Hi-Tech solution planned for PSC, church meetings

The Church is to set up a sophisticated video-conferencing facility which will enable Provincial Standing Committee (PSC) to meet online this year. In future, the system will also enable smaller meetings to be held virtually, saving on the Province’s travel budget.

A meeting of the PSC Service Committee, which plans the Committee’s meetings, heard details of the facility this week. It will enable Diocesan PSC delegations across Southern Africa to be in video contact with Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and Provincial office-bearers in Cape Town and elsewhere.

Agenda papers are expected to be available online next week. The meeting will begin on the afternoon of Tuesday September 22 and continue until Thursday September 24.

The meeting will include a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the constitution of the Province, which was formed by the Dioceses of Cape Town, Grahamstown, Natal and St Helena in 1870.

PSC includes episcopal, clerical and lay representatives from each Diocese in the Province and meets annually. It comprises about 120 people, including representatives of organisations.

During the Service Committee meeting, Archbishop Thabo reported that a number of clergy or their spouses had died of COVID-19 since the last meeting, and a priest had been shot dead in the Diocese of Natal the previous night. He sent condolences to the families of all clergy and members of their families who had died.

The Service Committee asks parishioners to use the following prayer for PSC:

Almighty God, our refuge and strength;
as we face the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic,
keep us mindful of your saving power,
strengthen us to care for one another, and
teach us new ways of protecting your planet,
for you led your people out of exile,
you walked the road to Calvary,
and you continue to equip us for ministry with your Holy Spirit,
One God, world without end.


Statement on Gender-Based Violence – Diocese of False Bay

In a powerful statement on gender-based violence (GBV), Bishop Margaret Vertue and Canon Cheryl Uren declare:

“We have to first undo, then to build. We need to capture the hearts, souls and minds of the people, this must become the dominant thought, the hegemony of our day: the safe-keeping of women and children. It can never be an issue amidst other issues.”

Read the full text of the 5/6-page statement:

In English >>

In isiXhosa >>

In Afrikaans >>


Schools are good for children NOW

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s response to the Department of Basic Education’s announcement on Sunday 31 May 2020, that the planned reopening of schools on 1 June is to be postponed.

When the Minister of Basic Education announced that schools in South Africa were to be reopened on 1 June 2020, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa on 19 May, welcomed her decision and urged all stakeholders to put the interests of the country and its children ahead of their own, for the time being.

We are living in a formally declared National Disaster and we all need to act in light of that.

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, at the time of the Minister’s mid-May announcement, lent its support to the call from Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi for all countries to prioritise the good of children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course the Church supports the call for the country’s schools to be made safe, as indeed we have supported efforts to supply water and safe toilets to all schools for many years.

However in South Africa, children who are not at school do not vanish into thin air; thousands of them are left wandering the streets, unprotected and unsupervised by parents who may be absent at work or otherwise. South Africa’s children are safest in the care of educators. Out of school they are exposed to all kinds of infection, abuse and accident.

The guidance of independent bodies like the Paediatric Association of South Africa in this regard should be heeded.

Bringing the nation’s children back into school is not a casual matter, a political football or a ho-hum. It is a pressing moral imperative, a duty of care, an educational priority and practically critical.

As the Minister observed in May, many children especially from poorer backgrounds who became disconnected from school during the 2010 strike never reconnected with the educational process; those young citizens, and the country, were the losers. It would be all too easy to commit that mistake again if we do not, as a country, bend our best efforts to the urgent readmission of our children to their schools. That has implications for all stakeholders who should now be doing all they can to co-operate, develop common plans, and work actively to fulfil them – even if this means going beyond their prescribed minimum obligations as officials or employees.

We must all work to prevent a crisis becoming a disaster.

Provision for home schooling during the lockdown has been partial, difficult to access, inequitable, and increasingly stressful for families who are emerging from lockdown into work and legitimately expecting society to provide a safe place for their children.

The emotional damage of constant chopping and changing of public plans, especially to children who are excited to return to school and to their friends, is significant.

Minister Motshekga’s apology today is appropriate and we accept it; but the confusion and miscommunication of the past few days is unfair to our children and unworthy of our democracy. It suggests that the overwhelming priority of caring for the children of our society is not pressing with sufficient force on the minds and hearts of the parties to this process.

The work required of education departments nationally and provincially is clear and urgent.

Likewise, the moral priority upon our educators is to bring our children into the care of schools as soon as possible and to bend every effort to care for and educate them.

We are living in a National Disaster. This means that all of us, government officials, educators, principals, parents and citizens should be working side by side, not wasting effort on squabbling, point-scoring, or defending ourselves. It is scandalous that debates over procurement should prejudice the children’s welfare.

We should all assist wherever we can to ensure the safe and urgent reopening of all our schools to accommodate the young of this country who must not be left at a loose end any longer. If that means lending a hand with deliveries, cleaning, or helping children to manage their lives in these strange times, so be it. We are above all citizens, adults with a new generation to care for, not rivals competing to make gain from a messy situation.

In our Church we offer our support to Anglican schools and urge our Bishops to visit and encourage our schools wherever they are located in their dioceses, and we urge the Church at large to find ways of lending support to public schools in their vicinity in whatever ways they can.

We urge –

– That no further delay in reopening is permitted beyond 8 June 2020

– That outstanding work to enable schools to open is undertaken urgently across the country

– That any school which is ready to reopen, and meets the criteria, be allowed to do so without delay

– That children in additional grades other than Grades 7 and 12, especially those in the Foundation Phase, should be readmitted as soon as possible, subject to the necessary health protocols but on a flexible timetable aimed at drawing all children into the protection of the school environment as quickly as possible

– That school feeding schemes open immediately and serve any child registered at any school in a quintile where such schemes operate, utilising the budget, facilities and personnel already in place for the purpose; even before such children are permitted to re-enter classrooms

– That all social partners set aside their own agendas and join hands to fulfil the goal set by Nobel Laureate Kailash Sathyarti, of prioritising the wellbeing of children globally through the current pandemic.

We cannot risk another lost generation.

Issued by the Anglican Board of Education in Southern Africa

Bishop Emeritus Peter Lee, Chairperson


South Africa’s National Day of Prayer – A Liturgy

DOWNLOAD a liturgy from the Diocese of George for South Africa’s National Day of Prayer for relief from the coronavirus, held on Sunday May 31.


Summary of SA’s Level 3 coronavirus regulations

This PDF published by South Africa’s Presidency summarises the regulations with effect from June 1, 2020.


PSC, Bishops to meet ‘virtually’ this year

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has announced that the September 2020 sessions of the Synod of Bishops (SOB) and the Provincial Standing Committee (PSC) will be held virtually using video-conferencing software.

In a letter to the Province’s bishops and members of the PSC, the Archbishop said there was a real prospect that in a number of countries in the Province, lockdowns would still be in force in September. In addition, some members of PSC had a heightened vulnerability to becoming seriously ill if they contract the virus.

“It is imperative under the Canons that we hold a PSC meeting, inter alia because we have to approve the 2021 budget, and the Legal Team has advised… that such a virtual PSC meeting will be legal in terms of the Canons,” he said.

PSC includes episcopal, clerical and lay representatives from each Diocese in the Province and meets annually. It comprises about 120 people, including representatives of organisations.

The PSC Service Committee, which is responsible for planning the Committee’s meetings, met on May 20 to discuss detailed arrangements for this year’s meeting, to be held on September 22-24.

It is proposed that members of each Diocese’s delegation will meet in a central venue, such as a Diocesan Centre, where physical distancing can be implemented, and that they will be able to view proceedings on a screen and contribute to discussions via audio links. The Service Committee urged that each Diocese ought to have an IT expert available to ensure an uninterrupted connection.

The Service Committee asked for a draft liturgy for opening worship to be prepared and is seeking ideas for how the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Province can be celebrated during the meeting.

The Archbishop and the Service Committee urges everyone to use the following special Collect for PSC in the months leading up to the meeting:

Almighty God, our refuge and strength,
As we face the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic
Keep us faithful to you,
Strengthen us to care for one another and your planet,
For you led your people out of exile,
You walked the road to Calvary,
And you continue to equip us for ministry with your Holy Spirit,
One God, world without end.

Do you have questions about a virtual meeting of PSC? Please let us know in the Comments section below, which we will publish and do our best to answer within a few days.


‘Schools are good for children’ – ABESA response to reopening of SA schools

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s response to Minister Motshekga’s announcement about reopening of South Africa’s schools, issued 19 May 2020

The Anglican Church welcomes the announcement made by the Minister of Basic Education, Minister Angie Motshekga on 19 May 2020, especially as it reflects wide prior consultation and care to address the concerns of all parties.

The Minister’s mantra, ‘Schools are good for children’ was bolstered by citations from UNICEF and emphasised the place of schools in providing not only educational building blocks but a framework for children’s daily life, mental health, physical security and socialisation. The tension between needing to bring South Africa’s children off the streets back into this environment, and the need to protect the health of children, families, educators and school employees constitutes our dilemma.

The Minister’s statistic that 1577 schools have been vandalised during the national lockdown points to both a malaise in our society which needs to be understood and addressed, and practical security issues for School Governing Bodies and the Department to address.

The Anglican Church pledges its support to the reopening process both in the many detailed discussions which are still required, and in the local implementation of the plan at community level where we work.

In this context of co-operation the Church would plead for the following:

1: While caution around the reopening process dominates communication at this stage, the overall tone of the process should be one of actively moving forward with readmitting children to schools as soon as possible. This is because ‘schools are good for children’ and while it may be true that some village and township schools are said to be not yet ready for reoccupation, the streets in which the very same children will play until the schools are open to them, are much more dangerous – in terms of food security, physical safety, and infection by COVID-19 among other winter diseases.

We would plead that the proposed phasing programme is kept under constant review with a view to being accelerated in every way, even if this means geographical and other anomalies. Bureaucratic compliance in lockstep to keep officials happy must come second to flexibility in getting children into safe educationally supervised spaces. Educators are good at managing children, even if they have to teach them hygiene measures and distancing, and children are much safer in their care than wandering free while their parents are out at work.

Minister Motshekga’s pointed reference to the strike of 2010, following which many learners in poorer communities are known never to have returned to school, is a solemn warning and a call for justice in our current context.

There must be a clear code of requirements for admitting more grades, but any school which declares itself ready and willing to proceed with readmitting more children, whether public or independent in terms of the Constitution and the Schools Act, should be allowed and actively encouraged to do so, provided they demonstrate compliance with the code. Ideally no school should go ahead without all being able to do likewise but the spectrum of schools in this country and the chaos caused by vandalism rules out the delays and consequent injustice which this would cause for the majority of children. It goes without saying that the Minister’s assurances about water and toilets are welcome and she should be supported in her efforts to secure compliance from all Provincial Departments in this regard.

Particular attention must be paid to the smallest children. According to some drafts of the phasing programme, Grades 1, 2 and R may only return to school as late as August 2020. But the Minister announced that in consultation with the Minister of Social Development, efforts would be made to enable ECD centres to reopen in June. This is a recipe for township parents to enrol their Grade R children in those centres for safe-keeping until August, when they would be better off in the care of qualified educators. The architecture of most primary schools ensures distancing already between the Foundation and Intermediate Phases; we suggest that thought be given to bringing a Foundation Phase grade into the premises in parallel with a higher one, for example Grade 1 returning with Grade 6 and so on. This should create no difficulty with space or distancing.

2: The educator body in this country are mostly public-spirited and professional people who have chosen their profession out of care for children and a desire to build our society. They should be honoured and supported in the present process. It is good that pleas from educators and their unions for safety in the workplace have been heard in the Department’s consultations and attended to, even if this has delayed reopening. Safety concerns for all parties are paramount.

However these concerns should not paralyse well-planned and executed strategies to care also for the country’s children, and to obviate gaps in the acquisition of essential building blocks of learning. Some draft schedules of the planned phasing of the return to school, showing deficits of 82-102 days of teaching for some children, are of deep concern especially when the physical safety of smaller children out of school is considered. Everything must be done to close these gaps.

Therefore we must appeal to educators for flexibility in their professional response at this time – to adjust willingly to modifications in working patterns or the curriculum, to co-operate with requests for platooning or stepping into grades they do not normally teach, and to place the needs of children ahead of labour demands at least until the end of 2021 while the catch-up process goes on.

3: All school feeding schemes should reopen and feed all children registered at schools in the relevant quintiles.

There is an acute food security crisis under way in this country, but distributing food parcels and increasing child grants in the hands of adults are erratic means of addressing the nutritional needs of children. The best way to feed children is to feed them. When the schools were closed in March 2020, some 9 million children depended on these schemes in school premises for a daily meal. The infrastructure remains in place – kitchens on school grounds, pots and spoons, experienced people contracted to prepare food, and budgets which Provincial Departments have not utilised for 8 weeks. These schemes should be reopened immediately and empowered to feed all children at their schools without application of a means test. School Management Teams which will be under-utilised in the early phases of reopening should manage access of their school’s children to the grounds at fixed hours when the readmitted learners are in class and ensure distancing is taught and practised while children eat – and if not yet readmitted, leave the premises.

This simple step would eliminate about 20% of the country’s hunger crisis at a stroke.

‘Schools are good for children’, and we need our children back in the schools.

The Anglican Board of Education on behalf of ACSA.


Archbishop’s News & Reflections for Holy Week

Archbishop Thabo is posting News and Reflections for Holy Week on his blog. See his updates at



Resources for Coronavirus Lockdown, South Africa

This page will be updated as new Resources arrive. Please email your resources to:

Latest Update: June 23, 2020

Changes for this update: New material is added at the top of each section

  • Green Anglicans weekly service
  • Prayers for Corpus Christi
  • Litany in a time of COVID-19
  • Guide to Online Liturgies
  • Pentecost Moments – A Reflection

Text resources

Green Anglicans

Green Anglicans is posting a weekly service onto YouTube each week. Join this WhatsApp group to receive it as soon as it is up:

Corpus Christi Prayers

Three sets of prayers for Corpus Christi, the last pertaining to this time of the lockdown, from Betty Govinden, Parish of St Aidan’s, Durban

Litany in a time of COVID-19

A Litany by Melvin Soriano of Pasadena, California, adapted for South African use by Wilma Jakobsen:

Guide to Online Liturgies

From the Diocese of Saldanha Bay:

Pentecost Moments and Soul Food

Poems, readings and writing by Bob Commin and friends:

St Mary’s Church in the Parish of Kingsburgh, in the Diocese of Natal, offers a virtual Stations of the Cross online:

A LITANY FOR THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC – there have been a number of requests for this litany, used by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba in Holy Week:

Bishop Michael Nuttall reflects on the lockdown:

The Revd Bob Commin on the Road to Good Friday:

The Revd Adeline Domingo, Chaplain to the Mothers’ Union in George Diocese, makes available a prayer “Building hope and confidence”:

HOPE Africa is providing a way in which you can help vulnerable people to access basic necessities such as food and hygiene packs:

By Bob Commin and Jane Dean, Meditations on the way of the Cross for Holy Week 2020:

The Revd Duncan McLea, Rector of St John’s Parish, Wynberg, recommends this Prayer for Deliverance from the Coronavirus from the 24-7 prayer movement, written by Pete Greig:

The Warehouse in Cape Town offers this guidance for offering & preparing your church site for use during lockdown:

The South African Council of Churches has drawn up a Coronavirus Pastoral Plan, which can be downloaded here:


Resources from the Episcopal Church in the USA

The Revd Wilma Jakobsen points us to these resources:

For families with or without kids, for Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday. Though from the Episcopal Church and not South African, there are some excellent and easy ideas for people to do church at home, with or without kids.

This one from Wendie Barrie, Children’s Minister and national leader of FORMA formation committee in the Episcopal Church, USA:

More resources for Holy Week and Easter:

This one from Shannon Kelly and team, Shannon is the national liaison for youth, young adult and college students in the Episcopal Church, USA:

Resources and Recommendations from Green Anglicans:

During Holy Week we will have an environmental meditation each evening from one of our Environmental Coordinators –  you can go to the Green Anglicans Facebook or Green Anglicans YouTube.

Online Easter story – for Sunday School children here are some Easter story books for free download.


You can go here for other languages and other stories

Free Lenten Book

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lenten Book “Saying Yes to Life” by Ruth Valerio is an excellent book on Care for Creation. SPCK are kindly letting us have it for free until Easter because of #lockdown. Don’t miss out!

The Very Revd Michael Weeder, Dean of Cape Town is posting a daily POEM & PRAYERS IN THE TIME OF COVID-19:

The Scripture Union has published a 7-day Easter Family devotional to be used by parents with their children during Passion Week (6-12 April). Find it among our downloadable resources:

The Revd Steve Verryn advises that Corpus Christi Church, Garsfontein in the Diocese of Pretoria, will be sharing the Palm Sunday (and possibly other) Eucharistic home service/s via a series of soundbites in WhatApp, as used by the Eluvukweni church, Crossroads [see details below].

People will be invited and shown how to make palm crosses through links and text instructions and sketches. The church will follow Bishop Geoff Quinlan’s suggestion of consecration by intention, for the Eucharist. There will be contributions from people at their homes for choruses, readings, etc. They will also bless the Palm crosses by intention.

To join the worship group click on

The Revd Rachel Mash shares how Eluvukweni Church, Crossroads, in Cape Town worships on WhatsApp [April 3 – Note the change in the link below:


Aware that data is expensive, we are using whatsapp for our worship

Set up a Whatsapp group for the 21 days
(Go to the WhatsApp group chat, then tap the group subject; Tap Invite via link..)

Evening prayer
Every evening a lay preacher/ lay minister prepares a short message on the readings of the day

(go to attachment – press audio)

A song is prepared in the same way by one of the families who has several singers in the house

Sunday Services
Matins. The families are sent the readings and hymn number a few minutes in advance and asked to gather and light a candle and say the morning prayer together

Recorded hymns by families are sent

A short sermon is sent

For Good Friday we will have seven words by seven preachers and seven hymns.

Retired Bishop Geoff Quinlan writes:

Dear friends,

I have begun celebrating the Eucharist on line in a way that allows participants to make their communion. I use the full Eucharistic service with the Consecration Prayer and ask participants to have bread and wine with them at home for consecration. In the Eucharistic prayer I then consecrate, by intention, the bread and the wine before me and also that in the homes of communicants. ONE IMPORTANT INSTRUCTION, WHICH I GIVE THOSE TAKING PART, is to only have the amount of bread and wine that can be consumed during the service so that nothing is left over afterwards. In other words, a small piece of bread and only a sip of wine.

Blessings to you all during this demanding but creative time,

+Geoff Quinlan

The Revd Robert Penrith of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth is publishing Daily Devotions by 7.30 am each morning on his blog (If his latest entry does not appear in the main section of the page, see the headline list on the right):

The Warehouse in Cape Town, a church-based NGO, seeks to inspire, equip and connect churches to become a transforming and transformative presence in their communities: See their guide for preparing your church:

St Monnica’s Church in Halfway Gardens, north of Johannesburg, shares a resource – The Scattered Body of Christ in Worship and Prayer – made specifically for their parish, but invites others to tailor it to their own needs. You will find it listed on this download page [Updated for Mar 29-April 5]:

Bishop Peter Lee has produced extensive readings and meditations for Holy Week, which you can also find on the download page:

Other resources on the download page include:

  • The Angelus in isiXhosa (a scan)

Guidelines for holding funerals have also been drawn up and are listed on our download page:

The USPG offers wide-ranging prayers for the world-wide church, which you can find here:

Video & Audio resources

We have got Sunday school lessons on line (for Ryan the Rhino – care for Creation) 

Ryan the Rhino Sunday School Session One

Ryan the Rhino Sunday School Session Two

Ryan the Rhino Sunday School Session Three

Ryan the Rhino Sunday School Session Four

Most audio resources – mainly prayers and short homilies or reflections – have been moved to a SoundCloud channel. You can listen online or download the content to your mobile phones or computers for later listening. Video files appear in the Video/Audio folder of the main Resource page (as listed below under each item). YouTube videos will appear at the end of this folder.

(To see all the SoundCloud audio resources click on ACSA Coronavirus Resources below.)

A sermon for the 3rd Sunday of Easter – The Revd Dr Barney Pityana:

Sister Vusisiwe Adonis, Provincial President of the Guild of St. Mary Magdalene reflects on a reading from the prophet Jeremiah:

The Revd Rus Bassoples, the Rector of St Stephen’s Church, Pinelands in Cape Town offers prayer and worship resources, including a Spiritual Communion:

The Ven Mark Long of Newlands, Cape Town records a Thought for the Day on YouTube:

The Revd Allen Goliath of All Saints Church, found helpful this Church of England guide for beginners “going live” on the internet

The Revd Martha Gordon of St Laurence’s Church, Discovery in the Diocese of Johannesburg, leads an Eco-Eucharist in her garden (27 minutes):

Various videos of blessings and the Angelus in different languages, including one with the bells of St Saviour’s, Claremont, Cape Town pealing out) are in this folder. The filenames identify the resource:

Bishop Luke Pretorius and others in the Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist in Limpopo are posting devotions to their YouTube channel and Facebook page. Find the links here:

The Very Rev Andrew Hunter, Dean of Grahamstown, is using Facebook to share worship regularly. Find them on his Facebook page:

The Revd Nobuntu Mageza says a blessing in isiXhosa: (VIDEO):

The Revd Moeketsi Motojane from Lesotho shares the Archbishop’s prayers in Sesotho (VIDEO):

The Revd Mkhuseli Lujabe,Rector of All Saints, Plumstead in the Diocese of Cape Town, reflects on the reading from Exodus set for March 28 (VIDEO):

The Parish of Kirby-Hilton in the Diocese of Natal is producing short services and various resources for parishioners on YouTube and their website. The Revd Paul Mosdell writes that they will post a service every Sunday morning during the lock-down. They also have Morning and Evening Prayer, and will release material on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. To see their full range of resources:

On YouTube (please subscribe to their channel):

On their website,

Fr Timothy Lowes is streaming services from St Michael and All Angels, Observatory, Cape Town to the Parish Facebook group. This is a closed group, but anybody may ask to join it. It is hoped that services will take place daily. Dates and times will be announced on the group’s pages:

An Angelus Prayer for the coronavirus lockdown:

Archbishop’s blessing for home services:

An international service for Passion Sunday:

Posters & Graphics

Green Anglicans is making available a range of posters in different languages giving hygiene advice to those who use in toilets in areas where people have to share taps. Find them in the relevant section of the download page:

Further abroad

With another break reported on March 28 in the West African Cable System, it is unclear whether other fibre-optic cables running up the east and west coasts of Africa have enough bandwidth to give us good internet links abroad. But if you would like to try watching or listening to overseas services:

The Ugandan-born Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, led a national worship service from the front room of his home on Sunday March 29. This exciting service can be viewed on the Church of England Facebook page:

Trinity Wall Street in New York livestreams (and later archives) its daily services at 18:05 (Central African time) Monday to Friday and at 17:15 (CAT) on Sundays:

  • St Martin in the Fields St Martin in the Fields, London, streams its Sunday service at 11 am (CAT) and archives it for later viewing:

St Martin in the Fields Facebookpage>>

  • The Church of England publishes a list of churches which livestream services here:

Image on Facebook page and Twitter

unsplash-logoFusion Medical Animation


Join Anglicans Across the World for a Passion Sunday Service

Produced by the Anglican Communion Office in London, it features Archbishop Thabo Makgoba reading the Psalm.

The service is led by the Revd Neil Vigers from the Anglican Communion Office’s Department for Unity Faith and Order. Readings by Archbishop Philip Freier (Melbourne, Australia); Archbishop Thabo; in French by Archbishop Ian Ernest, (Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome); and in Arabic by Dean Hosam Naoum (St George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem). The homily is given by Bishop Moon Hing (West Malaysia, South East Asia).