Churches urged to mobilise to save South Africa

South Africa’s faith communities have been urged to join strategic alliances with other progressive formations to mobilise around five “areas of action” to prevent the country from going into a “death spiral”.

South Africa’s former Deputy Minister of Finance, Mcebisi Jonas – who famously turned down a R600-million bribe from the Gupta family – told the recent meeting of the Synod of Bishops that “we are at our lowest point in the democratic era and that the national psyche is severely impaired.”

The full text of his speech follows:

Provincial Notices Synod of Bishops


Issued after the Bishops’ meeting in Gauteng from 27th February – 3rd March 2023.

Note: The Addendum referred to on page 2 can be found here >>

Provincial Notices Synod of Bishops

Statement on Human Dignity and Marriage – March 2023

The addendum to the Communiqué from the Synod of Bishops, issued after their meeting of 27th February – 3rd March 2023

Provincial Notices

Synod of Bishops elects new Bishop of George

The Electoral College of Bishops, meeting in Gauteng, today elected the Venerable Edwin Pockpass of the Diocese of George as the new as Bishop-Elect of the Diocese.

Archdeacon Pockpass was elected on the 10th ballot, on the second day of balloting. He will succeed Bishop Brian Marajh, who has been translated to the Diocese of Kimberley & Kuruman.

An Elective Assembly of the Diocese of George delegated the election of a new Bishop to the Synod of Bishops in May 2022.

Please pray for Archdeacon Pockpass and his family as he prepares for his installation and consecration.


Provincial Notices

Bible studies for Lent 2023 now available

This year’s Lenten Bible studies, “The Bible and the Land Called Holy”, commissioned in response to a resolution from last year’s meeting of the Provincial Standing Committee, will be launched at the February meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

The Bible studies are available online here:

The Bible and the Land Called Holy

Provincial Notices

Listen: Online lecture on Safe Church – March 1

Canon Rosalie Manning, chairperson of the Province’s Safe and Inclusive Church Commission, will deliver an online lecture on the commission’s work on March 1.

The lecture is being hosted by the Ecclesiastical Law Society of the Church of England.

It will be held from 15:30 to 17:00 South African time on March 1.

To register for the lecture, sign up here:

Provincial Notices

Diocese of George – Vacancy for Diocesan Administrator

Provincial Notices

Parish Vacancies in the Diocese of George

Scroll down to see vacancies for a Rector and an Assistant Priest:


Bishop James Johnson, formerly of St Helena, died aged 90

Read the Church Times obituary here (two free reads per month)>>

From Wikipedia:

James Nathaniel Johnson (28 April 1932 – 1 December 2022) was Bishop of St Helena from 1986 to 1991.[1]

Johnson was born in 1932.[2]

He trained for ordination at Wells Theological College and was ordained deacon in 1964 and priest in 1965.[3] He served his title at Lawrence Weston (1964-66),[4] after which he was successively Priest-in-Charge of St Paul’s Cathedral, St Helena (1966-69) and then Vicar (1969-71) as well as Domestic Chaplain to the Bishop of St Helena (1967-71).[5] He was then in England again as USPG Area Secretary for Exeter and Truro dioceses (1972-74), Rector of Combe Martin (1974-80) and Vicar of Thorpe Bay (1980-85)[6] until being appointed as the first island-born Bishop of St Helena and enthroned on 26 January 1986.[7] He resigned as Bishop in 1991, returning to England once more where he was Assistant Bishop in Peterborough diocese (1991-92), Rector of Byfield with Boddington and Aston le Walls (1991-92), Vicar of Hockley (1992-97); Assistant Bishop in Chelmsford diocese (1992-97), and Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral (1994-97).[8] He retired in 1997.[9]

He died in 2022 aged 90.[10]


Formidable challenges await young people – Bishop Steve Moreo

Media release by the Anglican Bishop of Johannesburg, the Rt Revd Dr Steve Moreo, on the dire state of education in South Africa – Thursday 2 February 2023

While congratulating those who have passed their matriculation examinations, Bishop Moreo said that he had been approached by a delegation of young people in his Diocese about the difficulties they face in regard to education. In the Diocese of Johannesburg in particular, and in the country in general, the state had failed over decades now to provide adequate educational facilities for all learners.

“Reports in the media, from parishioners and from the general public make it clear that in many instances the state has dragged its feet in ensuring that there is a holistic approach to providing an educational system for South Africa’s children and youth which will build a country for the future.”

He said the group of young parishioners had put the challenges facing them succinctly: “In earnest, when matric results are released annually, there is no one who speaks to the challenges that are faced by the pupils in their early grades of formation and yet they’re expected to matriculate with exceptional results. It is known that repeating of a grade is less encouraged, and students are ‘encouraged’ to pass and move to the next grade even though they do not reach the required mark for promotion. The education system of this country continuously fails the young people, and some are more technical than the others, yet trade education is not encouraged. Today in our country we live in a society that certain skills and trades are undermined. Yet the young people are continuously living without proper education and with no trade to work on to use for their own sustainability”.

Bishop Moreo said there were many matters that could be commented on but confined himself to the following points following the latest matric results.

Bishop Moreo says that it is clear that formidable challenges face South Africa in the light of the release of the recent matriculation results, and the educational system in general.

  • Schools still exist where learners do not attend regularly, not because they do not wish to do so, but because of adverse weather conditions that could prevail and mean that they are not sheltered from the elements while they are being taught.
  • Media reports have suggested that there are a number of schools in the country where students attend only on certain days due to the shortage of classrooms to accommodate them. One example of this is the Simunye Secondary School in Bekkersdal on the West Rand. A group of young parishioners have reported to him that it was only in June 2022 that they were promised a school building, following the establishment of their school seven years previously – in 1995! Obviously it will still take many months, if not years, to construct the school, if ever;
  • Many of those who pass matric find it impossible to bridge the hurdle of entering tertiary education. Even those who do are often left with no option other than to take care of themselves because of social situations in which there is no support, for example, given to those who may be coming from child-headed families;
  • Those who make it to university find the transition so difficult that they become part of a large percentage of dropouts at the end of the year;
  • The argument is often advanced that in this technologically advanced world it should be easy for young people to access the resources needed for their university education. This argument is facile since most young people lack the considerable finance required to have access to data which the South African government has allowed to become prohibitively expensive;
  • Many young people with no or inadequate means find themselves in the sex industry, some of whom look no older than barely teenagers. Many find themselves trafficked for sex work, with some becoming sex slaves.

Bishop Moreo said: “The fact is that many young people, particular those who did not pass, find themselves outside the educational system and without jobs in a country with massive unemployment. There is a thin line between having nothing to do on the one hand, and becoming depressed and resorting to substance abuse and other deviant behaviour. This is a direct result of the lack of planning by government and its poor educational system.

“The church, as an integral institution of society, does its best to provide programmes for young people. But, unlike the state, the church does not have the billions of Rands to use as resources. Yet it will continue to do the work to which it is called by the Christ who said, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me.’

“In our political system in South Africa, it remains the responsibility of the state to provide an educational system that not only provides schools, well-educated teachers, access to universities and TVET colleges, and the prospect of jobs for all and a thriving economy. That is what we looked forward to in 1994. Current reports of the state of education provided by the government, and the highly negative consequences of its failure to provide a wholesome and holistic educational process, make it clear that the state has failed parents, their children, and future generations. That is the seriousness of the situation,” Bishop Moreo said.

Provincial Notices

Kimberley & Kuruman Diocesan Vacancies

The Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman invites applications for the two vacancies of Diocesan Administrator and Bookkeeper.

An application form and full descriptions of the two positions can be found below.

The closing date for applications is SUNDAY 18th DECEMBER.

Provincial Notices

Beloved of God course material- still available

The 25th November marks the start of the 16 days of activism against violence against women and children.

The Publishing Committee still has material for parish use available.

Beloved of God – Two books are provided for the course:

Leaders Guide @ R50  each

Workbook  @ R40 each.

(contains all the handouts)

This six week course was written in response to a motion of Provincial Synod 1999 concerning violence against women. The material was prepare by Canon Erica Murray.

It has been reprinted as material to deal with this topic on a parish level is very urgently needed in our society today.  This need for material was emphasized again at Provincial Synod 2019 and material updated.

The  6  week Course covers:

Susanna – Beloved of God – reflection on Daniel 13.  All are beloved of God

Abused Women – considers at the abuse of power

Battered women –  looks at the cycle of violence

Raped women – Bible Study on Tamar /effects of rape on women

Afraid women – to help men and women come to know God is a loving God

ALL OF US – Beloved of God – breaking forms of oppression.

order from:


Archbishop of Canterbury meets grieving mothers displaced by war in Mozambique

From Lambeth Palace

The Archbishop of Canterbury visited Pemba in North Mozambique yesterday to meet with people who’ve been traumatised by conflict, as part of his five-day visit to the country.

Yesterday the Archbishop met two women whose children had been violently killed by insurgents. One of them witnessed the murder of her baby daughter who was just a few months old. The other’s son, her only child, was abducted and killed.

Together with his wife, Caroline, Archbishop Justin Welby also met with Fatima, the mother of 7-month-old twins who’s displaced because of conflict in her home of Ancuabe, a district in Cabo Delgado Province. She is now living with a host family in Pemba who have given her and her children a place to stay.

Speaking of his visit to Pemba, the Archbishop said: “I was greatly moved when I heard about the violence and displacement in Cabo Delgado. In a region that has already suffered so much, the people there carry heavy burdens. Yet they are not crushed. Many in the Church and other faith groups are working tirelessly to bring communities together through dialogue, to heal the wounds of history and to change future prospects. I wanted to visit Pemba personally to stand alongside those who have fled their homes and those showing remarkably generous hospitality to them.”

Preaching during a special Eucharist yesterday at St Mary Magdalene Church to mark his visit the Archbishop said, “I came here to Pemba because I remember you each day in prayer, and I long for the world to support you and to help you. Your journey in these difficult times is an example to the world: a testimony of the love of God and of your faithfulness.”

“And we will speak about you not just as an example, but calling for people to support and help you.”

He particularly focused on women and young people at the service saying after the Eucharist, “Jesus Christ seeks the youth to be warriors of peace and the women to be foundations of peace. Your participation in reconciliation is essential. So my prayers are for all, but especially the youth and women.”

During his time in Pemba the Archbishop met government leaders and Catholic leaders. He also met members of “peace clubs” which were created in 2015 and to bring together young Muslim and Christian leaders. He listened as they described their reconciliation efforts and how the people they help are traumatised and tired by the insurgency in Cabo Delgado Province. He heard how availability of humanitarian aid was sparse, and how people are exhausted and desperate to know when they can go back to their own homes.

The Archbishop’s five day long pastoral visit to Mozambique has focused on solidarity, peace and reconciliation. Today the Archbishop is back in the capital city of Maputo to round up his visit. In Maputo he will talk to young people about their faith, and members of Mothers’ Union and Bernard Mizeki’s Guild.



  1. The Archbishop was visiting Mozambique to take part in celebrations for the new Anglican Church of Mozambique and Angola, which became the 42nd province of the Anglican Communion in 2021. Read more about his visit here
  2. Read the Archbishop’s sermon on Sunday in Maputo at a service of thanksgiving for the new Anglican Church of Mozambique and Angola, here.
Provincial Notices Provincial Standing Committee

Minutes of 2022 Provincial Standing Committee

CLICK HERE to read and download a copy of the Minutes of the 2022 meeting of the Provincial Standing Committee [LARGE FILE]

Provincial Notices

Pastoral Letter on Palestine for all parishes

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has issued the following Pastoral Letter to be read in parishes ahead of the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People: