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Vol 16 No 8


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

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 • Women celebrate
 • There is a line of women
 • St Hugh’s goes for gold

Women celebrate
Singing hymns and carrying banners, the women of the diocese  processed through the streets of Gelvandale in celebration of Women's  Day, 9 August.

AWF and MU Christian Family Life members led the procession from the post office through the streets to Christ the King Church where they were greeted by those who were unable to make the long walk. There was also a sprinkling of men who were brave enough to accept the challenge and attend the service.

The guest speaker, Cathy Bott, used Proverbs 27:17 as her text, and spoke on 'Building a family life with a difference'. Using an illustration of the fingers each being useless on their own, she said, "This teaches us that no one is more important than the other one. We all need one another. Every one of us plays an important role in the family. God expects us to live in unity and harmony." She went on to speak of five 'languages' of love: the giving of gifts, a word of encouragement, an act of kindness, giving your time, and a loving touch will help one succeed in making members of one's family happy; and to confirm your love of each family member. Cathy received a standing ovation.

Bishop Bethlehem, Leon Foster (dean of the diocese), Welile Kani (rector of the parish) and a few other members of the clergy were present, as were various members of the hierarchy of the AWF and MUCFL.

Picture: Making their presence felt - Part of the procession of women as they neared the end of their long walk to the Church of Christ the King in Gelvandale.

There is a line of women

There is a line of women,
extending back to Eve,
Whose role in shaping history
God only could conceive.
And though through endless ages,
their witness was repressed,
God valued and encouraged them,
through whom the world was blessed

(vs 6)
So sing a song of Anna
who saw Christ's infant face;
And sing a song of Martha
who gave him food and space,
And sing of all the Mary's
who heeded his requests,
And now at heaven's banquet
are Jesus' fondest guests.

Words by John Bell of Iona Community
Music from 'One is the Body'

St Hugh’s goes for gold
Throughout this year St Hugh’s Church in Newton Park has had functions to celebrate the 50 years since the foundation stone of the present building was laid.

Over the weekend of 5 to 7 August the celebrations featured a special anniversary banquet on the Friday night, a Jubilee Eucharist on the Saturday, and a Jubilee Eucharist on the Sunday. Present at all these celebrations was John Suggit, the first rector of the parish, which had previously been cared for by clergy from St Mary's. John was accompanied by his wife Thelma. Also at the banquet on the Friday night was Clemency Atkinson, widow of the Revd Cyril Shaw, who was appointed priest-in-charge of St Hugh's in 1945; and Mazoe Nopece, wife of the Bishop, recently returned from a visit to the Diocese of Northern Zambia.

 A Flower Festival was held on the Saturday with every possible place in the church having a beautiful arrangement lovingly created by members of the parish. The flowers were blessed during the service in the morning where Bishop Bethlehem re-dedicated the foundation stone, the buildings, the Garden of Remembrance and blessed the people. The foundation stone had been laid by Bishop Archibald Cullen on 7 August 1955, the Feast of the Transfiguration. 

At the beginning of his sermon on the Saturday morning, John Suggit told of how he had felt that a church should not get into debt and so St Hugh’s had been built by the parishioners, to far simpler plans than the original ‘grandiose’ ones that had been submitted. He said, “We chose plans that were simple but airy and light, showing the Light of Christ in our worship.” He went on to say that because the parishioners did everything, even making the pews, the building was without debt and was able to be consecrated two years later, in 1957.

At the end of the Eucharist, †Bethlehem blessed the new Golden Jubilee Banner which had been made by Gill Bowman and a group of helpers.

Jubilee Year continues with a Taizé Service on Sunday 28 August at 18h00 - conducted by Robert Penrith, a product of St Hugh's. On 9 October at 15h00, a Marriage Renewal service will take place. This will coincide with the 25th Wedding Anniversary of the assistant curate, Sharon Nell, and her husband Piet. All visitors are welcome.

Pictures:  Sprinkling Holy Water - Bishop Bethlehem sprinkles the Garden of Remembrance with Holy Water. St Hugh’s present rector, Christopher Holmes, is beside the Bishop and John Suggit, who was rector 50 years ago, on his right. Thelma Suggit, wearing a hat, is at the left. (Pics 2&3) The flowers speak of God's glory - Two of the arrangements that adorned the church - (above) a dramatic arrangement of strelitzias and below, beautiful poinsettias.

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