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Vol 17 No 5


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

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 •  Linking pew to pew
 •  Another vast parish created
 •  Refreshed by the service
 •  RSCM choirs join Songs of Praise

Linking pew to pew
At the end of April Bishop Albert Chama of Northern Zambia visited our diocese, which is linked with his, and told iindaba that he hoped the link could be strengthened by the lay people being able to visit, “pew to pew”.

Bishop Albert, who was in the diocese from 22 to 27 April, had spent the morning at the Wabamkele Pre-primary and Feeding Scheme in Walmer Gqebera which is run by St Nicholas in Charlo. He said he was impressed to see the church reaching out and receiving resources of food, clothing and funds from people of all walks of life. He said, “I see the church making the Gospel come alive, looking after the poor. This is God at work in people's hearts.”

At St Peter’s, Zwide, where he had visited in the afternoon, he was surprised to find everything going on although the rector was in KwaZulu Natal. In his diocese he is not only the bishop but also the rector of a parish. He said that unfortunately his parishioners seem to feel they are unable to do anything without the bishop there to manage things. “At St Peter’s I saw the people going about the work of running the many wonderful projects without their priest even being in the diocese. My people need to see this and learn from you,” he said.

He told iindaba that he valued and cherished his visit, which has made the link real again. “I look forward to welcoming visitors from your diocese and I hope we will be able to send some of our people to learn from you,” he saidOn the Sunday morning he confirmed fifteen people at St Hugh’s in Newton Park, including a father and son, and the rector’s daughter, Katharine Holmes. Preaching at the early service, Bishop Albert said he had to travel over 600km to reach across his diocese - a vast area serviced by only twenty clergy. The question of the ordination of women was still being addressed in the diocese. He identified AIDS and poverty as the biggest crises facing the Church and the country. In Kitwe, where he is based, the unemployment rate is 80%.

Pic - Confirmed for service in the Lord - Margaret MacPherson with Bishop Albert Chama after he had confirmed her at St Hugh's.

Another vast parish created
When the Good Shepherd Parish was inaugurated on Sunday morning 7 May, 13 churches and chapelries were joined together to form one vast parish.

At a wonderful celebration held in St Mary’s, Graslaagte, Bp Bethlehem brought together the congregations of Humansdorp, Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay, Tsitsikama and Storms River and as far west as Bloulilliesbos to form one parish. As a start eight chapelries are being formed, to see if that would work. If not, other combinations  will be tried. Seven clergy form the team to minister in the area,  with Ronnie Allwright, the archdeacon of Uitenhage, at the helm.

In his sermon Bishop Bethlehem reminded the congregation that "the Good Shepherd, the 'I am', is the only one who will always be alongside you. He is the only one who will look after you, but the choice to walk with him is yours." He also spoke about AIDS, reminding everyone that it kills. "The church needs to teach abstinence before marriage to prevent the spread of the virus," he said.Delicious curry and rice was served after the service.

Pic: Marked for the Lord - Bishop Bethlehem marks the floor of the church during the inauguration of the Parish of the Good Shepherd.

Pic: The team of clergy - These are the clergy who will be ministering to the sheep of this vast flock: Jackie Trollip, Sipho Tokoto, Ronnie Allwright, Fiona Estehuysen, Rudi Marais and Eddie Downey. (Charles Jacobs was on the Emmaus Walk at the time. )

Refreshed by the service
On Sunday night 7 May a Contemplative Eucharist, led by Barry Sendall, coordinator of the Centre for Christian Spirituality, was held at All Saints’ in Kabega Park.

The flyer said, "A Contemplative Eucharist is a simple non-liturgical Eucharist filled with quiet worship, silences and reflection, providing opportunity for a personal encounter with God. The focus is ‘formation’ rather than ‘information’." This is a very good description of the service held at All Saints. People came away
refreshed and at peace, ready for the week ahead.

Barry told iindaba, "A Contemplative Eucharist will be held every Tuesday evening from 17h30 to 18h30 at St John’s, Walmer. All are welcome, and you are welcome to come and go whenever you need during the hour."

Information from Barry Sendall:
041 581 2162 or 072 311 3479

Pic: A time to be quiet - Barry Sendall and Eve Murphy make final arrangements for the service at All Saints'.

RSCM choirs join Songs of Praise
For the first time ever, the PE branch of the Royal School of Church Music had member choirs represented at the annual ‘Songs of Praise’ concert in the Feathermarket Centre on 5 March, writes Jenny Yates.

Dr Richard Cock, a locally born star, conducted the event.Choirs from St Cuthbert’s, St Michael and all Angels, and St Mark and St John, as well as some individual RSCM members, formed part of the larger choirs participating. The PE Oratorio Choir was one of these; members from St Mary’s, St Margaret’s and Holy Trinity are part of it.

Of the event Jenny Yates said, “This was a great learning experience, especially working with somebody of the calibre of Richard Cock. It should also bring home to us how much we all have to learn and how important sight-reading is!”

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contact the editor at iindaba@anglicandiocesepe.org.za

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