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…

Comments Off on Steynsburg, the small town with a big church

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…

Comments Off on The Moederkerk in the heart of Cradock

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.


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

1 Comment

St Augustine’s tour

I got to see the inside of St Augustine's Cathedral for the first time a few weeks ago while on a tour of Route 67.  The church isn't generally open like St Mary's on the other side of the Public Library, so if you want to see it you need to make special arrangements or alternatively just attend a service.

1 Comment

The history of St. Augustine’s Cathedral

When the first Catholic priest, Father George Corcoran, set foot in Port Elizabeth in 1840 it wasn't just a case of getting off the boat and taking up his position. No, he was shipwrecked in Cape St Francis and had to travel the last 100km to town on horseback.  Once he arrived here he found that there were only 42 Catholics in the town.  But the show had to go on and in the ensuing years the Catholic community in…


St Mary’s church (or cathedral) tower

Port Elizabeth has two cathedrals, both located in the city centre.  St Mary's Anglican Cathedral, where the foundation stone was laid in 1825, and St. Augustine's Catholic Cathedral where the first stone was laid in 1861.  Standing in front of St Mary's and looking up at the tower, I was wondering if it is referred to as a church tower or a cathedral tower.

1 Comment