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Vol 23 No 1


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


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 •  The lips of a priest ...
 •  Learn to love our Cathedral
 •  As we step into 2012

The lips of a priest ...

Retired bishop, Lawrence Zulu, used verses from both the Old and New Testament readings (Malachi 2:5-7 and John 20:19-23) to speak on what the lips of priests should be used for. He was preaching at the ordination service held at the Cathedral on Sunday 11 December where Bishop Bethlehem ordained six new priests.

Bishop Lawrence spoke about the use of priests’ lips for instruction and for forgiving of, or granting of forgiveness of sin and said, “There is a lack of the use of the confessional today and … people seem to have lost a sense of what’s right and what’s wrong as ‘moderness’ has tried to make us believe there is no sin ... This is why our prisons are full of people who have gone through baptism. We need to read God’s word to us, examine it and follow what God says to us.” He also spoke of putting Christ back into Christmas and not calling it ‘the festive season’.

Two of the new priests are stipendiary - Samantha Eagles, an assistant at St Cuthbert’s in Central and Sandla Koltana, an assistant at St Mark and St John in Parkside. Karen Groepe at St Luke’s in Palmridge, Carole Meyer and Ruby Zauka both at the Cathedral and Graham Soudien at Christ the King, are all self-supporting assistants.

Pic: Bishop Bethlehem presents the new priests to the people. With him at the back is the BEO, Mark Derry, Ernest Cengani as his chaplain, and retired Bishop Lawrence Zulu, visiting from KwaZulu Natal. The new priests are Karen Groepe, Carole Meyer, Graham Soudien, Ruby Zauka, Samantha Eagles and Sandla Koltana 

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Learn to love our Cathedral

We call it ‘our Cathedral’ but has the diocese embraced The Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin as we should have – as our ‘Mother’ church? Built as the first church in the city of Port Elizabeth in 1825, St Mary’s planted St Paul’s (1854), St Peter’s in South End (1875 – but closed because of ‘forced removals’), St John the Baptist (1881), St Cuthbert’s (1884), St Alban’s (1888) and St Hugh’s (1925). St Paul’s planted five parishes, some of which planted others … and so the parishes in the city grew in number.

Although our first three bishops refused to have a cathedral, preferring to be ‘in cathedra’ wherever they were presiding within the diocese, Bishop Bethlehem chose to fall in line with most other dioceses around the world and have one venue as his cathedral and St Mary’s was inaugurated as our cathedral on 2 November 2003.

Sadly, on the whole, most diocesan events held in the cathedral have not been well attended and the newly appointed provost, Sharon Nell, is hoping this will change during 2012. She told iindaba that she hoped that the people of the diocese will begin to look upon St Mary’s as their ‘Mother Church’ by supporting the events held there and making it a visible presence within the diocese and city. She said, “I would like to hear from the parishes what they would like of the Cathedral. I would love them to fill the Cathedral on the third Sunday evening of every month when we have a beautiful Choral Evensong at 18:00, and for them to invite our choir to take part in their special services, like Taizé etc, and to help with training.”

Parish links and swops
Sharon said she hopes she will be able to arrange parish links with the Cathedral, and pulpit swops. However she envisages the ‘swops’ to include, not only the priest, but the lay ministers, servers and a group of parishioners so that the members of the parishes within the city will embrace the cathedral more closely through having been involved in services there. She hopes the links, or ‘twinning’ can be set up with at least one parish within each archdeaconry.

Pic: “The cathedral belongs to all the people of the diocese and I hope they will learn to love it and use it,” said the provost, Sharon Nell. 

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As we step into 2012

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’

And he replied,
‘Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!’

So I went forth and finding the Hand of God
Trod gladly into the night
He led me towards the hills
And the breaking of day in the lone east.
So heart be still!
What need our human life to know
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife of things
Both high and low,
God hideth his intention.”

by Minnie Louise Harkins 1875-1957
Included in King George V1 broadcast 1939

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