Friday 20 May 2011

Installation of New Dean of Cape Town

The following statement was issued on 19 May 2011.

On Sunday 22 May 2011, at 3pm, at the Cathedral of St. George the Martyr, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Cecil Makgoba will institute the Very Revd Michael Weeder as Rector of the Cathedral Parish of St George the Martyr and install him as 15th Dean of Cape Town. Various dignitaries from all walks of life are expected, including from the political, civil society and diplomatic worlds, and representatives of other faiths.

Further details of the appointment, together with the new Dean’s CV are available at . A note giving some background information on the service is appended below.

Issued by the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town. Inquiries: Wendy Tokata on 021- 763-1320 (Bishopscourt, office hours); St George’s Cathedral 021 423 3371 (office hours); Revd Terry Lester 073 402 0064 (Cathedral Sub-Dean); Very Revd Michael Weeder 083 384 4854 (Dean-elect)

A note on the Service of Induction and Installation

The service reflects the continuity of the past in the life of the Church today. It is made up of two distinct rites: the Office of Evening Prayer, in the form found in Book of Common Prayer (South Africa), with the canticles sung to the form found in the Anglican Prayer Book of 1989; and the Service for the Institution of a Priest to a Pastoral Charge. The South African Book of Common Prayer is based on the English Book of Common Prayer of 1662, which itself drew on ancient Latin liturgical texts. The continuity of the prayer life of the church is shown through these forms of service, from different ages, being used as a harmony.

We are a church in Africa, so the lections for this service are being read in Arabic and Nama, declaring the continuity we share with the oldest cultures of both our continent and our country. One of the processional crosses used today gives witness to the oldest Christian Church in sub Saharan Africa – the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

On Friday the 23rd May, 1958, Fr Ted King was instituted and installed as Dean of Cape Town. One day short of 53 years later we celebrate a further point in the continuing story of the Cathedral and Anglicans in Cape Town. When Fr Rowan Smith was instituted and installed as Dean, on the 13th October 1996, the Precentor was Fr Christian Hartnick. Archdeacon Hartnick plays that role on Sunday.

Within the service we celebrate today, there are also those elements which show that we are a church living and bearing witness in the third millennium of the Christian era. We hold these things together as we serve our God, who is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

The Magdala Cross: The Processional Cross used for the Archbishop’s procession is usually kept in the Cathedral Treasury. It was found on the battlefield after the destruction of Magdala in Abyssinia in 1868, and was presented to the Cathedral in 1898. It is believed to be over a thousand years old. This is the first time it has been used in over a century.

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