Anglican Diocese of Port Elizabeth

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Parish Information

The Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin
Archdeaconry: The Bay
District: Port Elizabeth City
Telephone: 041 585 3047
Fax: 041 585 5255

Postal Address:
PO Box 566
Port Elizabeth

Street Address:
St Mary's Terrace
[off Govan Mbeki Avenue]
Port Elizabeth

Assistant Priest: The Revd Pakama Plaatjies
Provost and Rector: The Very Revd Sharon Gail Nell
Retired - Permission to officiate: The Revd Mkhwananzi Churchwarden Mgedezi
Parish Secretary: Ruby Jewell

Service Times:

8.00 am :  SAID EUCHARIST   (SAPB)
9.30 am :  SUNG EUCHARIST    (CPB)  
*Every 3rd Sunday – Family Service (APB)
6.00 pm :  EVENSONG & BENEDICTION on the 1st Sunday of each month.
6.00 pm :  EVENING WORSHIP on the other  Sundays of the month – this is a  non-liturgical service of prayer and reflection using modern spiritual songs led by the St Mary's Music Group.

Monday :  7.45am  -  Said Mass
Wednesday : 9.30am Said Mass,  with the Laying on of Hands and anointing with oil  every first Wednesday of the month
Thursday : 7.45am Said Mass
Friday : 7.00am Said Mass

Worship Style:

 We use 3 Prayer Books at St Mary’s :

  • SAPB This is the South African Prayer Book used at the 8.00 am Sunday Morning Service, & at Evensong on the first Sunday of each month.
  • CPB  This is the Centenary Prayer Book which is used at  all Weekday Services & the Communion Service at  9.30 am on Sunday mornings.
  • APB This is the new Anglican Prayer Book currently  used on the 3rd Sunday of the month at 9.30 am.

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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