stephen’s, as pointed out in the brief history above. The partnership entails, among other things, helping Cowan High School with its library, playgrounds and tuition.
Then there is the Soup Kitchen every Wednesday for one of the senior secondary schools in New Brighton. The Soup Kitchen supported partly by sponsors and partly by St Stephen’s itself through availing its cooking facilities free of charge helps learners have at least one meal a day. There are learners whose homes cannot even afford that.
Thanks to the Rector and relevant members of the Church, St Stephen’s continues to be exposed to a great deal of information and knowledge. At various times St Stephen’s has been visited by senior local education officers, the Departments of Correctional Services, Social Development and Justice (including the National Prosecuting Authority whose Eastern Cape’s Dept of Public Prosecutions’ Head and Director is a member of St Stephen’s)) plus the South African National Defence Force. Apart from sharing very useful information about their activities some of these departments also drew attention to available job opportunities. Given the high unemployment rate, especially among the youth, presentations made by these departments were very helpful. Some of the local banks have also visited our Church and shared useful information.
The parish is led by the Parish Council which consists of two churchwardens, an alternate churchwarden, the Parish Secretary plus (10) elected and coopted members. The cooption is based on the skills and expertise a member has and which can add value.
The Parish Executive which is made up of the Rector and the churchwardens meets once every month, whenever necessary, ahead of the Parish Council which also meets once a month. There is also a team of lay ministers
The current Rector, Archdeacon Zwelidumile Tom, joined the Parish in April 2009. He was made a Deacon in 1991; and was ordained to the priesthood in 1992. During 2011 the Rector was assisted by Rev Patrick Mnqathu, who was attached to the South African National Defence Force on a full-time basis. He was transferred to Mthatha by his employer. Then there is Rev Mtutuzeli Belu, a self-supporting priest who has since been appointed Chaplain to the Diocesan St Mary’s Guild. Rev Wellington Biyana, the longest serving member of St Stephen’s boasts more than fifty years’ membership of St Stephen’s very largely as a lay minister. He was made a Permanent Deacon in 2009 .
Other staff members are :
· A parish secretary (weekdays 09:00-15:00). Fundiswa Ngqina, the first ever full-time secretary was appointed about two years ago and renders invaluable service.
· Mr Nimrod Kulati who serves as a caretaker and looks after the grounds and church property
· Three casual cleaners who mainly clean the church inside
In terms of worship styles St Stephen’s combines traditional Anglican worship with less formal styles which include a wide range of “choruses” and that introduces some variety and vibrancy. The Xhosa Anglican Prayer Book 1989 remains THE prayer Book. In order to ensure maximum participation by the congregation, and to break routine,
Sunday services are sometimes conducted by the various St Stephen’s organisations and groups with prior briefing by the Rector.
Conscious of the fact that during worship some parishioners may need a quiet moment to pray and meditate, one of the vestries has been converted into a chapel. During the time for offering parishioners can retreat into the chapel where a priest joins them and assists, if necessary. The provision for such a quiet moment of reflection and prayer has proved to be spiritually uplifting, as attested to by those who have availed themselves of the opportunity to go into the chapel and pray.
In order to develop a culture of reading in children at the formative stages, there is a small library for Sunday School children in particular. Books for that library have largely been donated by the Dick family in honour of their child who passed away, rather unexpectedly.
With regard to times of service, on Sundays the Holy Eucharist is celebrated at 07: 00 and at 09:30 respectively. At the former, a said Eucharist in the main, attendance is usually very low compared to the latter where the Eucharist is sung with the church very often full to capacity.
On Wednesdays the Holy Eucharist is at 18:00 and on Fridays at 08:30 in order to make sure that as a “rule of life” members receive the Eucharist at least once a week. The weekday and Sunday services are not mutually exclusive. One can take part in any of them.
7.CHURCH ORGANISATIONS AND GROUPS
St Stephen’s boasts a wide range of organisations and groups each of which has a leader (as indicated below) and a committee :
· Anglican Women’s Fellowship (Ms Nosipho Lallie)
· Abathuthuzeli (Ms Pulane Maqhina)
· Abonwabisi (Ms Emily Dlula)
· Abakhonzi (Ms Yolisa Xelo)
· Bernard Mizeki (Khalipa Sinxoto)
· Church Choir (Eric Makubalo)
· Mothers’ Union (Ms Nombulelo Mokhosi)
· St Mary Magdalene (Ms Boniswa Poni)
· St Agnes (Ms Vuyelwa Xaba and Ms Namhla Neer)
· The Youth (Sigqibo Xuba)
· Church and Community Partnership (Ms Bongi Siwisa)
· Church Growth and Eucunemism (Sabelo Puwani)
· Health Desk (Ms Vuyelwa Ludwaba)
· Christian Education Desk (Ms Luyanda Mzileni)
· Finance Control Committee (Ms Nokwanda Benya)
· Property and Grounds (Sipho Sandla)
· GBFS(Sihle Mzileni)
· Sunday School (Ms Arosi, Ms Hanise ,Ms Ndlebe,Ms Ndzuzo and Ms Kalipa)
· Servers Guild (Ms Nthabiseng Ngoqo)
The wide spread is meant to cater for a variety of interests and to cover critical aspects of Church life. Apart from the above organisations and groups there are various wards whereby members of the congregation are grouped according to where they live. Each ward has a leader and a committee. There are eleven such Wards.
The wards meet once a month in rotation at the homes of members. Wards are meant to complement the life of the church in practical terms. Hence apart from sick visitations of their members and social interaction they also have Bible study sessions. The Rector attends the meetings, at least once.
8.DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE PARISH
The exact number of parishioners is difficult to determine. There is some flux with old members sometimes relocating for various reasons and new members enrolling, with some merely disappearing thereafter without giving any notice. But from available evidence, the updated Parish roll shows that we have 458 family units. There are just over 600 (six hundred) parishioners. About 60% of those are over 50 years of age, about 30% in the 30-49-year range, and about 10% below that. What is apparent is that the bulk of the congregation consists of grown-up persons with young people in the minority.
9.PARISH ASSETS AND RESOURCES
St Stephen’s has the following buildings :
· The main church building which can accommodate in excess of 400 people (Parishioners like to refer to St Stephen’s as a cathedral)
· The Rectory which has a lounge, a dining room, a kitchen, three bedrooms, a small study and a garage.
· An assistant priest’s house which has since been converted into a Parish Office. It has a boardroom, the Rector’s office, the Secretary’s office, a kitchen and two additional rooms. There is a disused garage.
· A hall with a stage, a kitchen and one adjacent room.
The hall is hired out to a wide range of community groups for weddings, various functions and funerals.
Then there is IDAMASA House. It is the subject of on-going discussions with regard to who actually owns it. The Municipality bills St Stephen’s for rates, water and electricity.
For the current church year St Stephen’s funds are relatively sound insofar as obligations are met comfortably and its rating by the Diocese remains highest. St Stephen’s places a high premium on sound financial management and control. Hence the innovative establishment of a Finance Control Committee which is accountable to the Parish Council.
St Stephen’s, perhaps like many other churches of the same faith, faces a number of challenges. Reference will be made to only a few.
10.1 COMPETITION WITH OTHER RELIGIOUS GROUPINGS
Mainstream churches find themselves competing among themselves and with so-called charismatic churches for improved membership. The youth, in general, tend to be attracted to charismatic churches. The question that arises is : How can St Stephen’s grow its numbers, given the steady decline in the number of young people, in particular? There is no real crisis of numbers currently. But there is no room for complacency. We are fishing from the same pond, as it were, with other churches and religious groupings.
10.2 THE SEARCH FOR RELEVANCE
Generally speaking, the number of professionals and literate persons is noticeable at St Stephen’s. These people tend to have questioning minds and seek to understand certain things (not that others do not). One of them is how St Stephen’s can be more relevant to their life in its multiple variety. Like all of us, they live in a rapidly changing world, a world that poses various spiritual, social, psychological, economic and political changes, among others. How relevant is the church, given such challenges? Is it doing enough to help people meet some of these challenges?
These and other challenges call for a recognition of the need and willingness to do things differently. In his Foreword to the Parish booklet on the Vision and Mission of St Stephen’s, the Rector draws attention to some of these issues. The way the parish sees itself, the way it organises its worship, ministry and mission needs to realise that it is in the 21st century, move away from dreary routine and become a really faith in action parish.
These, and other challenges, call for a certain type of leadership.
11.WHAT KIND OF LEADERSHIP?
St Stephen’s has come to realise that if it is to realise its Vision and Mission, it needs a leadership that is informed, transformed and transformative. It needs a leadership that is able to identify talent in the parishioners and use that talent. It needs a leadership that is not averse to suggestions and new ideas. At the highest level, one can see clear indications of an attempt to embrace the characteristics which have been pointed out.
The Rector has seen the need to empower the various leadership structures of the Parish by, among other things, exposing them to workshops. Hence the Mothers’ Union, Executives of Parish organizations and Ward leaders had workshops on management and leadership conducted by Ms Liziwe Thipa, a management consultant. Then there was Ms Nomalungelo Ntlokwana, a psychology lecturer at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, who conducted workshops for all leaders on Emotional Intelligence. These workshops are also meant to develop what Prof Barney Pityana has called a “thoughtful and critical faith.”
The passion which the Rector has for leadership can be seen in the initiative he has since taken to establish a leadership forum which cuts across denominations in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. The forum called the Nelson Mandela Bay Consultation for Christian Churches which has since been formally launched promises to raise critical issues about leadership and management with particular reference to the church.
Ms Lulu Msutu Prof Henry Thipa Ms Sylvia Mkwetshana
CHURCHWARDEN CHURCHWARDEN ALTERNATE CHURCHWARDEN
Old Entry from 25th Anniverary book
St Stephen's Mission was founded in 1870 to serve the congregation living in the four major town locations, and the first building was the old Powder Magazine on Richmond Hill. The whites began to feel threatened by a growing number of blacks who had settled and built huts in the centre of the town at places like Gubbs, Strangers and Coopers locations. Through their representatives they had influenced the government to introduce the Native Reserve Location Act which was passed in 1903. This act had effectively meant that blacks who lived among whites were to be moved to New Brighton location. There was strong resistance from some black and white residents against this Act, but when blacks were promised better housing, health services and education facilities as well a property rights, most of them agreed to move to this new township. The congregation of St. Stephen's now in New Brighton worshipped for a while in Block 59 Red location, before a new church was built. The Church was built in 1907 at Red location and was of wood and iron structure. There was another built at Mount Road also known as St. Stephen's Church which remained for sometime and ceased to be used in 1960. Canon Joseph Cowan planned the present church in Grattan Street. He was responsible for the initial fund to plan the project, but the building of the new church was the responsibility of his successor. The foundation stone was laid on 25 May 1941 by Mr JL Walton who, together with the PE Church Extension Board, provided the funds for the building, which was consecrated in July that same year.
Saint Thomas, Midros
St Timothy's church is built in Motherwell NU 2 and the parish covers all twelve units of this vast area. The church building was dedicated by Bishop Bruce Evans on 17 December 1989 and the Rectory was built some years later and blessed by Bishop Eric Pike on 1 August 1993. An outstation of the church was built by the people who found they were living too far from the 'mother' church to be able to worship every Sunday so they now meet in a 'shack' in NU 8 and the Eucharist is celebrated there three times a month. St Timothy's is too small to cater for the about 450 families who belong to the parish so three services are held every Sunday. There is a lot of unemployment in the area which has hampered development.
Sundays River Valley
There were originally three independent Anglican Churches in the Valley viz St Luke's, Addo; St Michael's, Summerville and All Saints, Kirkwood. Of these St Luke's is the oldest, having been built on land donated by the Harvey family in 1895. It was serviced by the Railway Mission until 1952, mostly services being conducted by clergy attached to the Mission. Some present members can still remember the railway coach which was hooked off at Addo Station, and served as the `home' for the parson! Services were also held in the classroom of the little Summerville school, "which was not at all comfortable" according to Mrs Willard Coltman. All Saints followed, being erected in 1906 at Bayville. However, "after the village of Kirkwood had been established as the admitted successor in importance to Bayville, it was felt that the church was far from the new township, and in 1938, it was removed, brick by brick, and rebuilt on its present site". (quotation from "Sundays River Valley" by Jane Meiring). Sadly, due to diminishing numbers of Anglicans in Kirkwood, All Saints is now used to house a pre-primary school. St Michael's, Summerville, was completed shortly after World War II and most of the material used was donated by members of the congregation. The pews come from St Mary's, PE. In 1952, the three churches combined to form the Parish of Sundays River Valley with St Michael's as headquarters. It has a membership of about 60 families at present.
St Nicholas, Redhouse The first services were conducted in a private house by clergy and lay readers from St Katharine's, Uitenhage. From 1900 the services became the responsibility of Holy Trinity, then St Mary's, then once again St Katharine's. In 1903 the Redhouse Ladies Vigilance Association decided to build a village hall to accommodate the worship of both Anglicans and Methodists within the village. In 1939 the land on which the church stands was obtained and over the next few years many generous donations and other assistance from the village people led to the construction of the church for R6 000. It was dedicated in July 1953 and consecrated in October 1960. In 1962 St Nicholas became a chapelry of St Cuthbert's until 1979 when it joined St Agnes as the Parish of Zwartkops River Valley. St Agnes, Swartkops Services in Swartkops were first held in 1908 in the St Agnes Mission Hall, and there are also some references to services being held in the New Brighton Hotel. The present church was built in 1913 for the princely sum of stlg352, at which time it was a chapelry of St Mary's. A vestry was added in 1920 and the church hall completed in 1936. The church building was modified in 1962 to include a new sanctuary in the shape of an apse giving it very good acoustic qualities, and the beautiful rederos with its three panels was moved to the rear of the nave. The church celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1963.
The Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin
Until the arrival of settlers in the early 1820's, the needs of the British garrison at Port Elizabeth had been served by chaplains in passing ships. By 1825 a substantial settlement of 500 people had congregated in the town, one of whom was the Revd Francis McClelland. During that year he was appointed Colonial Chaplain, and the foundation stone for the Collegiate Church of St Mary the Virgin was laid. Until the church was finally opened for worship in 1832, the congregation met in a school room near the present St Augustine's Cathedral. St Mary's Vestry pioneered the Diocesan Grammar School in 1856. The first organ was installed in 1867, by which time there was a well established choir, which continues today. In 1895 the building was gutted by fire. It was quickly rebuilt in far grander style with money collected from people as diverse as the Cape Prime Minister, Cecil Rhodes and President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal. Over the years St Mary's played a leading role in the formation of new parishes and mission churches. Today, after major renovations the congre-gation's inner-city mission is becoming increasingly apparent. A short "Mission Statement" based on the hopes of the Parish Council is: St Mary's Collegiate Church, the Mother-church of Port Elizabeth in the heart of our city, is endeavouring more and more to be a responsible member of the Diocesan Family and at the same time have a mission to the City as a true sanctuary of prayer, ministry, worship and Counselling to the growing number of visitors, city workers and increasingly cosmopolitan parishioners who find their way through its portals.
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