Pastoral Letter from the Bishop of Pretoria – Hammanskraal Cholera Outbreak

For more background to this crisis, read the coverage on GroundUp >>


Liturgy for Trinity Sunday & World Environment Day – June 5


Four killed, many injured in Cape Town Parish holiday crash


Lambeth Conference Phase 3 to launch in May

A news release from Lambeth Conference Communications in the Anglican Communion Office in London:

Phase 3 of the Lambeth Conference will launch in May 2023 and invite church communities to ‘Add Your Voice to the Call’

A new steering group appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury has announced that Phase 3 of the Lambeth Conference Journey will launch in late May 2023.

The aim of Phase 3 of the Lambeth Conference journey will be to take forwards the Lambeth Calls discussed in Canterbury in 2022 (and other initiatives from the conference), into the life of the Anglican Communion.

The Phase 3 journey will invite bishops and spouses that met at the conference, to explore the Lambeth Calls in their settings, and will also invite wider church communities to get involved.

The Phase 3 journey will feature seasonal webinars organised by the Lambeth Conference team, to look at each of the Lambeth Calls in turn. In-between, churches and communities will be encouraged to meet for their own group discussions, on each of the Lambeth Call themes.

Phase 3 webinars will feature contributions from special guests, including members of the Call drafting groups. Reflection and Bible Study materials will also be made available for groups to use in their settings.

There is no obligation for groups to discuss the Lambeth Calls in any order, but the Phase 3 journey is being offered as a way of supporting and resourcing churches if they opt to do so.

Following the webinars, the updated Lambeth Calls (which have incorporated feedback from the bishops during the Lambeth Conference) will be published in late May, as part of the Phase 3 launch.

The Lambeth Calls cover a range of important themes in church and world affairs including: Discipleship, The Environment and Sustainable Development, Anglican Identity, Safe Church, Science and Faith, Human Dignity, Christian Unity, Mission and Evangelism, Inter Faith and Reconciliation.

Archbishop Julio Murray, who is the Chair of the Steering Group has written to bishops and spouses that attended the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, to invite their participation. He shares his support for Phase 3 and said:

“Friends, we have some important work to carry forwards into the life of the Anglican Communion. The Lambeth Calls address important matters in church and world affairs. The Lambeth Conference also discussed some important initiatives like the Communion Forest, the Anglican Communion Science Commission, and the work of the Safe Church Commission.

The Lambeth Calls are not intended as resolutions or ‘orders’ to be imposed. They are being offered as calls or invitations, that can be explored together, in a way that strengthens our life as an Anglican Communion. Our prayer for Phase 3 is that you will all ‘Add Your Voice to the Call’, involve your churches and share your stories, as we discern how God is calling us to walk, listen and witness together.”

Phase 3 launch webinars are being scheduled for May 24 and May 25. Those that attended the Lambeth Conference – and wider church audiences – are welcome to register.

Read more about Phase 3 here.


Churches urged to mobilise to save South Africa

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

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

The full text of his speech follows:


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

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

From Wikipedia:

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

Johnson was born in 1932.[2]

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

He died in 2022 aged 90.[10]


Formidable challenges await young people – Bishop Steve Moreo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Archbishop of Canterbury meets grieving mothers displaced by war in Mozambique

From Lambeth Palace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Bishops Anoint, Consecrate, Bless King Misuzulu kaZwelithini

In a service reflecting the long history of relations between the Anglican Church and the Zulu Royal Family, three bishops of the Church conducted a special liturgy at the beginning of celebrations of the accession to the throne of King Misuzulu kaZwelithini on October 29.

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town led the service, assisted by Bishop Vikinduku Mnculwane of Zululand, Bishop Nkosinathi Ndwandwe of Natal and the Royal Chaplain, the Venerable Bongani Mhlongo, and supported by the choir of St Faith’s Church, Durban.

You can follow below:

  • The SABC broadcast of the full liturgy;
  • A video clip of Bishop Mnculwane’s prayer for the King (note the SABC wrongly described Bishop Mnculwane as the Archbishop);
  • The text of the prayer in isiZulu and English;
  • A copy of the liturgy.

The full text of the Archbishop’s homily can be found on his blog:

Celebrating the Coronation of His Majesty King MisuZulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini >>

Prayer by the Bishop of Zululand:

UNkulunkulu Somandla okuphe inhliziyo evumayo ukwenza konke lokhu
Makakuphe ubabalo namandla okufeza lomsebenzi
Ukuze aphelelise umsebenzi omuhle awuqale kuwe
Akugcwalise ngeqiniso lakhe
Akuvunulise ngobungcwele bakhe
Ukuze umsebenzele ngokukholeka kulesisikhundla sokuba yiNgonyama yeSizwe samaZulu,
Lidunyiswe igama lakhe, sakheke nesizwe sakhe
ngoMsindisi wethu uJesu Kristu

Rough translation:

Let us pray
God Almighty has given you a willing heart to do all this
May he give you grace and strength to accomplish the task
To complete the good work he started in you
He fills you with his truth
He clothed you with his holiness
In order to serve him faithfully in this position of being the King of the Zulu Nation,
Let his name be praised, let us build his nation
through our Savior Jesus Christ

News Provincial Standing Committee

Church report suggests how to create jobs for young people

A report presented to Provincial Standing Committee has made suggestions for how parishes could combat youth unemployment in countries of the Province.

The report was presented by Bishop Vicentia Kgabe of Lesotho, who was appointed by the Archbishop to chair a Commission on Youth Unemployment in response to a resolution from the 2021 Provincial Synod.

Among suggestions made by the commission were:

  • Establishing a database recording the personnel resources available among church members:
  • Using the database to set up mentors to provide guidance to young people needing work;
  • Budgetting to employ more young people in parishes and dioceses;
  • Organising workshops to help young people write their C.V.s and develop their skills; and
  • Making church-owned land available for business ventures.

The full report presented by Bishop Kgabe follows:

News Provincial Standing Committee

PSC report gives advice to parishes on including people with disabilities

Parishes are being encouraged to include people living with disability fully in the lives of their congregations, for example by welcoming those who use wheelchairs by providing ramps to enable them to access churches easily.

Both this year’s meeting of the Provincial Standing Committee and the September meeting of the Synod of Bishops heard reports from the Revd Dr Andrew Warmback of the Diocese of Natal, who was asked by the Archbishop to convene a Disability Advisory Group after the last Provincial Synod.

The Synod committed ACSA “to becoming a fully accessible church to people with disabilities, creating an environment in which all members can offer their gifts and talents in the life, leadership and service of the church.”

The Advisory Group’s report to PSC 2022 appears below, and the 2021 Provincial Synod resolution below that.

Resolution approved at Provincial Synod 2021


This Provincial Synod,

Noting that:

  1. Within our churches there is a significant number of people who have physical, emotional, sensory, developmental and intellectual disabilities; some disabilities being visible and some not;
  2. Many of us will experience disability at some stage in our lives;

Acknowledging that:

2.1. People with disabilities often experience marginalisation due to discriminatory social attitudes and practices;

2.2. Physical and communication barriers, such as steps to the altar and lack of large print prayer books as well as attitudinal barriers, can prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in church;

Affirming that:

  1. Everyone is made in God’s image and has inherent dignity and worth and is tobe equally respected;
  2. Disability is part of the diversity of humankind created by God, and we all need the insights of those who have experience of disability in fully understanding the nature of God and our Christian faith;
  3. Jesus sought out people with disabilities and challenged oppressive and dehumanising systems and structures that led to their stigmatisation and marginalisation in society;
  4. The Body of Christ has many members and to be whole all must be welcomed and included regardless of level of ability;

Resolves to:

  1. Commit to becoming a fully accessible church to people with disabilities, creating an environment in which all members can offer their gifts and talents in the life, leadership and service of the church;
  2. Respectfully request the Archbishop to appoint a Disability Advisory Group, led by and comprising mostly people with disabilities, whose responsibilities would include the raising of awareness about issues of disability and engaging in educational and advocacy work, including in the following ways within ACSA:

2.1. In collaboration with the South African Anglican Theological Commission (SAATC) to work on adopting a Theology of Disability, which could assist in theological education and formation;

2.2. Offer support to Provincial and Diocesan guilds, groups, institutions and ministries to assist them with the full participation of people with disabilities within their organisations, events and services;

2.3. Liaise with those engaged in Gender work as well as those responsible for safeguarding to highlight the link between disability and gender-based violence;

2.4. Assist the Liturgical Committee in their revision of the Prayer Book by the needs of those with disabilities in respect of services and sacraments, and providing additional resources for celebrating “People with disabilities” as contained in our Lectionary;

2.5. Work with the Canon Law Council in respect of amendments that may need to be made to the Constitution and Canons in the light of this motion;

2.6. Advocate that the governments in the Province of ACSA to enact legislation and policies that ensure the same rights for people with disabilities that are guaranteed to all other people in our societies;

  1. Encourage all Dioceses to pass motions similar to this one.
News Synod of Bishops

Communique from the Synod of Bishops – September 2022

Issued by the Synod of Bishops after its September 2022 meeting:

News Provincial Standing Committee

PSC asks parishes to highlight the plight of Palestinians

Provincial Standing Committee, the church’s top decision-making body between Provincial Synods, has requested parishes to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people at annual observances.

In a resolution adopted today, PSC asked parishes:

— to highlight their plight on a Sunday late in November close to the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29; and

— to co-host with other groups the annual commemoration on May 15 of the displacement of Palestinians during the conflict which occurred around the establishment of Israel as a state in 1948.

In debate on the resolution, the committee heard that there had been controversy over the church’s stand on the situation in Palestine at the recent assembly of the World Council of Churches in Germany. The WCC had been reluctant to criticise Israel, with German church and government officials particularly sensitive to being accused of anti-semitism.

The PSC resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority of dioceses, with no votes against it and two abstentions.

The full text of the resolution reads:


Acknowledging that:

1. all human beings are created in the image of God, and that Christianity does not elevate one group of people over another;

2. Christian and Jewish Zionism are both undergirded by notions of supremacy and are forms of racism which have no place in the Christian faith;

3. the Palestinian people remain victims of attitudes in Europe for which they are not responsible. Their refugee situation is the longest running refugee situation in history;

4. support for Palestinian people and advocacy for their human dignity is in no way synonymous with anti-semitism;

5. the integrity and authenticity of the Christian faith is in grave danger if we do not stand with those who suffer.

Therefore, this PSC resolves to:

1. request all parishes in ACSA to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people on the Sunday before Advent yearly, in line with the International day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November;

2. respectfully request the Archbishop to re-commend the Bible Study series “The Bible and the Land Called Holy” for study and to commission the preparation and leading of an online study series during Lent 2023;

3. request local parishes in ACSA to co-host Nakba (or Catastrophe) day, yearly, on 15 May with others who host similar events;

4. respectfully request the Archbishop to send strong messages of support to Palestinian Christians and further respectfully requests the Archbishop to consider visiting Palestinian Christians and/or host a group in South Africa;

5. reflect on what the Bishops of Lambeth were able to resolve and to consider the implications of what they decided;

6. encourage engagement with Christians in other parts of the globe, particularly former colonial powers in Europe and USA and urge them to take stronger actions so that Israel is held accountable and that Palestinian rights are upheld.

Proposed by: The Rt Revd Charles May, Bishop of the Highveld

Seconder: The Revd Dr Andrew Warmback, Diocese of Natal

News Provincial Standing Committee

PSC backs Communion-wide plan to “green” the world

ACSA’s highest decision-making body between meetings of Provincial Synod has pledged support for the “Communion Forest”, an environmental initiative in which Anglicans around the world will work to protect and enhance their environments.

In a resolution proposed by Bishop Vicentia Kgabe of Lesotho, this year’s meeting of the Provincial Standing Committee encouraged dioceses and parishes to plant and grow trees and to remove invasive trees and plants in their areas.

PSC also called for the church to incorporate tree or plant growing as part of baptisms, marriages, funerals, patronal festivals, conferences and other events.

Launching the initiative at the Lambeth Conference, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury said it could become the “most widespread and diverse” environmental project in the world.

The full text of the PSC resolution:

The leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations” Rev 22:2

This PSC notes:

  1. That the Communion Forest was launched at the Lambeth Conference
  1. The high levels of land degradation in Southern Africa
  1. The importance of creating green spaces to:
  • Create shade especially as temperatures rise due to climate change.
  • Create green spaces for rest and recreation
    increase biodiversity.
  • Offset carbon emissions and reduce air pollution.
  • Prevent erosion and limit flooding.

This PSC:

  1. Pledges its support to the Communion Forest and by requesting the Bishops to Include tree growing as part of the confirmation spirituality.
  1. Each Diocese and Parish
  • Commit to tree growing, not just planting – trees need to be watered and cared for.
  • Incorporate tree or plant growing as part of baptisms, marriages, funerals, patronal festivals, conferences and other events.
  1. Remove invasive trees and plants to improve biodiversity and save water
News Provincial Standing Committee

Dioceses urged to come alongside Anglican schools

Provincial Standing Committee has resolved that Dioceses should play an active role in engaging with church schools as they address the issue of discrimination.

The PSC decision followed the adoption of a comprehensive report drawn up by a task team appointed by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba arising from a PSC request in 2020. The request was made in response to public controversy over complaints of past and current racial discrimination at church schools.

The task team comprised bishops, priests and educational experts and was convened by Professor Mary Metcalfe, a former head of the Wits University School of Education. A resolution adopted by PSC today asked Diocesan Bishops to facilitate the distribution of and engagement with the task team’s report by schools.

Today’s resolution came after a finding by the commission that “It is clear that schools are ready and willing to take significant strides – and many have already done so. What schools are [now] asking for is the committed and sustained attention of the church to relationships of support.”

In his homily at the opening service of PSC, the Archbishop said Dioceses needed to come alongside our schools to support them.

The full text of the PSC resolution appears below.

(Since this report was first posted, the task team’s report and the text of a pastoral letter from the Anglican Board of Education have been added below the resolution.)

Today’s resolution read:

This Provincial Standing Committee


  1. The resolution on addressing discrimination in Diocesan schools passed by Provincial Standing Committee in September 2020;
  2. The Metropolitan’s appointment of a Provincial Task Team to make recommendations on how discrimination at our Diocesan Schools can best be addressed in partnership with the respective Dioceses and schools themselves.
  3. The work undertaken by the appointed Task Team, according to its brief, in engaging specifically with Diocesan Bishops, Heads of Schools, School Chaplain’s and the portfolio leads on Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion & Transformation in Diocesan schools;
  4. The Task Team’s submission of interim reports to the Synod of Bishops in February 2021 & Provincial Synod in September 2021;

Acknowledging that the Task Team’s work evolved into

  1. working with Anglican schools to develop a set of recommendations that would not be a conclusion, but a step in an ongoing journey within the Southern African Anglican community that reflect challenges in society as a whole;
  2. the realisation that addressing discrimination is not only a social responsibility in the pursuit of social justice, as envisaged in the South African Constitution, but an integral part of the mission and vision of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa;
  3. the realisation that the urgency of individual and collective journeys towards wholeness and towards healing is rooted in our individual and collective acknowledgement of discrimination, in our manifestation of contrition, in taking action, in establishing trust, and thus in finding forgiveness for self and others.

Resolves that:

  1. The report of the Provincial Task Team and it’s recommendations, as received by Provincial Standing Committee September 2022, be adopted;
  2. Diocesan Bishops facilitate, as the Report recommends, the distribution of and engagement with the report amongst their respective schools;
  3. ABESA [the Anglican Board of Education] consider and report back on the integration into its work, of the recommendations concerning it’s role, to the next Provincial Standing Committee or Provincial Synod.