Diocese of George Remembers Devastating Knysna Fire
The anniversary of the fire which devastated the Knysna area in the Diocese of George took place on 7th June. A Service of Thanksgiving for the recovery from the fire was held at Holy Trinity Church, Belvidere to mark the occasion.
Below is a a reflection from the Rt Revd Brian Marajh, Bishop of George, followed by a link to a video interview with the Revd Jerome Prins, Rector of Holy Trinity.
In his book “The God Delusion”, Richard Dawkins argues vehemently against what he calls ‘The God Hypothesis.’
What is interesting and significant is the problem he has in explaining away the phenomenon of why, in a supposedly impersonal universe, loving concern for the welfare of people in trouble is shown, by other people, who are perfect strangers.
A year ago, we witnessed an incredible outpouring of love and generosity, when Knysna and its surrounds in particular, were engulfed in flames. The caring and compassion on the part of people from all over South Africa and beyond, made an indelible impression on all concerned.
Many of those whose homes were destroyed by the raging fires bear testimony to the incredible caring they experienced throughout the ordeal. People opened their homes to perfect strangers and offered hospitality.
The disaster generated the most amazing generosity, as people in faraway places rallied to the needs of the dispossessed. Food and clothing and other items came pouring in from companies, service organisations and individuals. I am proud to say that many Churches in our Diocese and the wider Province responded to the crisis. In Knysna itself, local Churches organised themselves into distribution centres and were in the forefront of distributing the necessities to those worst affected.
The 7th June 2017 will never be forgotten. Knysna and the other places which suffered such horrendous damage are being restored. People are resilient and are getting on with their lives.
But, those Christlike qualities which were manifested during the fiery ordeal, by so many people, residents and outsiders alike, will never be forgotten. From the firefighters, who were in the forefront, battling the flames, to those, behind the scenes, packing food parcels – everyone who helped, sent a strong signal to the Community at large, that people are essentially good and through their endeavours, God is involved in what is happening.
Jesus is the Resurrection, in the present tense. And we are his hands and the instruments of his restorative grace in the world today.
The fires were dreadful, but the response was overwhelming and vindicated and reinforced our faith in God’s amazing providence and concern for those in need. In the final analysis, goodness will always prevail. Because God is good and life is to be celebrated.
Let us continue to uphold one another in prayer. Let us at all times remember when things are at their worst, God is at His best.
Grace and peace.
The Right Reverend Brian Melvin Marajh
Bishop of George
MESSAGE FROM THE REVD JEROME PRINS
Father Jerome Prins reflecting on the 1st Anniversary of the Knysna Fires.
Posted by Anglicans in George Diocese on Thursday, 7 June 2018