Monday, 21 September 2020

Celebrating 150 years of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba's introduction at a Service of Solemn Evensong, held at St George's Cathedral, Cape Town, with St George's, Parktown, on Sunday September 20, 2020. The sermon preached by Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury follows the introduction. 

What a milestone, what an occasion! We celebrate today 150 years of faithful, worship, witness and service as Anglicans in Southern Africa. 

I want to make special mention today of my predecessors as Archbishop and to our clergy and people down the last century-and-a-half – remembering in particular the two living Archbishops, Njongonkulu Ndungane and Desmond Tutu. We remember Archbishop Njongo for his powerful witness against poverty, and his fierce independence from secular power. We remember Archbishop Desmond for his courage, his powerful witness against oppression and injustice everywhere, and for reconciliation based on justice for all. 

Almost all of our forebears knew the importance of the ecumenical family, represented today by our partnership in this service with the South African Council of Churches. We are better Anglicans if we belong to the ecumenical family and the wider household of faith. Thank you very much to the SACC and to the Solidarity Fund for making possible both this service and the other denominational and interfaith services to follow in the coming weeks. 

We are privileged to partner with them both with the aim also of uplifting people's spirits in the time of the coronavirus, of inspiring the nation's courage in moments of darkness and of enlivening hope for the future for all our people. We are here to say thank God for God’s mercies and protection. Many have died during this time of COVID-19, and we are here to celebrate their lives and to recharge our resolve to do everything possible to wear our masks, observe health protocols, practise social distancing, wear personal protective equipment and encourage others to do so also. We also give thanks for the health workers and scientists, and pray for a vaccine and changes in behaviour which will keep people safe. 

Finally, our warm thanks to the Chair of the Solidarity Fund, Dr Gloria Serobe, and your team, to Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana and the the SACC team, to the Anglican and SABC teams here in Cape Town and in Parktown, Johannesburg – have a blessed day.

 President Cyril Ramaphosa’s message to us aptly sums up the essence of today: 


I extend heartfelt congratulations to the Anglican community in Southern Africa as they celebrate 150 years of faithful worship, witness and ministry in our country. 

Today they lead and open a series of interfaith services arranged by the South African Council of Churches and Solidarity Fund aimed at inspiring hope, gratitude and courage in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it has in our communities. 

 I wish you all well, and hope to join you in one of your future services. 

Mr Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa 
President of the Republic of South Africa

Reflections on weekday readings from Archbishop Thabo - Sept 21-25

  These readings and reflections are shared daily on ACSA's Facebook page and Twitter feed.  Copies of audio and video files are available for sharing

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Tribute to George Bizos SC, Madiba's friend and lawyer

Another giant of our struggle for freedom and a pillar of a non-racial vision for South African has fallen. George Bizos was a man who loved and lived social justice in our country. I met him at a couple of functions, but the most memorable was at Madiba's home at Qunu in the Eastern Cape, when he, Lungi and I arrived together for Madiba’s funeral and, finding the front door locked to visitors, entered the Mandela home together through the kitchen; we were sternly rebuked but were nonetheless welcomed.

George was a man who knew, smelt and touched township and village alike with his soul and the hands of his love. My family, the Church and I send his family, friends and faith community our condolences. His death calls on us to dedicate ourselves to non-racialism, equality, fairness and an economy with particular eyes for the poorest township and village. We will miss his tears and warm heart for all of humanity. 

The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba