Steynsburg, the small town with a big church

The town of Steynsburg in the Eastern Cape's Karoo Heartland developed around the Reformed Church which was established in 1872 and was administered by a village management board controlled by the church.  Steynsburg is named after Douwe Gerbrandt Steyn, grandfather of President Paul Kruger. The members of the Dutch Reformed Church from the district had to travel long distances (64km) to Burgersdorp by horse, horse cart and ox wagon to go to church and there was a need for their…

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The Moederkerk in the heart of Cradock

The first Dutch Reformed congregation (and also the first church) in Cradock was established back in 1824, 10 years after the town received its name.  The present Dutch Reformed Mother Church building, situated on the upper end of Church Street, was completed on the original site as the first church in 1868 at an apparent cost of some £24,500.  The building’s design was based on St. Martins-in-the-Field on Trafalgar Square in London.   At the opening ceremony, the builder refused to hand over the door…

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Nieu-Bethesda’s historic NG Kerk

Whenever I visit Nieu-Bethesda I just seem to be attracted to the historic Dutch Reformed Church (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk or NG Kerk). There is just something to this beautiful building in this tiny village that has me going back to it time and time again. Also, the fact that there are so many different angles to look at it and then add to it the time of day and different weather conditions. I did a post on the church last…

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Nieu-Bethesda’s historic Dutch Reformed Church

The historic Dutch Reformed Church is probably the biggest landmark in Nieu-Bethesda. It's perhaps not as famous as the Owl House or interesting as the Kitching Fossil Centre, but if it comes to landmarks, it stands out in town. I'm always in awe of the fact that such a magnificent building was constructed in such a small place and like to pop around when visiting the village. The village of Nieu Bethesda was established in 1875 on the farm Uitkijk…

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St Mary’s front and back

On Tuesday I posted a picture of St Mary's Cathedral in the Port Elizabeth city centre.  I realised that although people may know what the cathedral looks like from the outside, that not many may have been inside the cathedral yet.  So today I'm posting two pictures taken inside the building, one looking to the front...... and one looking back at the pews.


The Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin

Before the arrival of the British Settlers in 1820 the needs of the British garrison in Algoa Bay were served by chaplains in passing ships. By 1825 the town of Port Elizabeth had grown to about 500 people and Revd Francis McClelland was appointed Colonial Chaplain.  The foundation stone for the Collegiate Church of St Mary the Virgin was also laid that year.  The church was finally opened for worship in 1832.


St Mary’s front on Govan Mbeki Road

Anybody who knows Port Elizabeth and has been down to Govan Mbeki Road (Main Street) in the city centre, would know St Mary's Anglican Cathedral near the Public Library.  But not just know it.  Also be aware of the old United Building Society building that stands on the corner in front of it blocking a proper view of the whole church and causing the front of the church to look like it's standing on its own between the high rise buildings…

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Capt Francis Evatt’s gravestone

On a walk along Route 67 the other day I popped into St Mary's Cathedral and was reminded that the original gravestone of Captain Francis Evatt was located in the entrance area of the church.  Something a lot of people probably didn't know.  Captain Evatt was commander of Fort Frederick from 1817 until his death in 1850 and is often called the Father of Port Elizabeth because of the role he played in the early years of the town's development.  Among the…

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3, 2, 1 stained glass windows

A week ago I posted a picture of the big stained glass window in the St Augustine's Cathedral.  When I was doing the post I considered posted the three pictures in this post along with it, but decided that it was magnificent enough to warrant a stand-alone post.  So here is stained glass post #2 featuring a 3, 2, 1 combination of stained glass windows. So...3 21

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