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Vol 21 No 7


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


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 •  Students visit prisoners
 •  Special request
 •  History “re-visitored” at Holy Trinity

Students visit prisoners
[ Howard Lancaster ]

Readers of iindaba have heard before of the TEE College students at St Alban’s Correctional Services. Recently, our chaplain, Jogra Gallant and the TEEC Regional co-ordinator, Howard Lancaster, arranged for some students from PE and surrounds to visit the students.

This is what one of the visiting students, Arenda Prince, had to say afterwards: The visit left me emotionally drained, because there was so much to digest. Much of what I have learned over the past three years of study at TEEC was re-affirmed in this one visit.

The visit re-affirmed four fundamental lessons for me:
1.  God-inspired miracles still happen today in much the same way as they happened in biblical times.
2.  God is able to turn a bad situation into a good situation.
3.  We are all created in the image of God and all have infinite worth in God’s eyes.
4.  There is a relationship between spirituality and morality

There are six TEE students at St Alban’s and what they have achieved is a miracle - as dramatic and as significant as the miracles that we read of in the Old and New Testaments. God shows us once again his power and his authority to transform the lives of ordinary people, illustrating that nothing is impossible for him. He is still the same God whom we have come to know, love and trust.

God is able to turn any bad situation into a good situation. Here are six inmates whose personal lives have gone through many trials and tribulations and whose behaviour and actions have probably caused as many trials and tribulations in the lives of others, yet God has taken control and reversed the effects of this negative behaviour. God has used these events to break down the negative in order to re-build and restore. They, in turn, are now willing and able to help to re-build others who are in need.

We are all created in the image of God and as image bearers, we mirror God. God is a God of relationships and we are required to be in relationships. Being in relationships is a risky business and makes us vulnerable, but we have to take these risks. This means that we cannot give up on people. Our task is to love uncon-ditionally, even if it is at great personal cost.

TEEC has taught me that grace leads to obedience and obedience leads to the desire to act righteously. I have seen this in practice during my visit to St Alban’s. God has shown these inmates grace and it is this grace that has made them obedient to God. This, in turn, strengthens their relationship with God and motivates them in their attempt to live moral lives.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to have met with these inmates. It has been a wonderful spiritual experience for me. I am also happy that I can be part of TEEC which is illustrating in practice to their students and the community that right teaching and right living go hand in hand. It is one thing to say that we care about the marginalised and those on the perimeters of society, but it is another to illustrate this in practical terms. This TEEC project is a confirmation of their commitment to “Equip anyone, anywhere for ministry”. After all, we are required to go out ‘to all peoples everywhere’ and make them God’s disciples.

Howard Lancaster comments that the students have been funded largely from local donations with some subsidy from TEE College. If you would like to help with funding for next year’s studies, please contact him at: All Saints’ Church, tel 041 360 1267.

Pic: TEE students who visited the students in St Albans Correctional Services pose beneath the road sign as they were not allowed to be photographed inside the prison. 

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Special request

When Lorraine Johnson was six years old and living on Robben Island she learnt a poem about the sea she loved. She recited it to her sons when they were growing up. The youngest one, the rector of St Paul’s, Ruthell, remembered it and as a special request for Sea Sunday on 11 June he asked her to recite it. Lorraine, who turned 90 last month, did so with aplomb ... and surprised everyone by doing so without reading any of it from her copy.

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History “re-visitored” at Holy Trinity
[ Tommy Horne ]

Celebrating an anniversary or a jubilee usually reminds us of our beginnings, but often our own members do not know our history. In fact visitors are usually more interested in a church’s history than its own members are.

Holy Trinity in Central has a fascinating history, and a small team calling themselves “Tourist Trappers” is working on a project to make its history more accessible to visitors – and its members as well.

Holy Trinity is featured on the Central Heritage Trail - a trail enjoyed by many out-of-town and overseas visitors. The team, consisting of Bill and Ros Holderness, Daphne ffolliott, Kim Harmse and Tommy Horne, are finalising a variety of traditional and 21st century audio-visual concepts to allow tourists to enjoy a tour of the church and be able to hear an audio recording and purchase a DVD giving a description of all the interesting aspects of Holy Trinity - architectural features, furnishings, stained glass windows, snippets of its colourful history, information on its community outreach programmes and be invited to reflect and meditate in the Healing of the Nations Chapel.

The DVD will include sounds of the 120 year old bell being rung, organ music being played by Wayne Hughes on the Bevington pipe organ installed in 1899, and a commentary on the history of Holy Trinity since its early beginnings in 1854.

A children’s activity sheet in the form of an observation quiz will be available for younger visitors.

A pictorial display mounted on the walls of the North transept will illustrate aspects of its history such as: the temporary Trinity Church built in 1857 at the bottom of Military Road, the move to a permanent site on the “hill” where the present church was built between 1862 and 1866, the disastrous fire in 1897 when the church was burnt down by a pyromaniac, the rebuilding of the church within 20 months when it was re-styled as the Holy Trinity Church and its consecration in 1957 – a century after its formation once “quit rent” had finally been abolished.

Also displayed, on loan from Bayworld and estimated to be more than 130 years old, is a model of the original Trinity Church as built on the Hill after the bell tower was added in 1872, but before the nave was extended to its present length in 1884.

Pic: Admiring the +130 yr old model of Holy Trinity are Kim Harmse and Daphne ffolliott, with the History Wall behind them.

There will be brief references on the History Wall to the role of Holy Trinity and its rectors in -

  • Three Mission School initiatives (which were established in the 19th century “for the poor children of all races”),
  • The eventual establishment of St Peter’s (South End), St Stephen’s (today in New Brighton) and their support for St Barnabas’, St Cuthbert’s and St Saviour’s when those ‘younger’ churches were being established,
  • Their links in the early days with the Grey, Collegiate, Albert Jackson (now Greenwood) and St George’s schools,
  • The establishment of the Port Elizabeth Art School
  • The fundraising activities of the early Produce and Women’s Associations
  • Girl guides, boy scouts and youth clubs during the past 80 years
  • The present Community Centre initiatives, such as the Ithemba Programme which provides a safe afterhours environment and adult support for students and school pupils to study and be assisted with their projects

Digital photographs of the 43 stained glass panels accompanied by a descriptive commentary of each window will be available in a low cost brochure, as well as in DVD and glossy book formats. Once the project is completed during August, training and assignments will be offered to unemployed members of the church to act as tour guides for groups of visitors.

No doubt many members of Holy Trinity will also pretend to be ‘visitors’, in order to learn more of their church’s history!

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