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Top lawyers licensed to advise Church

Leading Anglican lawyers have been licensed as Provincial office-bearers who assist the Church with legal advice.

During Evening Prayer on the first day of this year’s meeting of the Provincial Standing Committee, Archbishop Thabo licensed:

  • Mr. Lloyd Fortuin as the new Provincial Registrar;
  • Adv. Palesa Ncholo as the new Provincial Deputy Registrar; and
  • Adv. Ewald de Villiers-Jansen SC and Judge Richard Brooks as Provincial Deputy Chancellors.

They join Judge Ian Farlam, who is Provincial Chancellor, and Canon Rosalie Manning, who is also a Provincial Deputy Registrar.

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ACSA News & Notices News

OR Tambo, Keith Griffiths receive ACSA award

The Archbishop’s Award for Peace with Justice was conferred upon O R Tambo, posthumously, and on the Revd Keith Griffiths at a service marking the 150th anniversary of the Province on Tuesday.

The service was hosted in the Bishopscourt chapel in Cape Town, joined by a representative of the Tambo family at the Diocese of Johannesburg. The service was held under conditions of coronavirus lockdown during the annual meeting of the Provincial Standing Committee.

The citation for Mr Tambo, leader of the ANC in exile, noted that he attended Holy Cross Mission School at Flagstaff, then went on to study at St. Peter’s School, Rosettenville, and to live in Beda Hall, the Anglican hostel at the University of Fort Hare.

“The life of Oliver Tambo was rooted in his Christian faith and in the Anglican Church,” the citation added. Father Trevor Huddleston became his “religious model” and Bishop Ambrose Reeves accepted him for ordination training. But his arrest ahead of the Treason Trial, then being sent into exile, thwarted him. Mr Tambo was also credited with winning over leaders of the World Council of Churches to support the liberation struggle.

The citation for Father Griffiths said his devotion to liturgy and liturgical renewal has been central to his ministry.

“He has served on the Steering Committee of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation and was recently elected as its Chairperson,” the citation contiuned.

“He loves all things liturgical and is willing to experiment with new liturgies, always meticulous in ensuring that the words and the flow of worship fit well together. His dedication to preparing worship and liturgies for Provincial Synod and Provincial Standing Committee has been exemplary.

“Across the Christian Church in Southern Africa, Keith is known as a pastor with an ecumenical spirit. He is well respected for his work with Ekklesia and the publication of Word and Worship, which focuses on the Revised Common Lectionary. His ability to write, edit and distribute liturgical resources is phenomenal and he ensures that areas that are difficult to reach are not left behind.”

The service at Bishopscourt was webcast live on Facebook.

The Revd Natalie Simons-Arendse reads the citation for the Revd Keith Griffiths.
Bishop Steve Moreo of Johannesburg reads the citation for OR Tambo as his grandson, Zachary Kingston, looks on.

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150th Anniversary Service expanded, broadcast live, 4 pm, Sunday Sept 20th

Sunday’s service celebrating ACSA’s 150th anniversary has been expanded in partnership with the SA Council of Churches (SACC) and the Solidarity Fund with the aim also of uplifting people’s spirits in the time of the coronavirus, of inspiring courage in moments of darkness and of enlivening hope for the future.

The time of the service has been moved to 4 pm on Sunday (September 20) to enable its broadcast in South Africa on SABC2, the national broadcaster’s channel with the biggest reach. It will also be carried throughout Africa on DStv Channel 404. Details of an online webcast will be posted to ACSA’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/anglicanmediasa/

The service will be one of Solemn Evensong, held under coronavirus lockdown protocols.  The Order of Service will be published online on Sunday before the service begins, with a link from the Facebook page.

Evensong will be led in St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba. The preacher will be Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, head of the world-wide Anglican Communion. Ms Gloria Serobe, the Chairperson of the Solidarity Fund, and the President of the SACC, Bishop Zipho Siwe of the Methodist Church, will also join the service. Hymns will be led by choirs from St Cyprian’s Church, Langa, Cape Town, and the Cathedral.

In the coming weeks, the SACC plans to arrange three further services in cooperation with the inter-faith community, the ecumenical community and the Catholic Church with Vatican involvement. Details will be published when they are finalised.

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NOTE TIME CHANGE to 4pm – Archbishop Welby to preach at 150th anniversary service

[Report updated to reflect broadcast of service on SABC2 & DStv Channel 404]

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, will preach at a service marking the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa on Sunday September 20.

The service will also include the SA Council of Churches, and aims to uplift people’s spirits in the time of the coronavirus, to inspire courage in moments of darkness and to enliven hope for the future.

The service, to be held online, will begin at 4 pm on the 20th. [It has been moved from 2pm to 4pm] It also marks the beginning of the September meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

It will be broadcast in South Africa on SABC2, and throughout Africa on DStv Channel 404. A link to the service on social media will be published when it becomes available.

Click on the links below the photo to see the Church’s 1870 Constitution

PAGE 1: http://www.historicalpapers.wits.ac.za/inventories/inv_pdfo/AB2891/AB2891-A-001-jpeg.pdf

PAGE 2: http://www.historicalpapers.wits.ac.za/inventories/inv_pdfo/AB2891/AB2891-A-002-jpeg.pdf

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Archbishop Thabo’s prayer for Tutus after a fire

The Tutus in lockdown before the fire. (Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation)

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba called Archbishop Emeritus Desmond and Mrs Leah Tutu to pray with them today after an early-morning fire destroyed part of their retirement cottage in Hermanus.

The couple are both safe and recovering under the supervision of the staff of the retirement village in which they live.

Dear Holy and Triune God,

May you please look after Mama Leah and Tata. They need you more than ever before during this most vulnerable time of lockdown and COVID-19. We are very grateful that they were not injured in the fire. May you heal them so they overcome the shock and trauma they are facing. We love them and we pray that you will continue to keep them safe at all times. Please give them and the family all the strength that they need at this time, Amen.

9 September 2020

Statement from the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation

ARCHBISHOP AND MRS TUTU EXTEND LOVE AND GRATITUDE TO VILLAGE STAFF AND FIRE DEPARTMENT AFTER FIRE DAMAGES THEIR RETIREMENT HOME

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Mrs Leah Tutu have extended their love and gratitude to staff at their retirement village and members of the local fire department after a fire damaged the living area of their cottage in Hermanus, in the Southern Cape.

The couple did not sustain any injuries and were in good spirits considering events that unfolded around daybreak today.

“We cannot thank the staff at the village enough for their kindness and quick action; or members of the fire department, unsung heroes, on whose courage one leans in the most difficult circumstances. God bless them all,” the Tutus said.

The cause of the fire is unknown. It is believed to have been triggered by a faulty gas heater.

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Hand in Hand – Bible studies to transform our response to sexual violence

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Statement regarding the Revd. June Major

August 12, 2020

The Anglican Church Commission set up to support victims of sexual and other abuse in the church today said it was deeply saddened by the pain and experience reported to it by the Revd. June Dolley-Major and is open and willing to support her.

The Church’s Safe and Inclusive Church Commission (known as “Safe Church”) was established by the Church’s governing Provincial Synod in 2019. It includes gender activists in the Church who have campaigned for more effective action to root out abuse.

The Commission’s statement reads:


We are deeply saddened by the pain and experience as formally reported by Revd. Major, to Safe and Inclusive Church on the 8th of July 2020.

Gender-Based Violence of any form is abhorrent to us and Safe Church was set up to assist members in finding support and compassion in the journey to seeking redress for all forms of abuse by the ministers of our church.

There are two options open to Revd. Major in her quest for justice:

    • Acting using church law; or
    • Laying charges under the State’s criminal law.

Church law:
This is the internal investigation conducted by the church in terms of its Canon (church) Law and results in a Tribunal (court) where Revd. Major appoints her own presenter to present her case. The respondent in the matter is also represented by a person of their choice. The Tribunal is held in public, so any person is welcome to attend the Tribunal to witness and observe how matters unfold.

Criminal law:
When the Revd. Major first reported her alleged rape to church leaders in 2016, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba urged her to report the matter to the police. She did this, but a prosecutor in Grahamstown declined to prosecute. She may now ask for the case to be re-opened, or alternatively, she may obtain a certificate from the State for her to prosecute the matter privately. The church supports the re-opening of the case.

As Safe Church we remain willing and open to support  Revd. Major in any route she chooses and await her promised response by the 1st of September 2020.

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has an established reputation for speaking truth, fighting for justice and caring for the vulnerable and marginalised, and we are determined to uphold this record in this and all cases of abuse in the church.

The Commission does not normally discuss cases in public unless a complainant wishes to do so and we agree that it would be in the public interest. However, the Revd. Major has given extensive publicity to her case, so in this case we feel compelled to issue this statement. 

Canon Rosalie Manning

Chairperson

Safe and Inclusive Church Commission

The following statement was issued by the Commission earlier:

July 31, 2020

Statement from the Anglican Safe and Inclusive Church Commission

The Anglican Safe and Inclusive Church Commission has completed its preparations for investigating the allegation by the Revd June Major, a former priest of the Diocese of Cape Town, that a former colleague raped her in 2002.

The Commission (also referred to in the Church as “Safe and Inclusive Church”) believes the Revd Major’s complaint warrants being investigated further and a Commission representative has invited her to nominate a counsellor and other persons to support her during the investigation process. If she feels it necessary, the Commission can also help facilitate her obtaining such support.

As indicated previously by the Archbishop, in the matter relating to Revd Major, Safe and Inclusive Church received on 8 July 2020 a formal (written) complaint relating to her alleged rape in 2002. In terms of our process, we meet with the parties involved (as well as any other members that may be identified as pertinent) and conduct an interview with them.

In our contact with the Revd Major, she expressed concern about the impartiality of an internal church process. As a consequence, Safe and Inclusive Church has included a reputable part-time commissioner of the Gender Commission on the panel which will investigate her complaint. It is hoped that this will provide her with an added level of trust and comfort with the process.

We are awaiting a response from Rev. Major on these matters, and that will then determine the next steps.

Historically, over the 150 years of its history the Church as a voluntary organisation has been governed under its Canon Law (church law). The courts have recognised Canon Law as a parallel but separate system of law, governing its particular sphere of church affairs. This has required that Canon Law embodies the principles of natural justice recognised in society at large and updated from time to time in light of wider developments in jurisprudence.

In the past 20 years, the Church has amended its Canon Law to comply with developments in labour law, establishing strict Pastoral Standards which govern the behaviour and action of its ministers, and making provision for processes to protect the rights of both complainants and respondents. The processes laid down by the Canons may be compared with a secular organisation’s grievance and disciplinary procedures.

Safe and Inclusive Church is a newly established faculty of the Church, assented to at the Church’s governing Synod in September 2019. This faculty was established to assist complainants and the Church to respond to allegations of abuse or harm (of which there are thirteen categories) and then move it into the Canonical disciplinary process. (Details of the Commission, and links to the relevant sections of Canon Law, can be found here: https://anglicanchurchsa.org/safe-church-guide/ )

The Safe and Inclusive Church panel which investigates a complaint conducts interviews and compiles all relevant documentation, then delivers a report to the Diocese concerned. The panel does not make findings or recommendations, but the Bishop or Vicar-General of the Diocese in which the respondent is resident appoints a Board of Preliminary Inquiry – or may appoint Safe Church as the Board of Inquiry – whose task it is to establish if a prima facie case exists.

The Bishop or Vicar General is able to take such other actions as the Canons permit, including the suspension of the respondent minister. Should a prima facie case be established, a Diocesan Tribunal considers the case against the accused. Either party in the matter has a right of appeal should charges not be brought before a Tribunal.

Having this matter investigated in any other way but in terms of our Canon Law, would render our process invalid in terms of our Canons and hence the Church would be unable to act on findings as well as be subject to court sanction for not following our own process.

Both Revd Major as the complainant as well as the respondent are free, at their own cost, to be accompanied by a representative of their choice and to seek such counsel and advice as they may need at any stage of the process.

The appointment of members of the Tribunal, apart from the Bishop who as President of the Tribunal is appointed by the Archbishop, is subject to challenge by both complainant and accused.

As an ordained minister of the church, albeit one that tendered her resignation as a licensed minister in 2014, Revd. Major is still bound by the precepts of Canon Law as this was part of the oaths and declarations she made at her ordination. This means that any disputes or complaints she may have with the Church would need to follow the precepts of the Canons as they prevail at the time.

Canon Rosalie Manning
Chairperson
Anglican Safe and Inclusive Church Commission

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10 Things a Man of Faith can do NOW to end GBV

Download PDF below:

https://anglicanchurchsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/GBV-MenofFaith.pdf

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Join this year’s Manche Masemola pilgrimage online

You won’t have to travel to South Africa’s Limpopo province this year to join the annual pilgrimage commemorating the life and witness of the martyr Manche Masemola – the event will take place as an online e-service.

Find full details of the service on Sunday August 2 at the link below:

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Who is speaking for the children?

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa wishes to join its voice to that of the South African Human Rights Commission and others, in arguing for the continued opening and operating of as many of the country’s schools as possible.

We hear that teacher unions are meeting the Minister of Basic Education to press for the closure of the schools; the spokesman of one such is on record as saying, ‘we know what strong method we can use to ensure that we save the lives of learners, teachers and the lives of the community’.

But is this the time for arm-wrestling between the unions and their employers?

We ask: who speaks for the children in these meetings?

Note that:

-Science increasingly shows that children are not super-spreaders of the virus; children should not be stigmatised for what adults are bringing into the schools and spreading.

-Minister Motshekga was correct when she said ‘schools are good for children’; the discourse sometimes sounds as if children who are not in school are sitting in safe suburban homes with food, care and home schooling. But the bulk of this country’s children, if not in school, are vulnerable to all kinds of danger in the streets – including serious infections. If these children have parents surviving, they will now have returned to work (in hazardous taxis) to bring home some income. These parents are not sitting in the house, protecting, feeding and online schooling their children; they are busy surviving. These parents have a right to expect society and its educators to create a safe space for their children during the day while they work. We expect that of our educators.

-Of course schools must be made as safe as possible and many of the disgraceful backlogs in this regard now need to be faced – with toilets, water, roofs and the rest. But it is not for educators, especially in time of national disaster, to fold their hands and wait for someone else to do it all. They need to be modelling responsibility and finding ways to make the school system work, not to make it seize up.

-While it is true that the deadlines with the curriculum are not sacred and the country can well use 2021 flexibly to ensure that essential learning is covered, many children are at the stage of acquiring the basic building blocks of learning, and schools should enable that wherever possible; sometimes what is lost in a crisis is never recovered, and we already have enough of that cumulative damage in our population.

-The emotional and mental health effects of being out of school are accumulating alarmingly in this country’s children; they need to be back in the process of socialisation and professionally supervised development. Educators are good at this and should not be intimidated into deserting their responsibility.

-9 million children in South Africa depend on school feeding for their basic health. In this week’s Nids-Cram report, 47% of households reported running out of money for food in April and 8% of households with children reported child hunger lasting more than 3 days in the past week. In our context, to cut school feeding is to abandon the nation’s children to immediate distress and the long-term effects of malnutrition.
Even in this time of disaster, the rights of child citizens in terms of section 29 (1) of the Bill of Rights cannot be lightly suspended.

This constitutional imperative, and her conviction that schools are good for children, must continue to guide Minister Motshekga’s decisions. We urge her

-1: to ensure that all children can continue to access functional schools;

-2: to ensure that any unavoidable interruptions because of infection or essential maintenance are kept to a minimum; and

-3: to resist pressure for additional closures which are pushed in the interests of employees rather than children.

Who is speaking for the children? Bana pele!

A statement prepared by the Anglican Board of Education, chaired by Bishop Emeritus Peter Lee.