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• Our synod news
• Charity work earned Nora from PE an MBE
• Global Day of Prayer blessed
Our synod news
people, a gender desk, an HIV/AIDS coordinator, orthodoxy, clergy
training and diocesan structures were among the many subjects debated
at our twentieth session of Diocesan Synod held from 25 to 27 May.
Setting the scene
opening Eucharist was a colourful affair with the bright copes worn by
the archdeacons and canons, and many members in their ‘Sunday
best’. Bishop Bethlehem delivered his Charge to the diocese and
the worship was uplifting. Points from Bishop Bethlehem’s Charge are on page 3.
synod dinner was a delicious banquet put on by the members of St
John’s, with very efficient 'waitrons' to make sure nobody went
hungry. St John’s had even taken Ruthell Johnson, rector of St
Paul’s, at his word. He had written on his list of ‘Special
dietary needs’ “A seafood platter”, not thinking
he’d be taken seriously! St John’s took him at his word ...
and behold! A tin of pilchards on a platter!
John’s hall was a beautiful venue for holding synod, and the
tables were not too cramped for reasonable access to seats. As so often
is the case, there was an abundance of food, and many a beggar was made
happy with food parcels after each day's eating. The weather was cold
but people were praising God for the recent abundant rain. The
fellowship over meals and during tea breaks was a wonderful time of
meeting new people and catching up with others.
Andrew Symes of
St Nicholas in Charlo said of Synod, “I was encouraged by the
affirmation of orthodox doctrine, the support for the Bishop and for
the commitment to assist the poor and needy.”
Pic 1 -
The youth must be heard - Wezo Bloko, one of our students at BIEC and a
member of St Matthew's in KwaMagxaki, spoke on the importance of the
youth being included in diocesan structures.
Pic 2 - “Sir, You did order a Seafood Platter?” - Allan Anderson presents Ruthell Johnson with his request.
Charity work earned Nora from PE an MBE
humble beginnings in the town of Walmer, as it was then, Nora
(née Wing King) Whitham was invited to Buckingham Palace
where Queen Elizabeth II invested her as an MBE (Member of the Order of
the British Empire) for all her charity work.
visited St John's Church in Walmer on Tuesday 30 May, and captivated
her audience with her story of early Walmer days and her work in the
UK. She spoke about making pounds and pounds of fudge and cake to raise
funds for St Francis Xavier Church. “This gave me very good
training for the fund-raising for charity which I’ve had to do
over the many years of living in the UK,” she said. It was for
this charity work that the community of Bradford, where she now lives,
honoured her when they nominated her for an MBE. The nomination
took two years to prepare, and at no time did she suspect that it was
moved to the UK when she wanted to train as a nurse and was unable to
do so in this country because of the apartheid laws. Her greater
involvement in the church began when she was made churchwarden of St
Barnabas in Heaton in 1981. Today she is the HIV/AIDS advisor to the
Bishop of Bradford, the deanery representative on Diocesan Synod, the
archdeaconry representative on Diocesan Council, and a lay-canon of
Bradford Cathedral, besides being on many secular boards.
than revisiting childhood memories and friends, one of her other
pleasant duties while in PE was to present the House of Resurrection
Haven with a cheque from people in the UK.
With the cash constraints the Haven has at present, this was a very welcome gift.
Read more about Nora's visit on page 3 in The view from pulpit and pew.
Pic - A
well-earned medal - Angela Brown (right), assistant priest at St
John’s, with Nora and her husband John. Nora put the MBE medal on
especially for this photograph.
Global Day of Prayer blessed
very blessed time was had by about 300 people from all over the Western
suburbs who came together to join in prayer at the Westering Primary
school hall, reports Lawrie Wilmot.
The gathering was a
small part of the Global Day of Prayer held on Pentecost Sunday, 4
June. Intercessions were made for our Metro and nation in the following
areas: repenting and overcoming prejudice in whatever forms it takes,
whether racist, social, or political; for maintaining Biblical
standards in everything pertaining to sexual morality, especially
concerning HIV and AIDS; against crime; and for the protection and
nurturing of our nation’s children - that our homes should always
be havens for the children that live there, with Christian parents
living up to Christian standards and loving them as Jesus would. The
worship was truly awesome, and the people broke into threes for the
prayers on the various themes. During the Prayer for Africa and for the
world, I had a vision of the Lord with His arms round the globe in such
love. It really was awesome to think we were making history on this
afternoon as we became a tiny part of the biggest prayer meeting in
history! An estimated 500 million Christians praying the same prayer on
one day! Last year was the previous biggest, with 200 million
The 'boiler room'
one corner of the school hall was the 'boiler room’, a prayer
room designed by young people for young people of all ages. Wonderful!
Such a sense of the Lord’s presence there. The 'room’ was
in fact a tent and each side had a different theme or purpose: for
example one 'wall' is the 'wailing wall' - for repentance!
pace was lively: definitely no danger of being bored! We had a sense of
the Lord wanting to bless us, and at one stage all the pastors were
called forward to receive a blessing from their people present. I had
such a sense of the Lord blessing us as we stood there: it was
wonderful. It was all over far too soon, and so we came slowly back to
earth for our evening services all over the Western suburbs, very
conscious of having been in the Lord’s presence all afternoon.
A note from N. Ireland
received this short note from Belfast, Co Antrim, in Northern Ireland.
“This Sunday being Pentecost Sunday there was another large
outside prayer meeting on the front lawns, outside Stormont, the seat
of the regional Government Assembly. It was part of the Global day of
prayer, which originated in South Africa, and was happening in SA and
other countries around the world. Thinking of you all in SA then!”
It is wonderful to know the world was praying with us!
Pic 1 -
In the 'boiler room' - Lawrie Wilmot, priest-in-charge of Christ
Church, Kamma Park, explains the concept of a 'boiler room' to Harriet
Renze of All Saint's, Kabega Park.
Pic 2 - Praise
and worship at the Global Day of Prayer - A group of the members of the
Western Suburbs Ministers Fraternal enjoying themselves as they worship
the the Lord.
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