Wednesday 28 December 2022

[VIDEO REPORTS] Archbishop Thabo Makgoba on Ukraine

During Advent, the Archbishop paid a pastoral visit to Ukraine in the company of a team with Dr Greg Mills of the Brenthurst Foundation. 

For the record, the following is a selection of video reports on the visit and on the Archbishop's Christmas sermon, which was largely devoted to reporting and commenting on his visit.

The full text of the Archbishop's sermon can be found here >>

A selection of photos of the visit can be found here >>

A Brenthurst Foundation video on the visit

ENCA television news report on the Christmas sermon

Newzroom Afrika news report

SABC News report

SABC live broadcast of the sermon (29 minutes)

Monday 26 December 2022

The Year's Mind of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

The Church today remembers Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu, who died on December 26 2021.

This morning I prayed specifically for the repose of the soul of the Arch as we observe his year's mind. I recalled his humour, his deep spirituality and how seriously he took God when he reflected on the plight of the poorest of the poor.

Following his advice, I have over the years taken a retreat from Christmas to Epiphany. Please pray for Mrs Leah Tutu and their family this week as they observe his year's mind together.


Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

Sunday 25 December 2022

Archbishop's sermon for Midnight Mass, Christmas 2022

 “Our Indivisible Humanity”

Sermon for Midnight Eucharist  
Cathedral Church of St George the Martyr
The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba
Archbishop of Cape Town
Christmas Eve 2022

Lessons: Isaiah 62: 6-12: Titus 3: 4-7; Luke 2: 1-20

May I speak in the name of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Welcome to the Cathedral, the mother church of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, and to all of you, a happy, blessed and, above all, a peaceful Christmas. Thank you, Mr Dean, the Director of Music, the Organist, your clergy, your staff, Churchwardens, and all of those who have worked so hard to uphold the wonderful tradition of Midnight Mass at St George’s.  (Sermon continues below video).


A week ago I was in the office of the Mayor of Lviv, in western Ukraine. I had travelled there via Poland on a pastoral visit, to see and learn for myself the costs and consequences of the war there, now in its 10th month. Just as we sat down, the air-raid sirens wailed. “Don’t worry,” said the Mayor, “the missiles will take 70 minutes to get here if they are fired from Belarus, or 30 minutes if they come from Russian ships in the Black Sea. We can go the bunker if you like.” He then politely asked us whether we wanted tea or coffee.

Two days later, I was in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, on the day the media reported that Russia had attacked the country's critical infrastructure with dozens of “kamikaze” drones in the early hours of the morning as we slept. As we went up to see the Mayor of Kyiv, a former boxer who has gained renown with his defiance of the invasion, his staff had just emerged from the basement after being warned by an air-raid siren of the third air strike since our arrival. The Mayor said, “Welcome to Kyiv, which is unsafe and cold but where we fully guarantee your safety.”

What is this year's Christmas message for us and all people globally, especially those affected by war and conflict? What is the message from the margins of our societies?
In South Africa, the message that emerges from the turmoil of recent days and weeks is very clear: that we hear too little of sacrificial service from our nation's leaders, and too much of using political influence to secure personal and family advancement. South Africans need to see their government focussed on fixing the real problems of the country – joblessness and loadshedding among them – and not on internal party disputes. The root of our problems lies in the scandalous gap between the rich and the poor. We won political liberation nearly 30 years ago but we have not achieved economic liberation – that is the biggest issue facing us. And if the politicians do not address it, they will be made to pay for it at the polls.

But tonight I want to focus on the implications for us of the war in Ukraine. Firstly, my experience there has helped me to put into perspective our problems – to realise anew that no matter how challenging the political environment we find ourselves in, we can thank God for the way in which the leaders of previous generations – leaders such as Madiba and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu – steered us into a future in which we have political turmoil, uncomfortable as it is, rather than war. Living through the low-intensity war of apartheid and understanding living in conditions of full-scale war are two different things.
But some of you still might ask: why did I bother to travel all the way to a distant European country instead of focussing on Africa or the Middle East, where there are many intractable problems and violent conflicts?

It is a valid question, and I turn to Kofi Annan, the Ghanaian diplomat and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, to help me answer it. In his Nobel lecture in 2001, Kofi Annan observed that the 20th century was “perhaps the deadliest in human history, devastated by innumerable conflicts, untold suffering, and unimaginable crimes.” And, of course, nuclear weapons were developed for the first time – weapons which threatened, and continue to threaten the future of humanity. In response to those terrible events of the 20th century, leaders came together to unite nations as never before and created the UN, a forum where, as Kofi Annan described it, “all nations could join forces to affirm the dignity and worth of every person, and to secure peace and development for all peoples.”

But now, by invading Ukraine, Russia has acted in flagrant violation of the UN Charter. Article 2.4 of the Charter outlaws the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, and by breaching it, Russia has set Europe and the world back by nearly a century.

In that Nobel lecture, Kofi Annan said the attacks of September 11 meant that the world had entered the third millennium “through a gate of fire”. Well, Russia’s aggression has opened a gate of fire for Ukrainians and that is why I visited them. I listened to how lives were upturned, families ruptured, towns and villages destroyed, and cities levelled. In Ukraine the forces of calamity and violence have been preferred by Moscow over diplomacy in a manner unseen in Europe since the Second World War. This is not something about which we can or should remain silent.
That is not to say that we should not also hold President Putin and the Russian people in our prayers. Just as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu declared that PW Botha, the most brutal of the apartheid leaders – the president who created police and military death squads – just as the Arch could declare that “PW Botha is my brother”, so I can say that not only President Zelensky of Ukraine but Vladimir Putin of Russia is my brother. At the same time, Archbishop Desmond also once told us from this pulpit, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.“ And so just as Archbishop Desmond and our church vehemently condemned apartheid while praying for PW Botha, we too can condemn Russia’s aggression while praying for its people and leaders.
In Lviv I also met Myroslav Marynovych, the vice-rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University, a man who endured ten years in a Russian jail for speaking out against the regime. He says movingly of surviving his time in prison, “Now I would say that faith was the basis of my strength; at the time, I was just tired of living in a world of lies.”

In Ukraine I saw the difference that strong, truthful leadership makes. It is leadership that sets the tone and makes the difference in these circumstances. Think of Nelson Mandela and of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond too. We should take our lead from them and from Kofi Annan, who said after 9/11, “if today we see better and we see further, we will realise that humanity is indivisible”.
Christmas is a time of the heart, and it is said that if we do not find Christmas in our hearts we will never find it under a tree. This was the constant refrain in Lviv, in Kyiv, and in the sites of atrocity and displacement I visited. My encounters there confirmed what caused me to set out on the journey: the message that humanity is indivisible, which is the essence of the birth we are celebrating on this most holy night.
In Ukraine, in towns where the Russians have been defeated, there are mass graves, torture chambers and evidence of deliberate assaults on civilian homes and lives. In Bucha, about 30 km from the centre of Kyiv, we visited the mass grave in the grounds of the church of St Andrew the Apostle. More than 450 civilians were killed in the invasion, over 50 summarily executed by the invaders, many with their hands tied behind the backs. Perhaps as many as 150,000 people have died in indiscriminate Russian shelling and Ukrainian defensive action, half this number estimated to be Russian military casualties.

More than 40 percent of Ukraine's 43 million people have been displaced from their homes since the start of the war. I visited one centre for displaced people in the company of the Ukrainian-Rwandan Olympic champion,  Zhan Beleniuk, which has seen 80,000 people pass through its doors. Some of the children are there without their parents, or with just one parent, their fathers fighting at the front.

And the costs of war are not to be measured just in terms of lives lost or infrastructure destroyed. It is the price of opportunities and livelihoods snuffed out, people going cold and hungry in the fierce Central European winter, and in the difficulty of sustaining normality in the face of incessant Russian attacks on critical infrastructure, especially in these freezing winter months.

Nor does the war have implications only for the future of Ukraine. Oleksandra Matviichuk, the Nobel Peace laureate who we also met in Kyiv, reminds us of the cost of the failure of leadership for others in the world. “Vladimir Putin is not afraid of NATO,” she says, “he is afraid of freedom”. The conflict, she says, “is not a war between two states, but between two systems, one authoritarian, the other democratic. Russia shows others what they can get away with. If we don’t invent something to stop such barbaric actions, it will encourage other authoritarians to do the same.”

The second reading set for tonight, from Paul's letter to Titus, reminds us of our true identity, justified by our faith, as heirs to the hope of eternal life. The reading came alive for me as I saw in Ukraine a determination not to be drawn into retaliating against Russia, but rather to defend the country and to instill hope, notwithstanding the challenges.

The Christmas understanding that Jesus is our Emmanuel, that he is God with us, present with God's people, became vivid for me as I met Ukrainians who are subject to indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.

What is happening in Ukraine affects us all, not just economically, but especially in terms of our values. We cannot preach the ideals and values of constitutionalism and then do business with those who flagrantly disregard human rights. We cannot speak of a common humanity and be comfortable with systems of government which ensure that some elites are more equal than others. We cannot rely on institutions to protect our rights and the fabric of order if we do not stand up against those who promote disorder and the breaking of international norms and rules.
No one person’s suffering is more or less worthy than another’s. As Africans we know, probably better than most, what it means to suffer under the yoke of a violent oppressor. We cannot turn a blind eye to others because they are not like us. The incarnate Christ breaks such barriers as we welcome him in our hearts and lives.

Any leader must be in touch with their people. Before going to the Ukraine, I saw the findings of a recent opinion poll which found that 75 percent of South Africans believe that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “an act of aggression that must be condemned”. Asked what South Africa should do if a sovereign democratic country is invaded by its neighbour, less than eight percent said South Africa should “offer no support”. More than 80 percent said the country should offer military, diplomatic or moral support. We should ask if our leaders are in touch with our people over Ukraine.

The American pastor Neal Strait once wrote that, “The coming of Christ by way of a manger in Bethlehem seems strange and stunning. But when we take him out of the manger and into our hearts and world, then the meaning of Christmas unfolds and the strangeness vanishes.”

In the light of that thought I have read and reread those words that begin John’s Gospel, the beautiful poetry and seemingly simple truth that the “The word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” It always strikes me that John uses very strong words, words such as sarx for flesh, logos for word and doxa for glory. For the Gnostics and Stoics, for the Docetists and the Greeks, the “word becoming flesh” would have had the effect of moving the story of God away from being a principle around which to organise their philosophies and towards being about a person to relate to intimately; to One who lives and moves among us, understands us, shares our dreams, and is able both to plumb the depths of our fears and anxieties with us and to celebrate the joys and hope that are part of being human. That is the heart of this holy night: God among us; Emmanuel; Nkosinathi; a God whom we can recognise in the contours of life. Taking Jesus “out of the manger” allows us to explore that challenge.

If African governments – and African people – want to take God out of that manger, they can do so by making their voices heard in international affairs, and standing up to be counted in this war. If we want our own rights to be ensured, we have to defend the rights of others. If we want to resist authoritarianism, we have to resist its practice everywhere.
As Isaiah reminds us, we should be prepared to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty, “to build up, build up the highway”! Not to destroy, nor to invade our neighbours using artillery and missiles to level their cities, killing thousands of civilians and damaging the global economy. We must work to usher in the era of the Prince of Peace and not to impose a colonial order.
Peace-loving people everywhere must cherish a system that respects individual human rights, of inclusivity rather than elite protection, of the right to self-determination instead of imperialism, and of freedom over totalitarianism. It is as clear as day against night, of good over evil, on which side of history Africans should be.

As I conclude, let me return to our meeting with the Mayor of Lviv, whose mantra for looking ahead still rings in my ears: “Unbroken. Resilient. Survival.“ It's not a bad one for our times, not only for Ukrainians but for us too.

Our reading from Luke tonight tells us that “the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”

On this holy night, from my heart, the hearts of my family and from the heart of this historic church, to your hearts, I send every blessing to you. May you be filled with abundant grace over this season. I pray that you will have a Christmas filled with miracles and memorable moments which you will cherish long after the decorations have been packed away and the last carol has been sung.
Let us go into this night of joy and of celebration also thinking of those less fortunate than ourselves, across our land, our continent and in places where there is conflict and the need for courage. And in this, may the generosity and sacrifice of others, a lesson of our Lord, inspire us all in the year ahead.

God bless you all and, again, merry Christmas. 

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Archbishop Thabo on South African Parliament's vote on impeachment proceedings

The Archbishop has issued the following statement on today's vote in Parliament:

“Democracy is messy and today's vote in Parliament still leaves the country and the governing party with deep moral and ethical challenges. While we have to subject ourselves to the democratic process, and accept Parliament's vote, this saga is not yet over.

“We still have to hear from the National Prosecuting Authority, from the South African Revenue Service and the Reserve Bank. Whatever happens, President Ramaphosa's credibity has suffered a blow and he will have to re-earn the trust of South Africans.

“Going forward, I hope politicians will devote as much energy and passion as they have to Phala Phala, to creating conditions conducive to creating jobs, ending inequality and boosting our energy supplies. If they do not, they will be made to pay for it at the polls.”

Monday 12 December 2022

Sermon preached at Diocese of George Ordination Service

The sermon preached at a Diocese of George Ordination Service in the Cathedral of St Mark the Evangelist, George, on 4th November 2022:

Readings: Romans 12: 1 -12; Psalm 119:33-38; Mark 10: 35-45

May I speak in the name of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of our lives, Amen.

Canon Jerome, the Vicar General, Dean Isaac, Bishop Donald – it's good to see you – the members of Chapter here present, fellow clergy, candidates for ordination and your families, dear brothers in Christ: it is a great joy for me to be here with you once again this year as we give thanks to God for this time together.

Friday 2 December 2022


“The country is in crisis and our governing party seems to be in meltdown.

“It is correct that no one should be above the law, but to pass final judgement on a person based on what is in effect a board of preliminary investigation, which has not made a final determination of the facts, could lead to lawlessness in South Africa.
“The church is observing the season of Advent, which is a time of alertness as we wait to celebrate at Christmas the arrival of the Incarnate Son. Our focus as we prepare for Christmas should be to give voice to the “ordinary” people of the country.
“The vast majority of South Africans want to see our political leaders dealing with their problems such as loadshedding and joblessness urgently, and are probably getting impatient with seeing a governing party at war with itself.
“If the President loses the political support of his party before a final determination of his conduct is made, I call for the establishment of a government of national unity under a respected elder to stabilise the country until the next election. And during the next year we need to hold an economic Codesa to address the real crisis facing the country, which is the scandalous gap between those who benefit from intergenerational wealth and those who are locked out of the economy.”
Issued by Bishopscourt

INTERVIEW BY Sakina Kamwendo, SAfm, SABC

Saturday 29 October 2022

Celebrating the Coronation of His Majesty King MisuZulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini


Homily at the Celebration of the Coronation of His Majesty

King MisuZulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini

as King of the Zulu Nation

Moses Mabhida Stadium: Durban

The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop of Cape Town

29th October 2022 @10h00

Reading: Psalm 84

May I speak in the name of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of our lives. Amen

Your Majesty, King MisuZulu;

Your Excellency President Ramaphosa;

Your Majesty the King of Eswatini;

Honourable Prince Buthelezi;

Your Majesties and Royal Highnesses, members of other Royal families;

Members of the Diplomatic Corps;

Programme Directors;

Government Ministers and Officials;

The many Religious Leaders here present;

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

I am honoured to join you to share in this historic event. Thank you for inviting me today. I am also privileged to be joined here by Bishop Nkosinathi Ndwandwe of this Diocese of Natal, Bishop Vikinduku Mnculwane of Zululand and the Royal Chaplain, Archdeacon Bongani Mhlongo. A warm welcome to all and, most importantly, thank you to the organising committee and also to those who gave of their time and were involved in the preparation for today.

I thank God for the unsung heroes and heroines who have kept the Gospel light burning here and throughout their lives, their zeal, their prayers and their service and witness. I especially thank God for his faithfulness to all who have made it possible for this celebration of Your Majesty's coronation to take place today. Our gratitude to God for his sustaining care for you, particularly during the turbulent times of the past, and for affording you this time of great hope and opportunity, even though of course it comes with challenges.

In our reading today, the Psalmist gives us a picture of a pilgrim newly-arrived at the Temple in Jerusalem. After a long journey of eager anticipation, the pilgrim is now admiring the beauty of the Lord's house. The Psalmist is impressed first by the loveliness of the Temple, then – seeing even the tiny birds making themselves at home – he appreciates the safety offered by that house. So he associates the Temple with how the Lord provides for us places of sacrifice for sin, reconciliation and communion with God. As one translation says, “My heart and my body cry out for joy, to the living God.”

So sisters and brothers, today we too can cry out for joy in celebration of this important milestone in the history of the Zulu Kingdom. Your Majesty, we are grateful for the close relations between the Anglican Church and amaZulu going back into the 19th century, recognising with shame instances where sound cultural traditions were undermined but also proud of the role those such as the Colenso family played in defending their Majesties Kings Cetshwayo and Dinizulu. We recall too the Anglican antecedents of King Dinizulu and of King Solomon, and of how your grandfather, a good Anglican himself, built houses for worship, for which we remain deeply grateful.

Your father, His Majesty King Zwelithini, was also a great and faithful member of our church who not only attended worship but also held up his faith in the Lord as a moral compass for many until his last breath. It was a great privilege for me to be invited to play a role in his burial. Prince Buthelezi, we also recognise your long service as a faithful Christian who has been blessed with a long life and remains actively involved as a support system to the Royal Family. Prince Buthelezi, as you approach the time when you will be called home, we appeal for that to happen in a spirit of reconciliation and healing.

Your Majesty, you too can build and leave a powerful legacy of your own. Your grandmother was a person who stood tall in society; it does not matter that you are called to this high office, with its onerous responsibilities, when you are young. You too can grow and become tall in the eyes of the Zulu nation, the South African nation and the world. We are saddened by the recent dissension within the Royal Family, for it does not build but detracts from the legacy that King Zwelithini left behind. It is my humble prayer that in the near future you may be able to find each other and reconcile.

Reconciliation is very critical. Our church recognises that for reconciliation, which God wants to see happen, there needs to be both justice and accountability. Thus in the Church we have called for the historic legacy of colonialism to be deconstructed and any remaining complicity of our member churches in British and American empires to be ended.

But God's call for reconciliation is a challenge not only to the Royal Family and the Church: it is a challenge to us all. And for reconciliation to be achieved in our divided society in South Africa today, there needs to be both justice and accountability, the achievement of which is the responsibility of all, including both traditional and elected leaders.

Mr President, we are grateful for your steadfast focus on rooting out state capture from the public and private sectors, and the faith community pledges its strong support for your latest initiatives. But, Mr President, no one will be more aware than yourself of how public trust in government has been corroded by leaders who have elevated the pursuit of private profit above ethical public service in the past decade.

In this Province and nationally, can we say that justice and accountability are served when mafias in the taxi and construction industries hold legitimate business people to ransom, closing down their operations and even killing their staff if they refuse to pay protection money?

Can we say, Mr President, that justice and accountability are served when the State fails to bring to justice all those responsible for the killing of Abahlali baseMjondolo.

Both nationally and in this Province, Mr President, can we say that justice and accountability are served when migrants from elsewhere in Africa are scapegoated for just being here?

In the private sector, can we say that justice and accountability are served when the intergenerational inequality of the apartheid era continues, when the sons and daughters of the wealthy flourish, while the sons and daughters of the poor are caught in a self-perpetuating spiral of inadequate education, denied opportunities and poverty?

Your Majesty and Mr President, as I end, the basic consensus which has underpinned our nation since 1994 is crumbling. Levels of distrust are higher than ever before. Confidence in leaders, whether in the public or private sector, is at a record low. Is it not time for all of us – traditional leaders, political leaders, civil society, religious leaders, leaders in the economy representing both capital and labour – for all of us to come together to convene consultations – culminating in a National Indaba – as a way of growing up as a nation and beginning to heal a society characterised by fear and a damaged psyche?

Your Majesty, as you embark upon your reign as King of a nation that is recognised internationally as one of the greatest in Africa, I believe you are being called upon to step up and emulate the highest traditions of your ancestors. I pray that you will summon the resources of our faith and allow God to help you fulfill this honourable calling.

May God bless you richly, Your Majesty. God bless you, Mr President, and your Cabinet and all the leaders of our nation. God bless the Royal Family. God bless South Africa, her leaders and all her people.


Friday 21 October 2022

To the Laos - To the People of God - October 2022

 Dear People of God,

In a visit to ACSA's Provincial residential college and in deliberations at the Synod of Bishops and the Provincial Standing Committee (PSC), a good deal of attention was given this past month to the vital issue of theological education for our clergy and people.

In Makhanda, I joined leaders in theological education to install the Revd Dr Percy Chinganga as Rector of the College of the Transfiguration (CoTT). We warmly congratulate him on his appointment, confident that the education of our ordinands is in good hands with him and his staff. His installation came soon after the annual September Provincial meetings, where we discussed a major report on the future of theological education, drawn up by a commission convened by the Revd Dr Barney Pityana. As I told PSC, the body which represents clergy and lay representatives as well as bishops from all ACSA's Dioceses, theological education and formation are not optional extras for the church: they are our lifeblood, and they matter not just for our future as an institution but for the welfare of God's people as we go out to proclaim the love and the justice of God in our suffering world.

I want to promote sound theological formation not just for our clergy but also for lay Anglicans. A wonderful way of doing this would be to enroll at CoTT, even if you don't want to enter the ordained ministry, and I invite those of you who want to improve their theological knowledge to explore studying there full-time. As I suggested at the Diocese of Cape Town's clergy school last week, my dream is that our parishes and homes will become institutions of teaching and learning, as well as places of prayer and worship, in your communities. I urge you to take steps to offer education of various kinds – including theological education – for all our people. And please consider supporting CoTT individually and through your parishes and Dioceses – it is playing a vital role.

Also recently, I attended the Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture on what would have been the 91st birthday of our late Archbishop Emeritus. The lecture featured Amina Mohammed, a Nigerian who is the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, and Doug Abrams, the American author who worked with Archbishop Desmond and the Dalai Lama to create The Book of Joy, and who brought us an inspiring message of hope. At the CoTT installation, I continued the commemoration of Archbishop Desmond's birth by delivering our first Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Memorial Lecture, where I stressed that we are still called and sent to carry out a prophetic ministry in the world today. As we held these events, we remembered warmly and sent our love to Mrs Nomalizo Leah Tutu, who has just turned 89! A belated Happy Birthday, Mama Leah!

In the ACSA memorial lecture, I said we still need to warn our governments that they are accountable, nowadays accountable to the people but also to God. I spoke out strongly against those in power who enrich themselves with tenders which they fail to deliver on, and warned opposition parties hoping to come to power soon that they too will experience the temptations of power. I also condemned the new “mafias” which we are seeing in the construction, mining and taxi industries, which are demanding protection money for allowing legitimate businesses to operate. If we continue down this road, I said, with police, municipal and national governments turning a blind eye, too cowardly to act, we will end up a failed state.

As I write, I have been on an inspirational visit to Rome with ecumenical colleagues to engage in dialogues aimed at ensuring that the mining industry internationally conducts its operations in a way that respects the integrity of the earth and takes care of people and communities. I am grateful to Cardinal Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, for his wisdom and the generous offering of his time, and to Archbishop Ian Ernest at the Anglican Centre in Rome, as well as their teams.

In conclusion, I am very pleased to confirm that Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury will be with us in Cape Town at the end of November, where he will join the final meeting of the Design Team which planned the 2022 Lambeth Conference. We will also welcome him publicly at Evensong in St George's Cathedral at 4 pm on Thursday November 24th.

God bless,

††Thabo Cape Town

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Address to Diocese of Cape Town clergy school 2022

 Diocese of Cape Town Clergy School 2022

Opening Address by

The Most Revd Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop of Cape Town

11th to 14th October 2022

Matthew 28: 18 -20

May I speak in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bishop Joshua, Clergy of the diocese and invited guests, I'm grateful to be able to join you in this way from Makhanda, where earlier this afternoon I was installing the next Rector of our only residential college, Dr Percy Chinganga. I would have loved to be with you in person, but doing so online is better than not at all.

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Memorial Lecture and Installation of CoTT Rector

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Memorial Lecture

and Installation of the Rector

 College of the Transfiguration

The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop of Cape Town

The Cathedral of St Michael and St George: Makhanda

11th October 2022 @15h00

Jeremiah 36: 27 -37:2; Psalm 35; Luke 8: 40 -56

Fellow theologians (all of us here are theologians, no matter how far along the journey we are);

Fellow students of the Gospel (because all of us, no matter how well qualified, remain students all our lives);

Sisters and brothers in Christ:

Friday 30 September 2022

Homily for the Opening Service of Provincial Standing Committee 2022

Provincial Standing Committee 2022

Homily for the Opening Service

The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop and Metropolitan

28th September 2022

May I speak in the name of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

A very warm welcome to you all, in your Diocesan and Provincial hubs, to this year's PSC. A special welcome to those of you attending PSC for the first time; I hope that your fellow members in the hubs will help familiarise you with our procedures so you feel fully included in our deliberations. ADD LAWYERS We meet for the first time without Dioceses in Mozambique and Angola, after the inauguration of the new IAMA Province, so a special welcome also to representatives of the Dioceses of Lesotho, Namibia, St Helena and Swaziland in Eswatini.

Friday 23 September 2022

To the Laos - To the People of God - September 2022

Dear People of God,

As announced to the Diocese of Cape Town back in May, I finally managed to take my sabbatical leave from June 1. Lungi and I travelled a little, mainly to my ancestral home of Makgoba's Kloof in Limpopo but also to see the Passion Play in Oberammergau, which had been delayed by Covid. However, I did interrupt the sabbatical a number of times to undertake important commitments, such as taking part in the Lambeth Conference and also helping to consecrate bishops in the new Province of Mozambique and Angola, and – in our own Province – of Bishop Patrick Djuulume of Namibia.

I return to my office distressed to see that President Cyril Ramaphosa is still failing to play open cards with the country about the money allegedly stolen from his farm in June. As we said in a statement I approved during my sabbatical, the public is owed quick and clear answers on whether he kept foreign currency in contravention of Reserve Bank regulations, and whether tax has been paid on sales from his farm. There cannot be one law for the rich and well-connected, and another for the rest of us. Overall, the quality of our political leadership at present leaves a lot to be desired, also illustrated by the leader of the Democratic Alliance using disgraceful language about his ex-wife in the public space. It is crucial that our leaders enjoy credibility, and in the event of a serious crisis occurring, it is very worrying to contemplate the possibility that people will have lost so much respect for them that they will refuse to listen.

But back to Lambeth. As was to be expected, the media devoted most of their attention to the divisions in the Communion over human sexuality, and in particular over whether to bless same-sex unions, marry same-sex couples or ordain members of LGBTQIA+ communities. The Conference did not change our 1998 resolution that marriage is a commitment to be entered into only by a man and a woman. But we acknowledged the chasms within the Communion and in sum the Provinces have to go back to the drawing board to hear the varied voices and to debate the matter with a view to arriving at what God might be saying through the Holy Spirit to the churches of the Communion.

However, there were also much more positive – and exciting – initiatives, such when we launched The Communion Forest. This is a worldwide environmental initiative in which Anglicans around the Communion will choose projects most suited to where they live to protect and enhance their environments. Depending on where you are, you might choose to plant trees, re-establish grasslands, help create wetlands or restore coastlines. As Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury said, it could become the “most widespread and diverse” environmental project in the world.

We also set up for the first time an Anglican Communion Science Commission, which will help equip the church to think and talk intelligently about science and technology, enabling us to play our full part in addressing such crises as climate change, extinction, disease, the abuse of new technologies and the misuse of artificial intelligence. My first university degree having been in the sciences, I am particularly pleased about this initiative, and I will co-chair the commission with Bishop Steven Croft of Oxford. Our Province will be represented on the commission by Bishop Luke Pretorius of the Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist.

Unique to this Lambeth Conference were a set of “Lambeth Calls”, the final texts of which we will publish online when they become available. The conference also adopted a series of “Statements of Support” which addressed the suffering and challenges which people in different parts of the world are undergoing.

In Africa, they dealt with the situations in Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. Especially relevant for us is that on refugees and migrants, which reaffirmed the commitment of Anglicans to “the treatment of refugees and migrants as made in the image of God and therefore deserving of equal dignity and respect.” Full details here >>

One of the statements, on Israel and Palestine, will be relevant to our discussions at this year's meeting of Provincial Standing Committee, since it endorses the concept of a “two-state solution” to the ongoing conflict in that part of God's world. The statement comes at a time when many people believe such a solution is no longer viable in practice.

PSC will also consider an important report on discrimination at church schools. As I told our Cape Town schools recently, I urge anyone concerned with the future of Anglican education to read it, because it offers real hope that together we can protect our children from experiencing what the task force describes as “acts of intentional or careless discrimination, or systematic marginalisation of individuals or their identity.”

Please pray for PSC, which meets from September 28 to 30. Please also pray for a visit in November by Archbishop Justin Welby and the Lambeth Design Team. We plan to arrange a service in St George's Cathedral in Cape Town during the visit, more details of which will be announced later.

God bless,

††Thabo Cape Town

Thursday 8 September 2022

Condolences on the death of Queen Elizabeth II

On behalf of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, I send our heartfelt condolences to the British people and to all those in the Commonwealth for whom she was Head of State.

May Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace and rise in glory. We send our greetings to the new King and his Consort, and pray that God will sustain him and his people in the days to come.

Left, Archbishop Thabo is Prior of the Order of St John in South Africa, a royal order of chivalry with roots going back to 1099. Queen Elizabeth II was the Sovereign Head of the Order.

Monday 5 September 2022

Archbishop addresses transformation at Anglican schools

A sermon delivered at a combined Confirmation Service for Anglican Schools in Cape Town, held at St Cyprian’s School Chapel on 4th September 2022:

Readings: Jeremiah 18:1 -11; Psalm 139: 1-5, 12-18; Philemon 1-21; : Luke 14: 25-33

May I speak in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sisters and brothers in Christ, dear people of God, heads of participating schools – Mrs Shelley Frayne of St Cyprian’s School, hosting us this year, Mr Antony Reeler of Diocesan College and Mrs Heather Goedeke of Herschel – also friends and families, I am pleased to join you to share in this important milestone in the lives of the confirmation candidates, especially since we are meeting for the first time since the church has lifted Covid-19 restrictions on worship.

Tuesday 21 June 2022

Sermon at the Consecration of four new Bishops for IAMA (Maputo)

Igreja Anglicana de Mocambique e Angola

Sermon for Consecration Service

The Most Rev Dr Thabo Makgoba

Archbishop and Metropolitan of ACSA

19 June 2022

Pavilhao de Maxaquene Sports Hall: Maputo

Readings: Isaiah 6: 1-8, Psalm 100; 2 Cor. 4: 1-10; John 21: 15 -17

May I speak in the name of the Holy Trinity: God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, our advocate and friend. Amen.

Your Excellencies, Presiding Bishop Carlos, Dean of the Province Andre, fellow Bishops, distinguished guests, clergy and people of God:

It is a great joy for me to welcome you to this service as we give thanks to God for this very important milestone in the history of IAMA – the consecration of new bishops for the church of God and this new Province of the Anglican Communion.