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Discrimination at Anglican Schools

Provincial Standing Committee devoted considerable debate to recent discussion of discrimination in Anglican schools.

A resolution proposed by Ms. Kim Williams of the Diocese of False Bay, and seconded by Mr. Teboho Makhalanyane of the Provincial Youth Council, was adopted after a number of amendments were accepted, including wording recognising that some schools are addressing the problem but urging them to speed up the process. The resolution reads:

This PSC,

Noting:

  1. The Church’s mission to seek to secure the rights of all human beings irrespective of colour, gender, sexuality and nationality;
  2. The number of former and current learners who have disclosed discrimination at our Anglican schools on the grounds of their racial background, sexuality or nationality;
  3. Some of our Anglican schools are addressing this critical need and are encouraged to hasten the process.

Therefore respectfully requests:

  1. This PSC release a statement that ACSA does not support any form of discrimination and assures the victims of its prayers and support.
  2. The Metropolitan to form a Provincial task team to work with the different Anglican Schools to:
    2.1 make recommendations on how best the ACSA can address discrimination issues at our Diocesan schools;
    2.2 give feedback at the 2021 Provincial sitting (be it Synod or PSC).
  3. The Safe and Inclusive Church Commission to set up a secure monitored email address at which students can report issues of discrimination.

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PSC resolutions on abuse & GBV

The following resolutions on gender-based violence and Archbishop Thabo Makgoba’s leadership on the issue were approved by the 2020 meeting of Provincial Standing Committee on September 24:

Motion on Gender Based Violence

Noting with urgency that women are being murdered daily and that Gender based violence is increasing in society at alarming levels; GBV is a cause of consequence of gender inequality and injustice.

Noting that Gender Based Violence is primarily violence perpetrated by men on women; these men are quite often a loved one, trusted leader or close relative.

Noting that in the context of this global pandemic, occurrences of GBV have increased, making GBV a shadow pandemic.

Noting the presence of a Gender programme in ACSA with a comprehensive strategy, however without substantial resources to ensure effective implementation of the programme, which includes dealing with the scourge of GBV, Gender sensitisation and addressing the issues of masculinity.

Acknowledging the role of the church in being complicit in allowing GBV to go unchallenged and that GBV flourishes in an environment of silence, shame and stigma, of unbelief and avoiding so called difficult conversations and justice.

Acknowledging that patriarchy is evil, a sin and a heresy, especially when interpreting scriptures to reinforce concepts of male dominance and headship. It is evidenced in our teachings on the sanctity of marriage, family values and the subservience of women. It is also evidenced in our liturgy and language that excludes women.

Acknowledging that as a province we have passed many resolutions on GBV, inclusive language, diversity and representation. It is time now to act.

Acknowledging the presence and work of the Safe Church Commission.

This PSC hereby resolves:

  1. That all dioceses revisit the communication from SOB Feb 2020 that declared a state of emergency on GBV and immediately put in place a programme to deal with the scourge of GBV.
  2. That each diocese has a dedicated gender officer or task team that liaises with HOPE Africa as well as all provincial organisations involved in training and programmes on GBV, so that these programmes get to diocesan and parish level.
  3. The Provincial Liturgical Committee to create a Season that focus on GBV, with Readings, Prayers, Liturgical materials, Sermon outlines and materials for Small Group Bible Studies.
  4. That we ensure that all our liturgies are transformed to be gender inclusive and all dioceses request that each Parish uses these gender inclusive liturgies.

THAT THIS PSC:

Acknowledges the leadership given by Archbishop Thabo in strengthening the efficacy of Church procedures to ensure that all forms of abuse in our churches, schools and institutions are addressed and eradicated;

Appreciates his humility in seeking advice and his gentleness in dealing with our human failures and frailty as well as his own;

Expresses its unequivocal support for the Archbishop in the exercise of his leadership role in Church and Society;

Assures the Archbishop and his family of our love, prayers and gratitude for absorbing the public criticism levelled against the Anglican Church with gentleness and grace, and his pastoral heart in seeking justice, healing and restoration for all.

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Communiqué from the Bishops

COMMUNIQUE FROM THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS

ANGLICAN CHURCH OF SOUTHERN AFRICA

SEPTEMBER 2020

To the beloved People of God,

Grace and peace to you!

The Synod of Bishops met virtually by video conferencing from Bishopscourt and Diocesan Centres from Monday 21 September to Tuesday 22 September 2020 as result of the challenging times prompted by Covid-19. Despite these difficulties there is much to be celebrated in the Province for faithful and committed service throughout the 150 years of our history in a world of human failure, corruption and violence. The Service of Celebration on Sunday 20 September 2020 with the Archbishop of Canterbury was witnessed by many people across the Province and the Anglican Communion.

Synod began with Morning Prayer, where we heard a homily from the Rt Revd Luke Pato, Bishop of Namibia, on the Season of Creation. The emphasis on Eden as a place of communion with God and harmony with the created order set the scene for a discussion of issues of violence, injustice, corruption and inequality, which are prevalent in our countries.

The Archbishop welcomed the Bishop of Table Bay, the Rt Revd Joshua Louw, who was attending Synod for the first time. The presenting Bishops, the Rt Revd Margaret Vertue and the Rt Revd Raphael Hess, reported on Bishop Joshua’s Consecration and Installation to bring on board those bishops who could not attend the service. Comments were made about the beauty of the liturgy, its awe and reverence. Also in attendance at Synod were three Vicars-General, the Very Revd Tanki Mofana from Lesotho, the Very Revd Carol Starkey from Kimberley and Kuruman and the Very Revd Ndabezinhle Sibisi from Natal. The Archbishop expressed his appreciation for the quality of leadership displayed by the Vicars-General, especially in Natal where there had been some serious challenges.

Synod met against the backdrop of COVID-19 and reflected on the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on families and the mission and ministry of the Church. Synod shared experiences and struggles of people and churches as a result of COVID. Most parishes adopted “virtual worship” initiatives by offering services via Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and the like. Lesotho opened a new radio station. The biggest challenge was the inability to retain all stipendiary Clergy on the payroll in some Dioceses. It was suggested that our church must learn to move away from cash collections to swipe machines as many organisations already do that.

Synod received preliminary reports on the Archbishop’s Commissions on Human Sexuality, Safe and Inclusive Church and on the election of Women to the Episcopate.

The Archbishop’s Commission on Human Sexuality called on the bishops to note that the issue of Human Sexuality concerns more than the question of Same-Sex Unions. It is a human experience involving physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions that require theological, structural and social responses from the Church. It was noted with sadness that in most Dioceses clergy are reluctant to discuss this issue. It was recommended that the Pastoral Guidelines for Same-Sex Unions be completed as a matter of urgency. The Commission further revealed that of one million babies born in South Africa in 2019, 60% are from single parents and of those, about 40% were cared for by women alone. Many men do not take the responsibility of family and children. Gender-based Violence (GBV) is also a result of this kind of behaviour.

Bishop Margaret Vertue addressed the Bishops on GBV and highlighted that it escalated during lockdown, especially during the first few weeks. It was recommended that adequate teaching and awareness-raising on abuse be offered to men and then children. There is a great need for perpetrators and the Church as a whole to repent for its complicity and silence in the face of Gender-based Violence. Male priests have often in the past tended to take sides with perpetrators, so determined are they to save marriages. As a result, victims are forced to declare forgiveness for perpetrators against their will or when they are not yet ready to do so. The Church needs eyes to see the problem, ears to hear the victims and big hearts to respond with courage and compassion.

Synod was strongly challenged to be intentional in its efforts to improve the participation of women in the leadership of the Church. Much more attention needs to be given to establishing and strengthening support mechanisms for women. The election of women to the episcopate needs to be discussed in the context of wider gender conversations.

The Dioceses in Mozambique and Angola updated Synod members on the vision for the formation of a Portuguese-speaking Province. Synod reaffirmed its support for the vision. We also heard of the plight of victims of terrorism in Cabo Delgado and Central regions. The Synod was informed of the creation of the Anglican Peace and Reconciliation Initiative for Mozambique and Angola (APRIMA), which has its aim spreading the gospel message by physically sharing life with the displaced, channelling Christian and humanitarian solidarity to the affected and developing community dialogue. The team from APRIMA appreciated the encouragement and support given for these developments and appealed to Synod for more support.

Synod expressed its deepest gratitude to the team that put together and managed the technology for video conferencing, including the Ven Grant Walters, Quintin Christian and his team. Everything worked exceptionally well.

We commend you to God’s love and keeping, and ask you to remember us in prayer as we meet in Provincial Standing Committee to discern God’s will as we grapple with the critical issues that face us as Church.

To him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing – to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power and authority, before all time and now and forever! Amen.” — Jude 24-25

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News

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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Provincial Notices

Order of Service for ACSA 150th Anniversary

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News

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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News

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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Provincial Notices

Revised Constitution and Canons available

The Constitution and Canons A5 Blue lever arch file with contents @ R130

C & C  Full set of inserts  @ R100 (you will need to replace ALL the pages in your blue file!)

The Constitution and Canons – A5 Book @ R110

Excl. postage.  Please send your order to orders@anglicanchurchsa.org.za

This set of Canons has been revised to include changes arising from Provincial Synod held in September 2019.

We will send a quote and the order will be delivered on receipt of payment.

ACSA Publishing Committee orders@anglicanchurchsa.org.za Tel: 010 880 4396

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Provincial Notices

New Book by John Suggit

Fifty Gobbets
from The New Testament
and Some Nuggets

by John N Suggit
ISBN – 978-0-620-88016-9
@ R70

Gobbets are brief extracts from literary writings, here taken from the New Testament, with the aim of helping clergy, ministers and all readers who are ready to explore its riches, to discover more than the text seems to say.

Some endorsements:
“This book contains a wealth of information, based on sound exegesis and an excellent knowledge of the interpretation of scripture, and, very importantly, a most welcome focus on the way in which these Scriptural Gobbets may be appropriated in a meaningful way in our current context”.[Professor Francois Tolmie, University of the Free State.]

“The gobbets provide readers with an interpretation of various passages of Scripture from several critical angles. They highlight the subtle nuances of the biblical text succinctly, whilst simultaneously making it accessible to a lay person as well as the theologian. They will empower preachers, bible study group leaders and seekers with a wonderful tool to engage with Scripture. The author remains true to the integrity of God’s word that can only aid the credibility and relevance of the sacred text for this momentous time in our history. I highly recommend these life-giving gobbets that can only aid that most exacting discipline of expository preaching.” [Eddie Daniels, Bishop of Port Elizabeth.]

ACSA Publications Tel 010 880 4396

orders to orders@anglicanchurchsa.org.za

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News

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: