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.