Monthly Archives: May 2018

Death of the Revd Canon Rowan Q Smith

Fr Rowan Smith

We regret to announce to the Province the unexpected death yesterday of the Revd Canon Rowan Quentin Smith, a former Provincial Executive Officer and former Dean of Cape Town.

Father Rowan broke his hip in a fall at St George’s Cathedral on Good Friday, and appeared only recently to be recovering steadily.

He was educated at Kensington High School, Cape Town, King’s College, London, and St Boniface Missionary College, Warminster. He was ordained Deacon in St. Nicholas’ Church, Matroosfontein in 1967 and Priest in St.
George’s Cathedral in 1968, by Archbishop Robert Selby Taylor.

He spent the decade from 1977 as first a novitiate and later a professed member of the Community of the Resurrection, serving for a period as Chaplain to St. Martin’s School, Johannesburg.

After being released from his vows, he became in turn Chaplain to the University of Cape Town, Chaplain to Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Provincial Executive Officer until Archbishop Tutu’s retirement. He then served as Dean of the Cathedral from 1996 until his retirement in 2010.

His funeral will be held in the Cathedral at 9 am on Saturday June 2.

May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory.

Church Provides New Guidance for Survivors of Abuse

The Church’s Canon Law Council has recommended to the Archbishop that the process of laying complaints of sexual abuse and harassment against those who minister or hold office in the church should be made easier.

The Council is now working on specific proposals aimed at achieving this objective. It is also reviewing, with a view to making recommendations, how the Church can prevent sexual abuse and harassment and how it can initiate early intervention in such cases, including providing support services, a helpline and crisis and survivor support.

The Council’s recommendations have been made in response to a request for advice by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba after a number of individuals spoke out in the media about harassment and abuse they said they suffered in the past. The Council comprises experienced lawyers who serve the Church as legal advisors and other Church representatives.

The Council told the Archbishop that the Pastoral Standards adopted by the Church in 2002, which provide comprehensive guidance and rules for those who minister, already set out a sound basis on which to receive and handle complaints against alleged lay, clerical and episcopal offenders. But its report suggested further action was needed.

As an immediate step, the Archbishop has directed that the Pastoral Standards be published in full on the Church’s website. Until now they have been available only in booklet form. The Pastoral Standards, and a fuller report on the Council’s work, can now be found on the website:

Pastoral Standards, Values and Practices >>

Safe Church Guide >>

Johannesburg bishop detained under apartheid dies at 89

From left, Bishops Sigisbert Ndwandwe, Desmond Tutu and Simeon Nkoane marching in April 1985 to the then John Vorster Square to demand the release of Father Geoff Moselane. (Photo: Robert Tshabalala/Financial Mail/Gallo Images)

The Right Revd Mfaniseni Sigisbert Ndwandwe, a former Bishop-Suffragan of Johannesburg who was detained without trial during the 1980s uprising against apartheid, has died in Jouberton in North-West Province. He was 89.

Bishop Ndwandwe was first ordained a priest of the Roman Catholic Church and earned the degree of Doctor of Canon Law. After he became an Anglican priest, he and Dean Tom Stanage were elected in 1978 as bishops-suffragan of Johannesburg to assist Bishop Timothy Bavin.

At that time, the Diocese of Johannesburg stretched from the Swaziland border in the east to the Botswana border and the Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman in the West. Bishop Sigi, as he was fondly known, was based in Jouberton and served the western part of the Diocese.

During the uprising against apartheid which began late in 1984, Bishop Sigi and Bishop Simeon Nkoane, who had later been elected to replace Bishop Stanage, both worked with young anti-apartheid activists in their communities and were subjected to attacks by apartheid forces.

In 1985, they joined Bishop Desmond Tutu, recently enthroned as Bishop of Johannesburg, and two dozen other priests in an illegal march to police headquarters in Johannesburg in protest against the detention of Father Geoff Moselane of Sharpeville. Father Moselane was later charged with UDF activists in the Delmas treason trial.

In April 1986, Bishop Sigi’s house in Jouberton was fire-bombed. In response, police arrested him on charges of public violence. They released him, only to re-arrest him under the Internal Security Act, then strip-searched him in public and detained him without trial for 99 days on a claim that he had conspired to murder policemen.

He was later named by the then Archbishop Tutu to a panel of four bishops who were appointed to promote peace during the conflict of the late 1980s and early 1990s in KwaZulu-Natal.

Bishop Ndwandwe is survived by his wife, Dorcas, his children, Mbuso, Donald and Angie, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. His funeral service is at 8 am on Friday May 11 at the Diocesan Centre of the Diocese of Matlosane.

Please note that this report has been corrected to reflect the correct date of Bishop Sigisbert’s funeral. It is Friday May 11, not May 18 as previously recorded. Our apologies for the error. Thank you also for Fr. Amoore (see comments below) for pointing out that Bishop Sigi was elected at the same time as Bishop Tom Stanage.

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