ABESA calls for vaccine priority for educators

Anglican Board of Education for Southern Africa – Statement

The Anglican Board of Education for Southern Africa supports this week’s call from the unions in the education sector upon the Minister of Health, for educators to be preferred in the queue for COVID-19 vaccinations, as frontline workers in the nation.

It is critical for South Africa’s future that registered learners are in school as much and as early as possible; that school feeding schemes operate; and that the adult care given by educators in class and in the community is afforded as fully as possible.


Reduce worshippers to 50 or less, Bishops urged

As the “third wave” of Covid-19 infections hits a number of South African dioceses entering the winter months, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba’s Covid Advisory Team is urging that congregations should be limited to 50 people or less.

The team is also urging all Anglicans to be vaccinated when vaccines become available. Among other recommendations:

“Decrease the number of people at all services to a maximum of 50 , if the church is able to accommodate 50 people within the COVID guidelines. In the event that the building is smaller and not able to accommodate 50 people then to a maximum of 50% of the capacity of the building.”

“Social distancing of 1,5 meters has to be enforced even for members of the same family, as if they are allowed to sit together, then the 1,5m distance between them and other worshippers is not being maintained.”



Three servants of ACSA receive Lambeth Awards

Three members of the Province are among more than 30 Anglicans across the Communion who have received Lambeth Awards for 2021. The awards are made by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, to recognise outstanding contributions to the Church and wider society.

Bishop Luke Pato of Namibia and Canon Rachel Mash, the Province’s environmental coordinator, have been awarded the Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion. The late Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya, as previously announced by the Synod of Bishops, received the Langton Award for Community Service.

The citations, published on April 7 by Lambeth Palace in London, follow in alphabetical order:

Canon Rachel Mash – the Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion

For raising awareness of and the urgent need to implement the Fifth Mark of Mission in the Anglican Communion.

Working with the steering committee of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, Dr Mash was instrumental in organising the first eco-bishops’ conference at Volmoed. From this came the Good Friday statement ‘The world is our host,’ which had a huge impact on the Anglican Communion. A further eco-bishops of Africa conference led to ‘An Urgent Cry for Ecological Justice; Reclaiming the Gospel Imperative for All Creation’ and a call for climate change to be high on the agenda for Lambeth Conference. The Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) subsequently released a statement on Environmental Racism signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, nine other archbishops and over 60 Bishops.

Starting in the Anglican Church of South Africa (ACSA), she promoted the Season of Creation into a living liturgical season, resourcing it with excellent liturgical materials. On a Communion level she brought a resolution to the 2009 Anglican Consultative Council in New Zealand to celebrate a liturgical ‘Season of Creation’ as an integral part of the church’s yearly pattern of worship and teaching. The Season of Creation has spread to a growing number of provinces. She is part of the steering committee for the Season of Creation ecumenical network with the Global Catholic Climate Movement, the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation and others.

The Green Anglicans Youth movement was started in ACSA and has since spread to Central Africa, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Portugal. Perceiving that the environmental movement must be led by young people, she has consistently trained, empowered and believed in young people so that they are at the forefront of the movement.

Bishop Luke Lungile Pato – The Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion

For outstanding lifelong service to the Church and Society through Theological Education as well as in Ecumenical Relations.

Since Bishop Luke Lungile Pato’s consecration and installation as Bishop of Namibia in 2016, his leadership, theological acumen and pastoral approach have endeared him to the people of the Diocese, bringing stability to the Church in Namibia.

Previously, he had served in the Diocese of Johannesburg as Rector of the Parish of St Martin in the Veld Rosebank, and Rector of the School for Ministries in the Diocese. He spent many years at the South African Council of Churches (SACC) in Church and Reconciliation Ministries following the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where he also built support with the Christian Church in the Palestinian Territories. He has also served in the Anglican Communion Anglican-Orthodox Commission. An internationalist, he has served as a university lecturer in Religious Studies and is a published scholar in African Theology and Theological Education.

After seven years as founding Rector of the College of the Transfiguration, where he established a new seminary for the church, set its norms and academic programmes and environment for priestly formation for the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Cape Town invited him to serve as Provincial Executive Officer and for a while he was based at Bishopscourt, the office of the Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

Bishop Pato is nominated in recognition of his outstanding and faithful ministry in the Church, especially his leadership and administrative skills in ground-breaking and difficult situations; his sensitive work as a reconciler and bridge-builder between Church and society; and his work for justice that linked the Church in South Africa with the Church in Palestine. He has rendered illustrious service and dedication to Church and society; in his ecumenical service on behalf of the Anglican Church; and in his work of peace, justice and reconciliation.

The late Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya – The Langton Award for Community Service

For outstanding leadership in the area of sustainable development and Creation Care in the Diocese of Swaziland (Eswatini).

The late Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya was the first woman to be Bishop in Africa. As such she served her Diocese, the Province and the Anglican Communion in an outstanding manner. She integrated the care of creation into her theology, her teaching and her praxis, prioritising the environment at all levels.

In the Diocese of Swaziland (Eswatini), she was one of the first bishops to introduce the Season of Creation on a yearly basis. She instituted many successful environmental projects, the wattle tree project, seed distribution, the rocket stove initiative and the pig farming project. These have demonstrated sustainable development in a way which is healing the land. The Department of Environment has recognised the Diocese two years in a row for an Eco-award, and she was invited to preach at National World Environment day events.

On a Provincial level, she was the liaison bishop for the environment and oversaw the Greening of the Canons, divestment from fossil fuels, a commitment to banning of Styrofoam at church events and other environmental resolutions.

On a communion level, as chairperson of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network she spoke at Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka on the Eucharist and the Environment. She spoke at forums in Washington DC and was a facilitator for Trinity Church, Wall Street on sustainability for churches in Africa.

Bishop Ellinah was an active member of the Anglican Bishops in Dialogue consultations. These bishops, in the spirit of the Indaba process of Lambeth 2008, courageously took the risk to meet and listen to those with whom they have had profound disagreements. They met for over 10 years and grew in trust, mutual respect and understanding of their diverse contexts and common mission. In this, as in all she undertook, Bishop Ellinah made an outstanding contribution.

The full list of awardees can be found on the Lambeth Palace website.


New Safe Church update on case of the Revd June Major

Statement regarding progress in the investigation of the alleged rape of Reverend June Major as reported to Safe and Inclusive Church

The report of the Board of Preliminary Enquiry finds there is a case to answer.

The Board of Preliminary Enquiry (BPE) appointed by the Anglican Church of South Africa (ACSA) to investigate the alleged rape of the Reverend June Dolley-Major by the Reverend Melvin Booysen has established there is a case to answer.

The case will be heard by a Diocesan Tribunal in public sessions as set out in Church law (Canons) in around mid-May 2021, in order to allow for the confirmation of the lay and clerical members of the tribunal by Rev Major and Rev Booysen. The Archbishop has appointed as President of the Tribunal one of the retired Bishops of the Church, Bishop Emeritus Peter Lee.

As soon as the tribunal date has been confirmed, the ACSA will publish its date and venue and joining instructions in line with the prevailing COVID-19 restrictions. An option to join the tribunal virtually will also be made available.

At the end of the hearings the tribunal will issue a judgement within 21 days. The judgement may be the subject of a further appeal. By choosing to pursue the case under Church law (Canons) this does not prevent either Rev Dolley-Major or Rev Booysen from pursuing this matter in the criminal courts in the future, if they wish to do so.

For further details of the process followed to date by the ACSA please see our media statement of 24 March 2021 which can be viewed here.

We assure all of those involved on both sides of this case of our prayers, pastoral support and long-standing commitment as we seek guidance and truth in this matter.

We will continue to communicate progress on this matter.


Covid-19 update on funerals

The Provincial Covid-19 Advisory Team has issued a special supplementary update to its guidelines, dealing specifically with funerals in the case of Covid-19 related deaths in South Africa.

Download the new update below:

Download the full guidelines, issued on March 18, below:


Safe Church update on case of the Revd June Major

Statement regarding progress in the investigation of the alleged rape of Reverend June Major as reported to Safe and Inclusive Church

The report of the Board of Preliminary Enquiry is scheduled to be published on Thursday 1 April 2021

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) remains committed to its work of mission and ministry to speak truth, fight for justice and care for the vulnerable and marginalised.

Gender Based Violence remains a scourge in our communities and is abhorrent to ACSA and other members of wider society . It is deeply saddening to witness the pain and experience of any victim or survivor of Gender Based Violence (GBV). For ACSA, it is especially sensitive to the pain of the Rev. June Major as reported to Safe and Inclusive Church. Safe Church was set up to assist members in finding support and compassion in the journey to seeking redress for all forms of alleged abuse by any minister of our church.


The Rev. Major reported the matter formally under the Church Laws (Canons), to the Safe and Inclusive (SIC) Commission on 8 July 2020.

Subsequently, a Team from the Commission shortly after receiving the complaint was assigned to investigate the matter and based on its discernment, determine the way forward.

Following a meeting with two members of the Commission on 5 October 2020 a charge sheet (Articles of Presentment) was prepared to enable the matter to be brought before a tribunal of the church.

A Board of Preliminary Enquiry (BPE) was appointed on 14 December 2020 with the task of establishing if a prima facie case existed. The Board had 21 working days to complete their work and report to the responsible Bishop, who was then required to distribute the report to all parties and outline the next steps, including allowing the right of reply.

The BPE completed its work and the report was submitted to the Bishop on 15 January 2021. The Bishop then had some time to review the report but unfortunately contracted COVID for which he was hospitalised.

The Bishop subsequently distributed the report to all the parties by 1February 2021.

The Accused then had 14 working days in which to respond to the findings and recommendations of the BPE report. On receipt of the report, the attorneys of the Accused raised a number of issues which had to be addressed. The Canons make provision for delays in days to respond and the matters were finally settled on 4 March 2021.

As such the Accused in this matter has 14 (fourteen) working days to respond to the BPE and the final date for his response is Thursday 25 March, 2021. This information was shared with all parties.

The report, as well as any subsequent decisions that may be required, will now become a matter of public record and is scheduled to be posted on the Church website on Thursday 1 April 2021. Should the report find there is a case to answer, a tribunal will be held in public sessions, mindful of the COVID restrictions.

We assure all of those involved on both sides of this case of our prayers, pastoral support and long-standing commitment as we seek guidance and truth in this matter.

We will continue to communicate progress on this matter.

For any further queries please contact


Latest Covid-19 guidelines – March 18

Download the latest Covid-19 guidelines, issued by the Archbishop’s Provincial Covid-19 Advisory Team, on March 18, 2021.


Bishops call for end to oil drilling in Namibia

Bishop Raphael Hess and Bishop Margaret Vertue hand over the petition to the Hon. Sarafina Tshilunga, Consul-General of Namibia in Cape Town, accompanied by the Revd Dr Rachel Mash, the Province’s Environmental Coordinator.


Bishop Luke Pato, the Bishop of Namibia alerted the Anglican Church that exploratory drilling for oil and gas has commenced in the Kavango Basin, Namibia, by Canadian Company ReConAfrica In response the Synod of Bishops has drawn up a petition calling for the immediate halt to the drilling.

“The process has not been an open one, with Namibians waking up to a mining venture that has already been signed and settled. There are many questions to be answered. “ Bishop of Namibia, Rt Rev Luke Pato

Thirty-four bishops and three Archbishops from around the world have signed a petition calling for the immediate halt to the drilling. These include the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Cecil Makgoba; Archbishop Julio Murray, chair, Anglican Communion Environmental Network; the Most Rev. Linda Nicholls, Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada; Archbishop Mark Macdonald, National Indigenous Archbishop, Anglican Church of Canada; and Bishop Kito Pikaahu Chair of Anglican Indigenous Network, and the Bishop of Salisbury ,the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, lead Bishop for the Environment, Church of England.

Since the oil company is based in Canada, the petition was also signed by Lori Ransom, Interim Executive Director: Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

The petition is being over today to the Government of Namibia, the Namibian Consulate in Cape Town, and the Headquarters of ReconAfrica in Vancouver and the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise.”

Canadian oil company ReconAfrica has bought rights to drill for oil in more than 35 000 square kilometres of the Kavango Basin in Namibia. This environmentally sensitive, protected area supplies water to the Okavango Delta, is a World Heritage and Ramsar Wetland Site, a Key Biodiversity Area and one of the seven natural wonders of Africa. The region is home to the largest remaining population of African elephants, 400 species of birds and is a sanctuary for many other animals. It is protected under the protocol of the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission.

The Bishops are protesting for the following reasons:


This exploration violates San rights under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people. It affects three regional UNESCO heritage sites: The Okavango Delta, the Tsodilo Hills and the San Living Cultural Landscape. ‘Unconventional oil and gas’ exploration and extraction will bring roads, heavy trucks, ribbon development and pollution.


Water is a scarce and precious commodity in Namibia, the driest country south of the Sahara. Grave concerns about the potential damage that ReconAfrica’s planned ‘unconventional drilling’ will do to groundwater have been expressed by a specialist from the Geological Survey of Namibia and the general public.


According to the ReconAfrica website, “oil generated in the basin could be billions of barrels” i, and be the “biggest oil play of the decade.” ii Namibia is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. With almost unrivalled solar energy potential, extracting ‘billions of barrels of oil,’ makes no sense. Reducing carbon emissions is a global responsibility.


Indications are that the deal between ReconAfrica and the Government of the Republic of Namibia were concluded behind closed doors. Initial meetings were only held in Northern Namibia. Only under duress was a further meeting organised in Windhoek, the capital city. Concerns raised by local activists have been belittled and The Namibian, the national newspaper which broke the story, is being threatened with legal action. iii iv


The EIA submitted by ReconAfrica does not comply with strict Namibian Government standards.v


ReconAfrica claims that drilling the Kavango basin is “pretty much a no-brainer…”vi The Bishops call it a sin.

Drilling in the Kavango Basin will fracture its geological structure and destroy the water system that supports this unique ecosystem and wildlife sanctuary. In so doing, it will also disrupt to the livelihoods of the indigenous people.

Based on the principle of restorative social and environmental justice, the Bishops call upon the international community to support Namibia and Botswana to develop renewable energy systems and help safeguard the precious Kavango ecosystem.


Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Cecil Makgoba

Archbishop Julio Murray, chair, Anglican Communion Environmental Network

The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

Archbishop Mark Macdonald, National Indigenous Archbishop, Anglican Church of Canada

Lori Ransom, Interim Executive Director: Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

The Dean of the Province of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa; The Bishop of Matlosane, the Rt Revd Stephen Molopi Diseko

The Bishop of Namibia, the Rt Revd Luke Lungile Pato

The Bishop of Angola, the Rt Revd André Soares

The Bishop of California, Rt Revd Marc Andrus,

The Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau (Northland-Auckland), Kito Pikaahu Chair of Anglican Indigenous Network.

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, lead Bishop for the Environment, Church of England.

The Bishop of Saldanha Bay, the Rt Revd Raphael Bernard Viburt Hess

The Bishop of Mpumalanga, the Rt Revd Daniel Malesela Kgomosotho

The Bishop of George, the Rt Revd Brian Melvin Marajh

The Bishop of False Bay, the Rt Revd Margaret Vertue

The Bishop of Free State, the Rt Revd Dintoe Stephen Letloenyane

The Bishop of Johannesburg, the Rt Revd Dr Stephen Mosemanegape Moreo

The Bishop of Lebombo, the Rt Revd Carlos Simao Matsinhe

The Bishop of Highveld, the Rt Revd Mthetheleli Charles May

The Bishop of Pretoria, the Rt Revd Allan Kannemeyer

The Bishop of Christ the King, the Rt Revd William Joseph Mostert

The Bishop of Niassa, the Rt Revd Vicente Msosa

The Bishop of Mthatha, the Rt Revd Dr. Hummingfield Charles Nkosinathi Ndwandwe

The Bishop of Khahlamba, the Rt Revd Moses Madywabe

The Bishop of St Helena, the Rt Revd Dale Bowers

The Bishop of Port Elizabeth, the Rt Revd Dr. Edward Ronald Daniels

The Bishop of St Mark the Evangelist, the Rt Revd Luke Abe Pretorius

The Bishop of Mzimvubu, the Rt Revd Tsietsi Edward Seleoane

The Missionary Bishop of Nampula, the Rt Revd Manuel Ernesto

The Bishop of Table Bay, the Rt Revd Joshua Louw

Founder and patron of SAFCEI, The Rt Revd Geoffrey Davies

Honorary Assistant Bishop Diocese of York. Church of England Rt. Revd. Graham Cray

Retired regional bishop of Cape Town, Rt. Revd Geoff Quinlan

Retired regional bishop of Cape Town, Rt. Revd Christopher Gregorowski,

The Vicar General of Kimberley & Kuruman, the Revd Carol Starkey

The Vicar General of Lesotho, the Very Revd Tanki Mofana

The Vicar General of Natal, the Very Revd Ndabenzinhle Sibisi

The Vicar General of Zululand, the Rt Revd Funginkosi Mbhele

The Vicar General of Mbhashe, Ven Bonga Horace Mkabile

The Vicar General of eSwatini, the Very Revd Advent Dlamini

i Accessed 24 Feb 2021





vi Dan Jarvie Worldwide Geochemistry, LLC accessed 23/2/21

A silent protest will be held on the steps of St George’s Cathedral on the 11th of March at mid-day.

News Synod of Bishops

Communiqué from the Synod of Bishops

Issued after their meeting from February 23 to 26, 2021.

Dear People of God,

Grace and Peace be with you!

The Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa met, prayed, discussed, and shared together under the leadership of Archbishop Thabo, Archbishop of Cape Town, and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

Due to the restrictions imposed on our various nations due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Synod of Bishops was held virtually. Notwithstanding the vagaries of technology and participants being occasionally disconnected, Synod was a success and the normal sense of collegiality enjoyed in our meetings was again evident.

The busy schedule centred around the daily offices and input from Mr Douglas Board, speaking from London, and Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell of the Jesuit Institute from Johannesburg. Their inputs on our Encounter with God, and our Spiritual Journey were deeply challenging and moving. Synod was inspired and empowered by their input, and deeply appreciative of the hard work put into their presentations.

Synod observed a moment of silence and offered prayers in memory of Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya who died recently from COVID-19 complications. She was a valued member of the Bench and will be greatly missed. May her soul rest in peace and rise in glory. Synod noted that the Archbishop of Canterbury has conferred, posthumously, the Langton Award for Community Service on Bishop Ellinah. The award, named after Stephen Langton (Archbishop of Canterbury in the 13th century), is made “for outstanding contributions to the community in accordance with the Church’s teaching”.

Synod of Bishops approved and gave authority under Article ii to dealing with Canon 4, Of the Election of Bishops, in the light of the lockdown restrictions imposed across all the countries of ACSA. This special resolution will permit the Archbishop to promulgate and hold Elective Assemblies, under special provisions, in those Dioceses currently without Episcopal leadership. The Elective Assemblies have twice been postponed due to lockdown restrictions, and it is imperative that we elect and consecrate episcopal leadership in these Dioceses. Synod expressed deep appreciation for the work of the Vicars-General who have served the Church so selflessly during this time of interregnum. Their ministry has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Synod of Bishops gave further authority under Article ii on the holding of Vestries, Canon 27, that these may continue under the conditions approved by this Synod.

The motion approved at the last Provincial Standing Committee on Gender-Based Violence, and the need to increase the representation of women in positions of leadership in the local Church and the Province was endorsed. This important work was discussed in light of the serious threat posed by patriarchal dominance which seeks to destroy, often violently, the God-given ability of women and their call to leadership in the Church.

Synod of Bishops reflected on the challenges presented by the COVID-19 Pandemic. These included the economic and health issues before us. Time was spent exploring how we believe God is calling the church to minister and grow under these ‘new-normal’ circumstances.

Synod of Bishops noted the Provincial Synod to be held in September of this year, and the new date for the Lambeth Conference in 2022.

Synod was presented with the exciting and important developments within the Portuguese-speaking Dioceses of ACSA, which are to become a new Province in the Anglican Communion, named Igreja Anglicana de Moçambique e Angola (IAMA) (the Anglican Church of Mozambique and Angola). This development is indicative of the growth within ACSA for which we give God the glory. During Synod news from the Anglican Communion Office was received that approval has been granted for this project to continue in its exploration and preparation. Final approval for the creation of this new Province is still to be granted, but an important first step has been successfully completed.

Professor Mary Metcalfe, speaking on behalf of a highly qualified team, presented a progress report on their investigation into racism in Anglican Schools. This is an ongoing investigation. The work completed thus far has set a precedent for a way of listening and beginning the work of addressing the removal of the pain and disabling effect of racism, which for so many has been a lifetime of experience. It is clear this is a process and cannot be quickly addressed.

Lay Canon Rosalie Manning addressed Synod on both the Safe and Inclusive Church and Human Sexuality Commissions. The importance of this work cannot be over-estimated, and after discussion with the Bishops there was unanimous agreement that further work and training is required.

Synod noted the following with deep concern:

  • The impact of the insurgency in Cabo Delgado within the Diocese of Nampula in the north-eastern part of Mozambique, leading to loss of life and trauma for those living under this threat; and
  • The deteriorating situation in the Tigray Province of Ethiopia.

Synod expressed a unanimous desire that both these intolerable situations be addressed and resolved. Bishop Manuel Ernesto of Nampula was assured of our prayers at this time. The statement on Tigray published in the name of Archbishop Thabo was duly adopted. Synod also noted the damage inflicted on Mozambique by recent cyclones and assured the people of Mozambique of our prayers and support.

Synod was also told that the mortal remains which were exhumed during the building of the airport in St Helena are yet to be re-interred. Synod was requested to pray and bring moral pressure to bear for the remains to be accorded the dignity of reburial as a matter of urgency.

Several Bishops have been asked to stand in positions of leadership in both public and community life. Bishop Carlos of Lebombo chairs Mozambique’s National Elections Commission; Bishop Charles of the Highveld is the chair of the Church Unity Commission. It was also reported that the Revd Dr Vicentia Kgabe, Principal of the College of the Transfiguration, was invited to join the Board of the Theological Education by Extension College (TEEC). Synod also congratulated Bishop William, Christ the King and Bishop Vicente, Niassa, as well as Bishop Moses Madywabe and Bishop Eddie Daniels, on the anniversaries of their Consecrations. The news that the Revd Thandeka Vikilahle has been appointed as the first woman Dean of Mthatha was received with great joy.

A commitment was made to rediscover the important role the South African Anglican Theological Commission (SAATC) plays in our prophetic leadership and witness to the world. Bishop Raphael of Saldanha Bay chairs this Commission. There is a need to source additional and younger members of the Commission, and for discussion to filter deeper into the ACSA.

Time was spent exploring the role and future development of education in our Church. This included discussion on the important role of the College of the Transfiguration (CoTT), noting that the changing dynamics caused by the Pandemic and lockdown will necessitate a prayerful and bold process of envisioning. A strong plea was made that we support CoTT and not lose this heritage of which we can be justifiably proud. Synod approved the creation of a committee to explore further the developments already under way concerning CoTT.

Discussion also ensued on the role our Anglican Schools play in the life of the Diocese, the Church and Southern Africa. These schools play an important part in the life of the church and require our full support. Synod noted that the position of Executive Director of the Anglican Board of Education (ABE) is being advertised due to the contract with the Revd Roger Cameron having concluded. Synod expressed grateful appreciation for the sterling work and ministry of the Revd Roger Cameron. Synod agreed he would be made an Honorary Canon of the Province.

Synod of Bishops received a report from Bishop Dintoe, Free State, on our young people. Great appreciation was expressed for their leadership and life within the church and assured them of the support of the Bench of Bishops, and of our desire to see them assume their rightful place in the life of the church as an investment for our future and as an asset at this time.

Synod of Bishops discussed the issues around the motion from Provincial Synod giving the ACSA’s support for Palestine. A group appointed by the Archbishop has endeavoured to listen to both sides of the debate and has agreed to continue offering support to the people of Palestine in the light of the oppression and restrictions imposed upon them. The similarities with Apartheid cannot be ignored. Neither can we ignore that Scripture is used to condone this oppression. The use of Scripture challenges both the gospel and the church to address this issue in the light of Christ. In this we note the motion did not support the use of violence on either side of this conflict. Synod takes this matter seriously and has asked the Archbishop to bring it before Lambeth 2022.

Synod of Bishops gave their approval of a petition questioning the granting of permission for fracking in the Kavango Region of Namibia. The probability of environmental degradation occurring due to fracking is too great to ignore and must be carefully investigated before permission is granted. Synod was unanimous that drilling must be halted with immediate effect.

Bishop Charles, the Synod’s Liaison Bishop for the SACC, tabled an SACC Statement on the danger of South Africa being destabilised by the refusal of witnesses to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. Synod shared the SACC’s concern that disrespect for the law can destabilise South Africa. Given the country’s immediate past, South Africa cannot afford such a threat. Synod of Bishops supports the SACC’s call and asks parishioners to be vigilant in ensuring equality before the law for all. We call on all to respect and work to uphold the law. No one is or should be above the law.

In these uncertain times, the words of the First Letter of Peter on hope ring true: “Cast all your anxiety on Jesus because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) May it be so for each of you. Amen

[The Communique has been updated since first published to add the concern over St Helena, to correct the name of the new Province, and to make two other small corrections.]

News Provincial Notices

New SA Covid guidelines – ACSA – Feb 4

Please download the PDF file below

New Covid-19 guidelines for SA churches

The Provincial COVID Advisory Team has drawn up, and Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has endorsed, new guidelines for congregations as a consequence of the stricter Level 3 lockdown announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on December 28, 2020. The guidelines follow:

  1. The President of the Republic of South Africa announced that with effect from midnight on the 28th of December 2020, SA would revert to Level 3 restrictions.
  2. In addition, the President also announced further hotspot areas affecting Western Cape, the Garden Route, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
  3. With immediate effect all social gatherings, including faith-based gatherings, are prohibited until the 15th of January 2021. The situation will be reviewed then.
  4. A new curfew from 21:00 until 06:00 was imposed.
  5. The wearing of face masks is compulsory. Failure to do so constitutes an offence punishable by law.
  1. Implications for church and worship:
  1. ALL places of worship are closed with immediate effect.
  2. Places of worship may only be opened for purpose of conducting a funeral.
  3. The prohibition on gatherings, both social and faith-based, means we are not able to worship, conduct weddings, baptisms, confirmations or ordinations until further notice but at least for the next two weeks. The Advisory Team is working on other implications for ministry and will update these.
  4. Funerals must be held in full compliance of all health protocols.
  5. A designated compliance officer must be appointed in writing.
  6. Attendance at funerals is restricted to 50 if the venue can accommodate 50, while maintaining a social distance of 1.5 m between all attendees.
  7. Smaller venues are restricted to 50% of capacity of the venue.
  8. These numbers to include ministers and altar parties.
  9. Masks must be worn at all times.
  10. No singing is permitted, although a soloist may perform, observing social distance and health protocols.
  11. Recorded music may be played.
  12. Funerals to be completed within two hours – one hour for the actual service and the next hour for the committal or cremation service.
  13. No night vigils or prayer meetings are allowed.
  14. When going to sympathize with or express condolences to the family, please keep visits short, observe social distance, sanitize and wear a mask. These are hard asks of us all, but are needed to save lives.
  15. No social gatherings to be held in our homes too.
  16. No after-tears gatherings, including lunch or tea etc.
  17. In order to reduce pressure on mortuaries, every effort to be made to conduct funerals within five days.

Important Guidelines – Coronavirus ‘Second Wave’

A letter from Archbishop Thabo Makgoba:

Dear People of God 

Please find for careful study and implementation an important report and recommendations from the Provincial COVID Advisory Team on the second wave of the coronavirus now being experienced in many parts of our Province. 

Key implications of the report: 

    • Most urgent, in South Africa, all faith-based institutions have to be closed by 9pm in the evenings, whether events are held indoors or outdoors. This means ensuring all Christmas Eve services are finished by 9pm on Thursday. 

    • The Advisory Team recommends that services be restricted to 80 worshippers, where that number can be accommodated while observing social distancing of 1,5 metres. Where capacity is smaller, places of worship should not be more than 50% full. 

    • In South Africa, the latest regulations in any event limit attendance of a funeral to 100, observing 1,5m social distancing, or 50% of capacity where 100 cannot be accommodated. Night vigils and after-funeral gatherings, such as “after-tears” events, are prohibited. 

    •  In some churches, mask-wearing, proper sanitising and the prohibition on handshakes and singing without masks is not being observed.  

    • Where possible, we should return to on-line services and Diocesan bishops should seriously consider requests from parishes who wish to close for Christmas due to local conditions where such requests are properly motivated.  

    • Older people are often those who are most lonely in lockdown, but those over 60 and have co-morbidities are still the most vulnerable and ought to avoid returning to services. 

    • A vaccine is our best and only defence against the virus. We need to participate in advocacy efforts to see that access to the vaccine happens on a just and equitable basis. We need to support education initiatives around the vaccine and call for vaccination as  a common good. 

    • We need to focus anew on addressing food insecurity and other social needs and also strengthen our response to this is a more intentional way. As a mark of solidarity and hospitality to honour the birth of the Christ child in a manger, we should consider donating food, school shoes or a stationery pack instead of buying presents.

    • Since the Advisory Team met, it has become evident that new infections are highest in the 15-19 age group, so where possible the number of servers should also be reduced for the time being. 

Please read the accompanying report carefully. I am sure you will all join me in thanking the Advisory Team for their extensive and detailed work.  

 God bless you. 

†† Thabo Cape Town

You can download the report here >>

Note: The report has been amended and replaced since first published to make point 4(c) on page 7 clearer.


Bishop of George makes Covid-19 plea

It is with grave concern that we learn about the surge of Coronavirus cases in the Garden Route and elsewhere in our Province. It is of more serious concern that no precautionary measures are in place to help curb the surge.

Recently, on 11 November, we had by-elections in George and Knysna, and now they are under way in Oudtshoorn (9 December 2020). We are at the start of the holiday season, our airports are getting busier, and the movement of people towards the Garden Route is increasing significantly.

Understandably, citizens are fatigued by measures and protocols. The economy is suffering, people are losing jobs and everyone is longing for a reprieve. But it is no use for the authorities to advise us constantly of the dangers of the virus and that our health system is under serious pressure, and then only to advise us to be careful.

A hard lockdown will cause further suffering but other steps short of that could help. Yet nothing has been done about curbing the movement of people through an extended curfew. Nothing has been done to manage the sale of alcohol, and nothing to limit the number of people at mass gatherings, including religious gatherings etc.

We are now left to manage ourselves without a concerted indication that government (provincial and national) is prepared to guide the conduct and behaviour of our citizens.

Citizens must please behave responsibly. We call on you and commit ourselves to manage our traveling carefully. If we don’t have to travel, let us stay at home. If we have to cancel holiday arrangements, it will be worth it to protect our loved ones, our fellow citizens and ourselves.

Please be safe, this pandemic too will come to an end. We continue to pray for those who are afflicted by this virus. We share our deepest sympathy with those who have buried their loved ones. God will take care of us, God is a caring, loving, healing God. God will meet us in our places of sanctity and in our homes. We will not cease our prayers for the healing of our nation and the world.

The Right Revd Brian Marajh, Bishop of George


Fr. Michael Lapsley’s Award

Father Michael Lapsley SSM was honoured with the Archbishop’s Peace with Justice Award at the December ordinations at St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town.

Born in New Zealand, he was ordained to the priesthood in Australia, where he joined the Society of the Sacred Mission (SSM). Arriving in Durban in 1973 as an undergraduate student, he soon became involved in the struggle against apartheid, working as national chaplain to Anglican students.

Speaking out vocally following the Soweto Uprising, he was expelled from South Africa in 1976. He moved to Lesotho, where he continued his studies and became a member of the African National Congress and a chaplain to the organisation in exile.

After a police raid in Maseru in 1982 in which 42 people were killed, he moved to Zimbabwe. It was here in 1990, three months after Nelson Mandela’s release, that he was sent a letter bomb hidden inside two religious magazines. He lost both hands and sight in one eye. This sinister attack transformed his life as he became a living witness of healing and reconciliation.

This work led to the establishment, in 1998, of the Institute for Healing of Memories. Through the institute, Father Michael exercises a worldwide ministry dedicated to justice and healing.

Photographer: James Mark Jacobs


Mozambique, Angola plan new Province

The proposed expansion of three dioceses to eight in Mozambique.

Exciting plans to triple the number of dioceses in Mozambique and Angola and inaugurate a new, Portuguese-speaking Province of the Anglican Communion were outlined at this year’s meeting of ACSA’s Provincial Standing Committee.

Bishop Carlos Matsinhe of Lebombo reported to PSC that the legislative bodies of the four existing dioceses – those of Lebombo, Niassa and Nampula in Mozambique, and the Diocese of Angola – supported the proposal for a new Province, made by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba at Provincial Synod last year.

“… [A]s bishops, we have spoken with the laity and clergy of our dioceses and we are keeping the discussion on this matter high in our parishes and congregations,” Bishop Carlos said in his presentation.

“…[I]n each area to become a new diocese we have put in place Task Force Committees to work out the details as required by the Provincial guidelines.

“All four bishops and their dioceses feel very much encouraged by the last Synod of Bishops that affirmed and endorsed the process. This encouragement carries a deep spiritual and missiological intent.”

Bishop Carlos added that the church in the two nations needed to disciple more Anglicans.

“Our Anglican Church is already recognized by our civil society and authorities as a serious partner in the areas of peace building, public health and poverty eradication…

“This recognition poses a challenge of growth, effective presence and relevant witness which we cannot do well from a distance. We need more bishops to bring down their episcopal ministry to where many congregations are.”

The new church would be called Igreja Anglicana de Moçambique e Angola (Iama), Bishop Carlos said.

He noted that the existing four dioceses in Mozambique and Angola covered huge distances, making travel time-consuming for their bishops. Citing an example of the difficulties, he said traversing the Diocese of Niassa from east to west involved travelling through Malawi.

He said that five new dioceses in Mozambique and three in Angola are proposed. “The province will start with 12 bishops… Of course this is going to be a long journey, which we are asking you to let us start, and pray for us.”

In a resolution proposed by Bishop Carlos and seconded by Bishop Andre Soares of Angola, PSC supported and endorsed the vision. An application for a new Province has to be approved by the wider Anglican Communion.

Four dioceses are planned for Angola.