Saturday, November 23, 2013

New Beginnings

A move to... The Long View 

I am now blogging at The Long View and invite you to visit, and visit often. As you will see in previous posts I am no longer in Pretoria but have moved together with my good wife, Dawn, to Cape Town at the end of October 2013. I am now Rector of St Andrew's Church, Newlands, in the Diocese of Cape Town.


Tuesday, October 08, 2013

October 2013 - Farewell

Dear Friends


The opening words from the song “So Long, Farewell” in the Musical Sound of Music fit my mood as I write to you this morning:

There's a sad sort of clanging/From the clock in the hall/And the bells in the steeple, too

I have always hated saying goodbye. I remember as a ten-year old visiting my Grand-parents for a few weeks at Christmas and tearing up, not wanting to leave, that heavy feeling in my insides. I feel it again as I say goodbye to you all, to Corpus Christi, to the Archdeaconry and Diocese. It is a sign, I think, of having been happy in this space.

As Dawn said at our Farewell on Sunday, my time at Corpus Christi has been a space of growth on many levels for me, and this is true both at Parish and Diocesan level. I leave feeling I have gained far more than I have given, with thankfulness for all of you. And I will remember you, our diversity and ability to embrace each other, as I begin the next chapter.

While there is sadness, there is also the expectant joy of new beginnings, a different adventure, a new hope. Dawn and I look forward to building a new sense of togetherness in our new home and Parish as we begin a new Chapter that marks that transition into the second-half of life. We have become aware over the last while that with adult children we need to identify new priorities for our relationship and for ourselves, and we look forward to Cape Town as a space in which we will be able to explore and build in new directions.

I have also been aware over the last while, that while the Churchwardens and Council have continued to affirm my ministry at Corpus Christi, that it is also time for you to transition into a new space. It has been exciting to see how we have embraced the mission and vision identified during 2012, and in many ways that is my parting gift to you. Our mission and vision reflect the growth that has taken place in our midst over the last almost nine years, and gives impetus to being a community that impacts on the greater breadth of our involvement in the world for God.

As Corpus Christi enters in to what will hopefully be a brief interregnum, I pray you will hold fast to the promises of Philippians 4:4-9 (NRSV), that says:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Thank you from Dawn and myself for our wonderful Farewell last Sunday. It was truly a blessing to be reminded of our glorious diversity as we celebrated our heritage together! Thank you for all the wonderful gifts that will remind us of you all in the future.  And if you find yourselves in Cape Town, please give us a call as it will be wonderful to catch-up.



Wednesday, September 04, 2013

September 2013 - Journeying

Dear Friends


After this morning’s Eucharist Carol said, “Life is all about Hello’s and Good-bye’s! I suspect it was in response to my comment on today’s Gospel reading where Jesus says he must preach the Good News in other towns as well (Luke 4:43), and I mentioned that there is a nice little village called Newlands … . I have enjoyed saying Hello for the last almost nine years, and am not particularly enjoying saying Good-Bye, and there always seems to be somebody else still to tell that we are leaving. I said to someone that I’d love to just magically find us in Cape Town, with the house sold, our belongings moved, and our new adventure in full swing! But life is not magical in that sense and the journey of transition is an important one, both for Dawn and I, but also for everyone at Corpus Christi. Change in this context is important, and reminds me of the parable of the fig-tree that hadn’t born fruit for at least three years: the gardener knew that if he stirred its roots a little and fertilised it well there was potential for new growth. Our roots are being stirred, and God is preparing us all for new growth.

The liminal space of transition is never an easy space. As we stand on the threshold of the future we are aware of the past that lies behind us. We need to bid that past farewell while acknowledging that it has shaped us, for good or bad, and that we have been formed in its womb. While we bid the past farewell it travels with us in memory, in outlook, in experience, in wisdom. As we look ahead, as we prepare to embrace the future, in the words of Maria Harris in Jubilee Time, “we are being lured to open the doors of our hearts and the gates of our spirits.” Transition is a mix of emotion: grief for what we leave behind, uncertainty in the moments of change, and excitement for the future. It is ultimately, though, a challenge to be open, to seek renewal, to find fresh hope.

Dawn and I plan to journey well. We pray that your journey will be a good one, too, and that you also journey well. Take heart from Jeremiah 29:11-14 (ESV), “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes …”


We are selling our home in Lancelot Road (Garsfontein), and if you are aware of anyone looking for a house please get them to make contact. We are also looking for accommodation for our daughter, Cassie, who wishes to remain in Pretoria. She is very easy going and generally undemanding, and doesn’t need much. She is presently apprenticed as a Tattoo Artist in Hatfield, and is waitering in Hatfield Square to make some money. If you are aware of or can offer cheap but safe accommodation we would love to hear from you!



Monday, August 12, 2013

August 2012 - Change is in the Air

Dear Friends

Change is in the Air

As you will likely have heard by now, either through the Churchwardens’ communication or the grapevine, Dawn and I are moving to Cape Town where I will take up the position of Rector of St Andrew’s in Newlands from 1 November 2013. We are both excited about the opportunities that lie before us as we step into a new phase of life and relationship. Our new home, on the Church property, looks onto the mountain and is bounded by a stream flowing from the Newlands Ravine into the Liesbeek River. We are looking forward to regular walks on the beach and through the forests, a new community and fresh challenges.

It is always difficult to leave, no matter how exciting the future may be. Pretoria has been home for both Dawn and I in different ways over a substantial part of our lives; our time at Corpus Christi has seen our children grow up, and while Nathan has flown the nest a few times over the last eight and a half years and most recently landed in Durban, Cassie will be pushed out and required to fly for the first time as she wishes to remain in Pretoria. It is with a mix of emotions that we move on.

I often wonder about the legacy I will leave. As a Christian Community we have grown together and transformed together over these last eight-plus years. I am very aware that Dawn and I step out of a community very different to the community we entered in 2005. There have been physical changes to the property from a major upgrading of the car-park to the extension of the Church, and more recently the reupholstering of the pews and some major repair and maintenance activity which has seen the Church and Hall repainted. More importantly, the transformation of our community has been marked as we’ve sought to adapt to the changing demographics of eastern Pretoria. I have enjoyed watching our Parish community become increasingly cosmopolitan, and the leadership structures adapt accordingly. I hope that my time in your midst has laid strong enough foundations that this cosmopolitan nature of what we have become will strengthen in the future, and that people – no matter their culture or class – will continue to find a Christian home at Corpus Christi.

I really do encourage you all to trust God and each other fully as you move into a time of interregnum during which you will prayerfully seek God for a new Rector to lead Corpus Christi into its next phase of growth and development. The Churchwardens will be meeting with the Bishop in the near future to begin this process, one which is about finding the right person who will not only be good for Corpus Christi, but will also fit the ethos of the Diocese. Don’t despair when the process seems to be taking time, but know and trust that God will provide.

Remind yourselves constantly of our mission to be role-models and risk-takers for Christ where we live, work and worship; and of our vision to be passionate disciples for Christ as we seek to live our Faith in daily life!



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 2013 - Living our Mission

Dear Friends

Living our Mission

A few nights ago I was invited to dinner with a family who have joined the Parish recently. It was a wonderful evening in which I was immersed in the challenges of their working lives as they shared stories of their experiences in tertiary education and the criminal justice system. The essence of much of our conversation revolved around the challenges of living good lives in the workspace, questioning nonsensical decisions, calling others to lives of excellence. We also touched on the exhaustion that comes from doing a job well, and the increasing expectations that this generates.

This family has recently felt the need to realign their lives with the Church, but their lives have not lacked Faith, and the goodness of God has been operating in them and through them. This realignment reflects a choice to become more conscious of God’s presence and call, and a decision to actively seek God’s strength and help in living their already value-centred lives.

As I reflect on our dinner together, enhanced by other friends – also Parishioners – I am struck by the importance of our mission at Corpus Christi: to be role models and responsible risk-takers for Christ where we live, work and worship. Our mission reflects the Benedictine call to find balance, to ensure that our lives are not over-burdened in any direction, that there is space for prayer, study, work, recreation and relaxation. We need – I need – to stop on occasion and reflect that if we are role models for Christ, what are we modelling? I will never forget the comment of one of our younger Parishioners who worked on a Sunday in the bookshop of a local mega-church: she was consistently amazed at how members of that community would come directly from worship into the bookshop and treat her and other staff with irritation and impatience. I often wonder how the cashiers at Woolworths in Serene Street experience Anglicans on a Sunday after our services of worship? I must admit to being a little nervous to ask …

We live in a consumerist culture where work is often the dominating feature of our lives. How does one begin to find life-balance when traffic and work consume so much of our time? And work always demands that extra bit of flesh from our lives? I am aware that for many at Corpus Christi Monday to Friday is dominated by work and traffic, and there is little meaningful time available for family interaction and community involvement. Weekends are dominated by those things previous generations fitted into their week, which smaller, more rural communities still do. I am hugely appreciative of many who commit to Sunday mornings being Church-focused, willing to spend time in worship and fellowship with fellow participators in the family of God. I am understanding, too, of those whose hobbies and sport draw them away on a regular basis. Interestingly, in a recent study in the USA, regular Church attendance is defined as being present in worship on a monthly basis; a generation ago it was weekly.

Living our mission cannot be something we do separate from the rest of our lives. It needs to be an intrinsic part of the fullness of life, where we live, work and worship: traffic, work, home, family, friendship, gym, church and community. The family I had dinner with may not be aware that they are living out our mission, but as I listened and interacted I heard much about God’s presence in their lives, and while work was a dominating feature of the conversation and the “spiritual” discussion took place as I climbed into my car to leave, I am in no doubt that they model their Faith in what they do, and I am thankful that God’s Spirit is drawing them into a greater consciousness of his place in their lives.



Thursday, June 06, 2013

June 2013 - Corpus Christi: being "us"

Dear Friends

Corpus Christi: being “us”

The Feast of Corpus Christi fell on 30 May 2013 and marked our 32nd Birthday as a Parish! We celebrated as a community on Sunday 2 June, with a Family Service and a traditional “English Breakfast”. The children were particularly interactive during the sermon as we explored aspects of party, being family and Jesus feeding of the 5,000 (which we could easily have done during the breakfast!). We explored how, as Christ’s Body, we are taken by God, consecrated with thanksgiving, broken, and given to the world to be about the business of God. There were even a few instant Latin Scholars in our children’s midst who helped us work out that “Corpus Christi” means “Body of Christ”!

What are the implications of being taken, consecrated, broken and given? For that is what happens to the body of Christ, and as a community we carry that name. What does it say about who we are, our purpose and our vision?

We have agreed that our mission is to be role-models and responsible risk-takers for Christ where we live, work and worship; and we now remind ourselves of this each time we gather for worship as we say the Declaration together. We are consecrated, strengthened by God to be about our mission. Being role-models opens us up to criticism and being risk-takers opens us to ridicule and often leads to our breaking as we seek to be available to God and his purposes in the world, where we live and work. We gather in worship to ask God’s forgiveness for the moments we have failed to be good role-models, where we have been too scared to take risks for God. We gather to find God’s healing, to be renewed that we may live our purpose and bring reality to our vision.

At the end of our worship together we are given, we are sent. We are sent to live our vision and bring it to reality. We affirm that we are passionate disciples of Christ – committed, willing, disciplined, equipped – living our Faith in daily life. It is in gathering together that we affirm our commitment, our willingness to be available to God and to the purposes of God’s Kingdom. It is in immersing ourselves in the Word of God that we hear our purpose affirmed, and in prayer we look forward to actioning our vision. It is where we explore what it is to be disciplined. It is where we are equipped.

As we leave our time of worship together we state that we are equipped for the challenges that lie before us as we go out to live our Faith in daily life. We have been equipped in that we have gathered and shared in hearing God’s Word, we have reminded each other that God’s peace is a gift to undergird our lives. We have been equipped in that we have received the body of Christ, the blood of Christ: the body of Christ to sustain us, the blood of Christ to protect us. But we may need to be equipped in other ways?

What are the Faith-challenges that you face in your home, at work, with friends? How can we as Parish, your place of Worship, your Christian community, help equip you to meet these challenges more fully and more effectively?



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

May 2013 - A Discontinuous Gospel

Dear Friends

Easter Season

Amazingly, as I write, we are almost at the end of the Easter Season, with Pentecost just three Sundays away! I have enjoyed celebrating this season with the new focus the Revised Common Lectionary gives us (the Anglican Church of Southern Africa moved from the Common Lectionary to the Revised Common Lectionary in Advent last year), as the readings are more thematic and focused. There is also a substantial amount of good commentary available online, which proves invaluable when one needs an idea or two to kick-start one’s sermon preparation!

Today’s Morning Prayer readings touch on “re-membering” (Wisdom of Solomon 10:1-25), “renewal” (Romans 12:1-12), and I came across this lovely prayer from the Church of England’s Common Worship: Daily Prayer in relation to Psalm 106:

“Holy God, when our memories blot out your kindness and we ignore your patient love, remember us, re-make us, and give to us poor sinners the rich inheritance of Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 It strikes me that re-membering and being re-made is what the Season of Easter is all about. We are reminded of the incredible act of God visible in Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection to new life; the Season of Easter helps us to explore the implications of this for us in our time and context. I have preached in the last few weeks on revolutionary resurrection, hope beyond miracle and inclusive love (these can be listened to or downloaded from ). Romans 12:2 NRSV encourages us to “be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” What is the will of God in terms of death and resurrection? We may think that we know the answers as we have walked this same seasonal journey over many years, even decades; but what are the implications for today? We live in a very different world from the last century in whose thinking and understanding many of us were formed. We are entrusted with a Gospel that requires us to be transformed, not just spiritually, but to the realities of the world in which we now find ourselves, a 21st century world that is discontinuous from the last, a space where what made sense no longer is sensible, and where sacrifice and sin are outdated concepts carrying little meaning for many.

We are entrusted to make the Gospel known to this generation, in this century, in this space.

What is “this space”? It is multi-dimensional, multi-Faith, and technologically super-innovative. What are the challenges and implications of Scripture for us in this environment? For example, Jesus’ commandment to love as he has loved us after washing the feet of the Twelve, a group Jesus knew included one who would betray him, another that would deny him that very night? Washing their feet, and then sharing sustenance with them; what is more radical than that? How do we live out that type of extreme acceptance of human fallibility in our own relationships? And the cross, where does that fit in? David Lose, of says, “Jesus did not go to the cross to make God loving, or to satisfy God’s justice, or to take on our punishment.” If the cross is not about Jesus taking on our punishment, what is it about? David goes on to say, “Jesus went to the cross to show in word and deed that God is love and that we, as God’s children, are loved.” In today’s space we need to unpack how crucifixion (one of the most brutal innovations of human torture ever conceived) makes God’s love manifest in our world. Implicit in David’s comment is that Jesus' death was not a sacrifice, but a loving gift given to humanity by a loving God; a gift given under the most horrendous of experiences. I struggle to get my mind around the concept of love that embraces the betrayer, the denier, and the cross. In a world that increasingly places emphasis on the rights of the individual, proclaims happiness as the goal of life, where does such love fit? And how do we proclaim it? And what are the implications of resurrection, of death outmanoeuvred, out-flanked by life beyond our own experience? That is a part of challenge of “this space”.

We need to re-member, re-create, the Gospel message. Tweaking, re-stating the Gospel of a previous generation is insufficient. We require a discontinuous Gospel of hope for the discontinuous world in which we live.

Your thoughts?


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March/April 2013 - Freedom & Hope

Dear Friends

Lent and Easter

Our Lenten Journey draws to an end, and the Easter Celebration is in sight.

 As we began our Lenten journey I shared a thought from Scott Shauf (from the Working Preacher website) for our prayer during this season, that prayer should be seeking the powerful presence of God in our lives. On one level prayer is simply our ongoing conversation with God, but as we know from the variety of relationships that define and form our lives, communication can be complicated and complex. Our Good Friday Service will help us reflect more on the complexity of prayer as we focus on seven forms: petition, confession, adoration, intercession, meditation/contemplation, thanksgiving and consecration. I do hope you will be able to join us for the full three hours.

My preaching over this Lenten season has been impacted by Anthony de Mello’s book, Awareness. Part of the challenge of experiencing the powerful presence of God is awakening to reality, and I have shared something of the discomfort of de Mello’s thinking. His thesis that self-interest remains a defining dynamic in human interaction despite the transformative presence of the Spirit of God in our lives is perhaps the most challenging. Lent certainly impacts on self-interest as we touch on prayer, fasting and alms-giving; in some form each touch on our self-interest and asks us to look to the interests of others as well. As I look at my cupboard I have to ask why it is so hard to pick out the clothes I haven’t worn in over a year and donate them to others who do not have the luxury of overflowing shelves. I’m struck by how bound I am to my possessions. Part of the Lenten challenge is to rediscover our freedom and our hope; it is also for us to become resources of freedom and hope for others.

This brings us to the paradox of the Easter events, that it is only through death that life can be truly and eternally discovered and experienced; and that despite our mortal limitation, we are – as God’s people – already embraced by eternal life. Our Easter Vigil Service seeks to enlighten us as we experience again the brightening hope of the Easter fire; our reflection on humanity’s experience of living in relationship with the Creator God who’s presence is also restorative and life-giving, and is celebrated in the renewal of our Baptismal promises; and as the rising son brightens the dawn, we share together in the Eucharist, in the flesh and blood of Christ, in the hope of resurrection. In walking this journey afresh we are once again renewed: forgiven, healed, restored.

Archdeaconry & Diocesan News

Secondment: our self-supporting assistant, Fr Steve Verryn, has been seconded at the Bishop’s request to the Hennop’s River Archdeaconry where he will be looking after the Parish of St Stephen in Lyttleton for the next few months. Please keep him and the family in your prayers, and I’m sure a phone call won’t go amiss!

Consecration: the Bishop was present with our former Chapelry of St Agnes in Stanza Bopape (Mamelodi) to bless and consecrate their new Church building in Mahube Valley on Sunday 17 March 2013. They have struggled for years to find land, meeting year after year in a classroom that continuously proved too small. The completion of their building has been a wonderful blessing for them.

Cathedral Update: a successful special Vestry was held on 17 March 2013 to elect Churchwardens and Councillors. Those who have read the local rag will have noticed that this did not happen without the normal challenges to the Bishop’s authority. Please continue praying for the normalisation of the situation at the Cathedral, for the Bishop, the Diocesan and Cathedral leadership, and the Cathedral Parish, that the mission and ministry imperatives of the Diocese be restored in that community.

As Lent draws to conclusion, may we all experience a life-giving and restoring Easter!

Easter Blessings


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Rector's Report to Annual Vestry - 27 January 2013


As I look back over 2012 I am aware of January and I am aware of December. Quite what happened to February through November is a mystery, and I can honestly describe 2012 as the quickest journey of my life. I am hoping 2013 will happen more slowly, and that I can savour life more fully.

Today is an opportunity for us as a Parish to look back and to look forward. Many of the reports to be received in our meeting later today will look back over the breadth of our parish activity, and will doubtless remind us of those seemingly missing months. One of the key responsibilities of this report is to reflect not on the detail, but on our purpose, and on how we are living it out in the breadth of our lives.


We have spoken over the last two and a half years at Council level of the importance of renewing our vision. This conversation has grown out of an increasing awareness that we have moved to a new place as a Christian family at Corpus Christi, and we need to reflect on our future: on who God is calling us to be, where God is calling us to go, and what God is calling us to do. The vision and sense of purpose that has driven us since 2006 has seen us through a journey of transition, and has melded us in a new way. The journey has been marked with moments of great joy and moments of great pain. The journey is not over, it will continue, but with a renewed sense of purpose, a renewed vision, and with new priorities.

The late Anthony de Mello, a Roman Catholic writer, in his book One Minute Wisdom tells the story of Arrival:

“Is the path to Enlightenment difficult or easy?”
“It is neither.”
“Why not?”
“Because it isn’t there.”
“Then how does one travel to the goal?”
“One doesn’t. This is a journey without distance. Stop travelling and you arrive.”

I share this story as I suspect that at some point in the last three or so years we discovered this truth for ourselves. And I hope we will hold on to it as we explore our future.

As you are aware we have been asked to explore the present Diocesan Theme – Renewed and empowered by baptism to be “Servants of Christ and Stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1) – at Parish level, using it as a platform to explore and renew our own sense of purpose and vision. This process began for us in August with a Parish Workshop where we explored the Theme and reflected on what this means for us here at Corpus Christi. The conclusions of this workshop were shared via the monthly magazine and opportunity given over a couple of months for comment. This process has culminated in a new mission statement, vision statement, and a statement of priorities that I am proposing on behalf of Parish Council to Annual Vestry today for adoption. We are attempting to keep these statements brief for two reasons: firstly, so that we will easily call them to mind; and secondly, so that there is room for a breadth of interpretation as we seek to implement them in the diversity of Parish life and activity. You will notice that since my last communication concerning this process we have added two more priorities, drawn from the results of our August Workshop. The statements Parish Council is proposing we adopt are as follows:

Our Purpose
Our mission is to be role-models and responsible risk-takers for Christ where we live, work and worship.

Our vision
We are passionate disciples of Christ – committed, willing, disciplined, equipped – living our Faith in daily life.

Our Priorities
Inclusive participation in our shared vision and mission
Strong internal community relationships affirming diversity
Family and Youth development
Outreach to less advantaged communities
Explore the potential of a new Anglican community in South East
Faithful stewards of our resources
Active in Social Media
Effective leadership and management

“… make disciples of all nations, … teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28: 19-20)

As a Christian community our purpose (or mission) is to be found in Scripture, and as we reflect on the Bible – both Old and New Testaments – we see God’s people called to be role-models to the world; we see the influence of God’s purposes expanded in that same world when individuals and communities take risks; and we see that the influence of God’s people is diverse, encompassing the communities in which they live, work and worship. We have chosen to hold onto the passage of Scripture from the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, but have chosen to highlight a different aspect of it. This passage is the link between our past, our present and our future, and has underwritten Parish life over many years.

Our vision seeks to reflect on the nature of our context, and on who we wish to be in that context. Our context at Corpus Christi is complex: most of us live in the wider geographic area; many of us work in diverse contexts, locally, nationally and internationally; we choose to worship here. Our challenge is to live out our Faith in this multifaceted context, within the breadth that our individual and community lives encompass. There is much food for reflection in this brief statement, words that point to the hidden depths of Christian commitment, and to what it truly is to be “servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”

Our priorities are linked to our core practices of worship, care and fellowship, education and discipleship, service, and witness. Our core practices are the primary ways in which we carry out our purpose (mission) through organised activity designed to help us embrace our vision. The Parish Council portfolio structure has been reorganised for 2013 around these core practises, with the addition of resources, communication and administration. Each portfolio is to be staffed by two members of Council, who will carry responsibility for one or more of what we have traditionally called “The Arms of the Parish” that reflect the responsibilities and functions of Parish Council outlined in our Diocesan Rules. Each portfolio is responsible for one of the areas of priority, thus making Parish Council truly accountable for the implementation of our mission and vision. The new portfolio structure and the Arms of the Parish will be published in the February Parish Magazine, and I ask that you help keep Parish Council accountable by participating in these structures.

This is an exciting vision for our Parish as we move into the future. Please embrace it.

One other important proposal I need to make on behalf of our Parish Council is that Annual Vestry consider the appointment of a Youth Worker for the Parish. In reviewing the effectiveness of our ministry to young people over the last few years we are hugely thankful for the talented ministry of people like Kerry MacGregor, Sandra Verryn, and Thando Ntshebe, who have kept our ad hoc youth group functioning, and for the on-going ministry of Wonder Muthana and Mmathabo Aphane in giving leadership to our Teen Church. However, there can be no doubt when looking at Churches both within the Anglican fold and ecumenically that a fully-time person empowers growth. This person would not replace our volunteers, but complement and facilitate this ministry, with a focus on young adults and teenagers. This position is not catered for in our 2013 budget, but a portion of our funds held in deposit with the Diocese could be used in conjunction with additional commitments from Parishioners.

Archdeaconry, Diocese and Province

At Diocesan level the on-going impasse between the Diocesan Leadership and the Cathedral community, both around the Dean’s Tribunal and subsequent to his untimely death, has dominated the Diocesan horizon. It has been frustrating and energy-sapping on many levels. We failed in 2012 to find a compassionate solution to the situation, but there is some light at the end of the tunnel as a process of mediation has begun. Thank you for your constant prayers for the situation, and please don’t stop!

In July I stepped down as acting Archdeacon of Madibeng, having completed a two-year process of restructuring ministry and mission priorities in the area. Bishop Jo has appointed an Archdeacon from within the area, the now Venerable Madi Moshime. My time as acting Archdeacon was fulfilling, and I believe I have been able to leave a meaningful legacy. Thank you for your support and understanding as my Archdeaconry responsibilities often had me out and about, and therefore unavailable to you for substantial periods of time.

There has been considerable forward movement in exploring the possibilities of forming a new Diocese based around Rustenburg, incorporating most of the present Archdeaconries of Rustenburg and Madibeng. There is still much work to be done before a decision on sustainability can be made, but the people of the area are clearly on board with the process. Bishop Jo has requested that each Parish in the Diocese commit 1% of our annual Budget to supporting the on-going development of the region, which Parish Council is happy we do. It needs to be a decision of Annual Vestry, and Council proposes this amount be paid out of accumulated funds held in deposit with the Diocese.

At Provincial level the first two women Bishops have been elected, consecrated and installed in the Dioceses of Swaziland and False Bay. At the Provincial Synod in 2010 Archbishop Thabo Makgoba stated that one of his key hopes for his Archiepiscopacy was that this should happen! This is a significant step for the Anglican Church in the Global South and for the Church in Africa as a whole.

Society and Nation Building

Most of 2012 focused on the leadership race and run-up to the ANC Conference in Mangaung. I have some hope that the newly elected ANC leadership will be more focused on leading the country and less focused on internal squabbles and power-mongering, but only time will tell. Marikana and protests in the Western Cape, and now Sasolburg, are not encouraging signs of a working democracy, nor is the falling Rand.

We need to persevere as South Africans, and as members of Corpus Christi allow our Christian commitment to strengthen our resolve to serve our country to the best and fullest of our ability, whether it be in government, business or the social sector. Our proposed new mission and vision call us to this commitment.


2012 was a difficult year for both Dawn and I and we enter into 2013 uncertain as to what the future holds for us. However, 2012 was not without its highlights, chief among them being the birth of our first grandchild, Rebecca-Lee. She is eight months old already, and is now crawling with her grandfather’s proficiency. She is a happy child who smiles easily and wonderfully!

My involvement in the Dean’s Tribunal and subsequently as a member of the Diocesan Executive (before I stood down as acting Archdeacon in July) in the on-going saga with the Cathedral impacted heavily on me spiritually and emotionally, and I have realised that defending an institution is neither a glorious affair nor what I believe the focus of my life should be. Our more recent Parish focus on re-exploring our purpose and vision has been life-giving and restorative.

Dawn’s job has made huge time and travel demands on her and has not given her the fulfilment we had hoped it would when she started with her new employers in 2011. The fit has not been good.

The last year has made us both aware that work is not all there is to life, and as we explore that “empty-nest” space and reflect on our common goals for our marriage and our life together there are no easy answers. We find ourselves in that mid-life space – often referred to as “crisis” – seeking to identify what is important for us, both as a couple and as individuals, as we face life’s “second half”.

Thank you for your continuing interest in our lives, for your support and care.


There is a lot to give thanks for as we will hear in the reports to be received during the meeting. The Parish continues to grow: numerically, financially, relationally and spiritually. Thank you to each and every one who contributed to this growth during 2012! My special thanks to Dawn who has continued to support my ministry despite the challenges of life and Faith; to Cheryl Rogers, our Parish Administrator, who goes more than the extra mile and beyond the call of duty, holds us all to high standards, and is tireless and constant in her commitment to the smooth functioning of Parish life; to our assistant priest, Steve Verryn, for his support and friendship, and our congratulations to him on his Priesting in February 2012; also to Fr Danny and Fr Julian for their support and help, especially while I was acting Archdeacon of Madibeng. Thanks to the 2012 Churchwardens and Council for their leadership and guidance and personal support; to our Layministers for the worship support and pastoral care they have provided; to those who have carried specific responsibility for key aspects of parish life from Sacristy to Children’s ministry and everything in-between. 

When one asks what people find special about this Parish the answer is generally “Family”, but actually I suspect it is a willingness to be a contributing part of the team. 

Thank you! 2013 awaits us …