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Vol 21 No 8


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


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 •  New and old in the fold
 •  130 years of ministry in Xaba

New and old in the fold

On Sunday 8 August Bishop Bethlehem ordained Karen Groepe (St Luke’s), Sandla Kotlana (CoTT), Carole Meyer (St Margaret’s) and Dr Ruby Zauka (ZRV) as deacons in the Cathedral of St Mary the Virgin.

The cathedral was almost packed to capacity as friends and family came to support the four candidates. The Archdeacon of The Bay, Sharon Nell, preached a moving sermon on both the desire for ministry and the opportunity that is given to us by God.

The music was triumphant, and the choir sang under the direction of Tim Lees, organist and choirmaster of the cathedral.

The first ordination service held in our ‘new’ diocese was on 6 December 1970 and the four men ordained by Bishop (later Archbishop) Philip Russell in the Church of Christ the King were (in order of ordination) Christopher Holmes, Leon Foster, Michael Bands and Wilberforce Nkopo.

Christopher retired at the end of May, Leon is due to retire next year, Michael is retired and living in the UK and Wilberforce, who left the Anglican Church, died some years ago.

The ordination service was held at Christ the King because the first three bishops, together with the people of the diocese, chose not to have a cathedral. They felt that diocesan services should be held at various churches around the diocese, thus making the Bishop ‘in Cathedra’ at whichever church he was holding a service, and that parishioners living in country parishes would have a chance to enjoy diocesan events in their own area without having to travel to Port Elizabeth to do so.

Pics: Top - New - Bishop Bethlehem with new deacons Ruby Zauka, Carole Meyer,     Sandla Kotlana and Karen Groepe.
Bottom - Old - 1970 ordination: In front are Christopher Holmes and Leon Foster, with Michael Bands and Wilberforce Nkopo flanking Bishop Philip Russell, with Michael Phillips at the back, acting as the Bishop’s Chaplain.

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130 years of ministry in Xaba

Built of wood and iron, the little chapel of St Anne’s in Xaba has stood the test of time for almost 130 years. This event was celebrated during the week of 6 - 8 August with services each evening, Bishop Bethlehem presiding at the Eucharist on the Saturday evening and culminating in a great Thanksgiving Service on the Sunday morning which was followed by a feast.

The building may be in desperate need of a new roof and the grounds need fencing, but this does not affect the vibrant worship which takes place every second Sunday, led by the rector, Ste Rini. Some of the congregation travel
from KwaNobuhle to worship where their forefathers did in years gone by.

According to registers in the archives,  the first marriage was consecrated on 11 April 1882, the first baptisms took place on 8 October 1882 and the first burial on 17 November of the same year. Sadly, on 4 February 1883 the first baby baptised four months previously was the second burial.

On the grounds can be seen what is left  of the building that housed the records of the chapel which was burnt many years ago and, still in use as a parish centre, is  the original rectory.

This little chapel was referred to in 1907 as having been built on Plot 7 of the  church’s land at the top of Bishop Street, for the use of coloured parishioners.  Later St Gabriel’s in Sass Street was built  for the coloured parishioners and with  group area removals they again had to  relocate and St Simon of Cyrene was  built in Rosedale.

Pics: Top - Bishop Bethlehem with St Anne’s rector, Ste Rini, and the group who ministered in the Sanctuary at the 130 years celebration Eucharist on Saturday 7 August.
Bottom - The wood and iron building of St Anne’s, Xaba, where services have been held for about 100 years.

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