Anglican Diocese of Port Elizabeth

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Parish Information

Church of the Ascension
Archdeaconry: Karoo
District: Cradock
Telephone: 048 881 3780

Postal Address:
PO Box 503

Street Address:
Crn Ernest Tali & Eluxolweni Street

Rector: Revd Zwelidumile Reginald Tom
Self supporting: Permission to Officiate: Revd Nombulelo Dwane
Parish Secretary: Xolelwa

Service Times:
08.30 am
09.00 am

In the African township of Cradock, recently resited and named Lingelihle, there stood a wood and iron building known as St Peter's Church, (where the present incumbent of the Church of the Ascension was baptised)! The priest-in-Charge was the Revd John Zolilo. In 1928 the Revd James Calata took over. He was a powerful evangelising force, both among the Black and Coloured members of the community who worshipped together in those days, and it soon became necessary to build a new church. Because there was already a thriving St Peter's Church in Cradock the name was changed to St James and the church was consecrated on 23 October, 1931. With the inexorable passage of the apartheid years, the Coloured community of Lingelihle was moved to a new township known as Michausdal on the opposite side of the National Road and a buffer zone was created between the boundary of Cradock and Ligelihle. St James Church fell within the buffer zone and was later demolished, without compensation being paid. A new church needed to be built in the township and Bishop Robert Selby Taylor came to inspect the site. As he and the group walked up the slight incline towards the site he exclaimed "Ah! We will call it the Church of the Ascension!" The foundation stone was laid by Archdeacon JG Heath on 1 December 1963 and Canon Calata became the first Rector and served the parish for 42 years. With the move of the coloured community to Michausdal it became evident that a new church had to be built as the people were having to cross the National Road to worship at St James. The new church was dedicated on Ascension Day, 8 May 1975. One of the priests to serve there was the Revd Lawrie Wilmot for whom special permission had to be obtained for him to reside in the Priest's house in Michausdal because of the provisions of the Group Areas Act. After his departure ministering to the church and people became the responsibility of the successive rectors of St Peter's Church, Cradock.

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