The Cathedral’s Annual Vestry meeting was held on 13 March. We congratulate the new Churchwardens, Ian Meiklejohn and Ronaldo Burger. They join Paul Walters, who continues as Alternate Churchwarden. Prayers are asked for them, and for the newly elected Parish Councillors: Jane Bradshaw, Rodney Bridger, Lunga Dongwana, Cathy Euijen, Wayne Jayes, Patrick Pringle and Rose Spannenberg.
Shortly after the Rhodes term began, the Cathedral Student Ministry team organised a Camp at Assegaai Trails on the first weekend of March. Claire Nye Hunter reported that 25 people enjoyed a weekend of “Fun, Fellowship, Friendship and Food”. She was grateful to the Cathedral family for their loving and generous support, which included sponsoring five students (all expenses and more), and providing home-baked muffins and delicious food. Activities included swimming, volleyball, soccer, table tennis, “30 Seconds”, a gentle hike, singing and a braai. Some were up until 4am! The weekend ended with an informal outdoor Communion service.
Roger and Ros Embling are giving thanks for the arrival of their first grandchild, Benjamin David, born to their daughter Katherine and her husband Peter John Steyn on 19 February. Jenny Reynolds has a new grandson born in Australia, and on 12 March Paul and June Walters greeted another grandson, Thomas James, born to their son John and his wife Cath who live here in Grahamstown.
Peter and Ann Stockwell enjoyed a visit from their son Andrew, who is based in London.
Not many people wait four years for a birthday present, but Daphne Rink’s 80th birthday gift from her daughter Gill and her husband Chich Hewitt was well worth the wait – the three of them went to India! Daphne was away from Grahamstown for over three months, as she went first to Johannesburg to attend her sister’s 80th birthday celebrations. Chich and Gill came over from the UK for the occasion, and Daphne flew back with them, into the throes of an exceptionally wet (although also exceptionally mild) English winter. She visited her son there, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Chich, Gill and Daphne spent the first two weeks of February in India, dividing their time between the famous “Golden Triangle” (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur) and Kerala in the south of the country. They travelled by air, and in privately hired cars with knowledgeable drivers, and stayed in comfortable hotels. Among Daphne’s highlights were visiting a tea plantation in the hills of Kerala, riding on an elephant, and taking an overnight cruise on a houseboat. She leaned that 18% of the population in the south is Christian, and visited one of the oldest Christian churches in India, and an equally ancient synagogue. Her verdict on the trip: “It was wonderful!”
We ask prayers for Ros Embling, who fell and broke her wrist, and for Heather Tracey who required stitches to her arm after a minor car accident.
Ronaldo Burger’s father Ronnie died on 3 March. News has reached us of the death of George van der Merwe, who was a parish priest and Archdeacon in East London, and more recently Chaplain to Bishop Ebenezer Ntlali here in Grahamstown. June Venn is mourning the death of her brother Spencer, and attended his funeral in Harare. Siphokazi Njokweni is helping her family to cope with the murder of a relative in Tsolo. We pray for them all, and for Luthando and Lusanda Madiba on the death of Lusanda’s uncle Roy Mthwa.
The “Easter Cantata” took place in the week before Palm Sunday. This collaboration between the choirs of the Anglican schools and the Cathedral is a musical journey through the story of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, with readings on this occasion taken from the Gospel of St Luke. There were some hundred young choristers from DSG and St Andrew’s College on the stage in the Cathedral, with more from DSG Junior School and of course the Cathedral Choir as well. The event took place on two successive evenings, and the Cathedral was packed to capacity.
On Good Friday we were led through the seven last words of Jesus from the cross by various members of the clergy and lay ministry team of the Cathedral. “Very early in the morning” on Easter Day the choir and congregation gathered on Church Square to see the Easter fire lit, while the servers were careful to ensure that the Bishop’s robes were kept well away from the flames.
Grad Weekend followed a week after Easter. Members of the Cathedral family graduating included Titi Morobi and Theo Duxbury (B Pharm), Namso Nyamelo (BSc Hons), Odifentse Lehasa (B Comm Hons in IT with distinction), Stacey Conroy (PGCE), and Monwabisi Peter and Marian Walwyn (B Ed Hons). Monwabisi had to hurry around and get up on the stage for a second time, as he also received his Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education. Dr Andrew-John Bethke attended all six graduation ceremonies to conduct the Chamber Choir, and added to his qualifications a Masters in Composition. Congratulations to everyone!