Archbishop Dr Thabo Makgoba, the Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and the Archbishop of the Diocese of Cape Town, visited the Port Elizabeth diocese from Wednesday 19 to Sunday 23 November. I was present in a breakfast on Friday the 21st at the St John’s Parish in Walmer where the archbishop gave an encouraging message on the need for the Church in Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) to work together regardless of our denominational affiliations.
He talked about his involvement in a campaign to rid South Africa of illegal guns following the fatal shooting of the Bafana Bafana captain, Senzo Meyiwa. He said that after due processes this campaign will be rolled out throughout the country and that it is important for the Church to rally behind it. With the help of the Anglican Church’s publication, Iindaba Special I have managed to glean the following regarding the archbishop’s visit to Nelson Mandela Bay.
He had a Clergy Forum on Thursday morning where he met about 50 of the Anglican clergy discussing with them issues that are pertinent to the Anglican Church. Later on he had lunch at the City Hall with the Executive Mayor of the local municipality, Councillor Ben Fihla, his Deputy and the Speaker of the Council. Over lunch the discussion with the mayor and his team centred on education and the lack of discipline amongst teachers in some NMB schools.
The visit ended with the archbishop and the clergy that accompanied him praying for the mayor, his deputy and speaker. Later the same evening there was a Gala Dinner held in honour of the archbishop’s visit. The dinner was attended by 280 guests with the Speaker of Council, Maria Hermans amongst the guests of honour. Ms Hermans spoke about the Church’s vital role in the functioning of the municipality.
In fact she said the “Metropole can do nothing without the church — we know you are the leaders in society.” Archbishop Thabo spoke of being humbled that God had taken an Alex (he came from Alexandra Township) boy and made him the conduit of His love. He reminded the guests that Christians have a mission to leave the world better than how they found it. In other words they have to improve conditions and not leave them as they are.
After the breakfast on Friday the archbishop visited the House of Resurrection in Salsoneville where he interacted with different stakeholders within the Aids haven. He also attended the St Magdalene 40th anniversary Dinner Dance. Well I am not sure if he did dance while there but he had fun on Saturday morning during the Family Fun Day that was held at the grounds of Victoria Park where a braai and potjiekos competition was held.
The competition, which was adjudicated by a chef, saw St Paul from Parson’s Hill take the 1st prize. Different sporting activities also took place on this day. In the evening Archbishop Makgoba attended Christ the King’s Golden Jubilee celebration. The church was celebrating 50 years in existence and held a choir competition as part of their celebration. The visit ended with a Thanksgiving Service at the Cathedral which was almost scuppered by the load shedding challenge affecting NMB.
In his message during the Thanksgiving Service the archbishop on how special the visit to NMB was to him.
Written with the help of Iindaba Special.