People and Places, July 2015

If the priest says at the beginning of the Eucharist “Tenzi ngaave nemi”, how do you respond? If your home language is Shona, one of the main languages of Zimbabwe, you will know that the answer is “Ngaave newewo”. (“The Lord be with you” – “and also with you”.) For a few weeks the Cathedral used these and other Shona liturgical responses at our 9.30 services, led by Percy Chinganga from the College of the Transfiguration. It was only when Claire Nye Hunter invited all Shona speakers present to come up to the front that we realised that over a dozen of us are indeed Shona speakers. In previous months the responses had been in various South African languages. We want to make everyone feel at home!

We are delighted to welcome back Canon Cynthia Webbstock, who was raised in Grahamstown, and served a curacy at the Cathedral. After incumbencies in the United States and East London, she is now fulfilling multiple tasks in the Diocese as the Bishop’s Personal Assistant, and a researcher for the Diocesan Development Trust, among others. She has recently moved back to Grahamstown and is making the Cathedral her spiritual base. If we don’t see her every Sunday it is most likely because she is also looking after the vacant parish of St Peter Peddie.

After a shorter absence we welcome back Peter and Ann Stockwell, who enjoyed a visit to their children in the UK. This included seeing the Chelsea Flower Show, and Peter taking part in a “Moonwalk” in London. This night-time fund-raising event for breast cancer involved all participants of both sexes wearing visible bras! Peter also had the opportunity to visit Paris with Clare and Andrew, and the Isle of Wight. It is good to know that Canon James Hoyle, who has been undergoing cancer treatment, is in the UK at present visiting his son Clifton and other family.

Subsequent to the Vestry Meeting, the Parish Council added to their number ex-officio the Student Group representative Titi Marobe, and Lazola Kati representing ANSOC. It is good that these young people should have an opportunity to participate in the important work of the Council, and we hope they make the most of it.

Congratulations to Wayne and Marian Jayes, on their 25th wedding anniversary. Di and Brian Harvey have a new granddaughter born in Cape Town, and went to meet her.

The management of Eluxolweni Home were alarmed to realise at the end of May that due to the failure of Government grants to be paid on time, funds were rapidly running out. Creditors were queuing up to be paid, and Jane Bradshaw had to tell the staff that on the next pay-day they would only receive R1000 each. Arrangements were made to transfer money from one account to another, ready for these payments to be made. Then, to everyone’s astonishment, it turned out that the sum available in that other account was much greater than they had expected, and the staff could be paid after all. An anonymous donor had been quietly putting large sums of money into the account! Jane told this story at the morning Eucharist on 28 June, giving praise to God for this happy outcome. Prayers are asked that the grants may be paid regularly to avoid this happening again.

A request for prayer came from Andrew Race, who was confirmed by the late Bishop Kenneth Oram in our Cathedral back in 1978. He is now resident in the Diocese of Derby in the UK, and is to be ordained Deacon on 5 July.

Prayers are asked for Deacon Siphokazi Njokweni and her family, on the tragic death of her cousin Magdalene, shot dead in Tsolo. Please pray also for Samkela and Olwethu Maqanda, on the death of their mother Ntombizodwa, for Thelma Neville on the death of her sister Gwendolyn Vincent, and John Murray whose sister Margaret Vinnecombe has died. Jeanette Hodgson had a fall and broke a number of bones, and we pray for her recovery.

As I finish this blog, Grahamstown is gearing up for the National Arts Festival, and that includes all of us involved in Spiritfest. Operation Mobilisation is here again, witnessing through the visual arts in the Cory Room, and representatives of the Jesuit Institute will arrive at the weekend with lectures and other events to take place in St Patrick’s Church. And, as ever, there’s a lot happening in the Cathedral: worship, music and art. Do support Spiritfest if you are in town this Festival, and tell your friends! See www.grahamstowncathedral.org/spiritfest/2015

“People and Places” is compiled by Maggy Clarke. Contributions can be sent as comments to this blog.

People and Places, June 2015

DSCF6924The recent xenophobic attacks in some parts of South Africa (mercifully, not in Grahamstown) made the Pentecost story seem especially relevant, when the preaching of the Apostles was heard and understood by visitors to Jerusalem from all over the known world in their own languages. To demonstrate the inclusiveness of the Christian message, on Pentecost Sunday, 24 May, which fell the day before Africa Day, the joyful procession at the Cathedral’s 9.30 service was joined by young people bearing the flags of many nations. The congregation was encouraged to wear red, or dress in national dress.

On 10 May newcomers who had recently joined the Cathedral received a special welcome in the form of tea at the Deanery after church. This was greatly enjoyed by all. A permanent deacon from St Augustine’s Grahamstown, Ndzondelelo Yili, has been seconded to the Cathedral team for three months from May. We welcome him and his wife Vuyiswa.

Congratulations to the Cathedral Mothers’ Union, on their successful Bazaar which raised over R2,100.

Prayers are asked for a number of Cathedral members who have been bereaved in recent weeks: Eunice Ncwadi and her family, on the death of her great-niece Nompendulo Magquntulu; Theo Tshazi on the death of his mother, and Ndzondelelo Yili on the death of his nephew Mbulelo. Claire Nye Hunter’s cousin Ant Fielding died in East London on 11 May. Many will remember Brother Andrew Colquhoun OHC. He was one of the founding Benedictine Brothers who started the Monastery at Hillandale, Mariya uMama weThemba, and lived there for about 13 years. He died in Kingston, New York, on 6 May at the age of 77, after a long battle with lung disease.

Bishop Ebenezer
Bishop Ebenezer

Gloria Sikampula was the mother of Lilitha, Sub-Dean Mzi Dyantyi’s wife. She was also the sister of Bishop Ebenezer’s wife Noncedo. She was taken ill at home in Mthatha early in May with severe diabetes complications, and Mzi and Lilitha fetched her, and had her admitted to Settlers’ Hospital to be close to them and the Bishopsbourne family. Sadly her condition did not improve, and she died on 21 May. We pray for all the family at this time.

srdoriannecAnd on the previous day Sister Dorianne CR went home to her Lord after a long – 100-year – life devoted to his service. We give thanks for her life and all that she did during more than 60 years in the Community. She served at a number of missions in Zimbabwe, and in Zambia, London and Johannesburg as well as in Grahamstown. A life-long learner, she may have held the record as the oldest person to have passed exams through TEE. In her nineties she decided it was time she wrote up her memoirs in a series of three articles. She insisted on doing this on the Community computer, with instructions and assistance from Mother Zelma!

The Rhodes Chamber Choir gave a concert on 28 May in the Rhodes Chapel. Under the direction of A-J Bethke, the choir’s already high standard just keeps on going up. They sang in at least seven languages, which unusually did not include Latin. The concert featured the South African premiere of A-J’s own composition “In the tender compassion of God”, which had received a warm reception on its world premiere at the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music recently. Jessica Smith, Charles Antrobus and Glyn Lloyd-Jones continue to sing in the Chamber Choir as well as the Cathedral Choir, and Anelisa Kelemi, who until she matriculated the end of last year was a junior chorister at the Cathedral, has now joined the Rhodes choir and is also being trained by A-J to be a conductor.

drjamesonSpecial prayers are asked for a member of the Cathedral choir, Celia Jameson, known to many Grahamstown people as a “beloved physician”. She herself had to undergo a major operation for stomach cancer in Port Elizabeth. The specialists are hopeful that all the malignancy was removed, but she now has to have chemotherapy.

On 31 May we said goodbye to Odule Odanayo, who has been teaching the Children’s Church at the Cathedral for some time. We thank God for her faithful ministry to these precious little people, and ask for blessings on her as she returns home to her husband and children, having finished her studies at Rhodes.

The National Arts Festival is rushing up on us! Do visit the Spiritfest 2015 page on this website and see what is on offer, at the Presbyterian, Methodist and Catholic churches as well as the Cathedral and other venues.

“People and Places” is compiled by Maggy Clarke. Contributions can be sent as comments to this blog.