St. Johns Church


St. Johns Anglican Church The Anglican parish church of St. John's, Cape Town, began with the arrival of Bishop Gray on that memorable Sunday, 20th February 1848. With the Bishop were the Rev. and Hon. Henry Douglas who immediately began work in what was called the Rogge Bay area. He was Curate at the Cathedral, but on August 4th, 1848, he was licensed as Priest-in-charge of the district of St. John's. He began by hiring a store at the corner of Bree Street and Prestwich Street - this was called St. John's Chapel - and here the [...]

St. Johns Church2018-04-26T17:12:35+00:00

Irish Missionaries in South Africa


St. Mary's Cathedral Cape Town Irish Missionaries in South Africa play an extremely important part of the growth and dvelopment of Churches and schools in South Africa. Of the four provinces which compose the Union of South Africa- namely, the Transvaal, the Orange Free State, Natal, and the Cape- only the last mentioned was to any notable extent the scene of the missionary labours of Irish bishops and priests. Irish nuns, of course, who are more daring and efficient in their methods of ‘peaceful penetration’, have found their way into every nook and corner of the sub-Continent. [...]

Irish Missionaries in South Africa2017-12-08T11:18:47+00:00

Saint Augustines Cathedral


Saint Augustine's Cathedral, Port Elizabeth, Cape Province. The spire of St. Augustine's Cathedral dominates the harbour of Algoa Bay and can be seen by all who enter that seaport. The Church, in pure Gothic design, stands as a monument to  Father Thomas Murphy, who superintended the laying of every stone and almost the driving of every nail used in the erection of the building. The foundation-stone was laid on 3 December 1861, and the Cathedral was solemnly consecrated by Bishop Patrick Moran on 25 April 1866, when it was opened, free of debt. Father Murphy collected untiringly for the funds [...]

Saint Augustines Cathedral2018-10-16T12:30:12+00:00

St. Stephen’s Church


St. Stephens in Cape Town is the only Dutch Reformed church named after a saint; and its congregation used to be known as the only Coloured congregation that formed part of the Nederduitse Gereformede Kerk (the mother church), with full admission to its synod, while all other Coloured parishes of the N.G. Kerk belong to the daughter or mission church. The rectangular edifice was erected during the First British Occupation and is the oldest theatre building in South Africa, having been erected for that purpose by the Governor, Sir George Yonge, on what is now Riebeek Square,

St. Stephen’s Church2017-11-02T13:30:13+00:00

All Saints Namaqualand


The history of the Church in Namaqualand is intimately linked with the mining of copper. The miners came and the Church followed. Since the first miners, after Simon van der Stel, were Welshmen, Phillips and King, it is not surprising to find that the Anglican Church was the first to be established in Springbok. The Dutch Reformed Church followed in 1860 when the Namaqualand Congregation separated from the Clanwilliam congregation and built their first church at Bowersdorp in Kamieskroon.

All Saints Namaqualand2018-10-16T12:50:12+00:00

Cape Town Congregational Church


The Cape Town Congregational Church started as a Church for the members of the 93rd Regiment of the Sutherland Highlanders. With the arrival of James Read in 1800 a Calvinistic Society was formed with members pledging to help each other in Christian Life. With the arrival then of Rev. George Thom in 1813 members of the Fellowship on 6 May 1813 gave each other the hand of Christian fellowship, which constituted themselves into a church and the Rev Thom, conducted the first Free Church service ever held on South African soil. Out of 90 communicants, 63 were members of the 93rd Regiment of the Sutherland Highlanders. The following year this regiment was transferred to India leaving the membership of the church with 27 members.

Cape Town Congregational Church2017-11-10T13:25:11+00:00

History of St. Mary’s Cathedral


St. Mary's Cathedral, a Roman Catholic Church had its first site purchased as early as 1822 and a small church was built in Harrington Street, Cape Town. In 1837 this building was almost completely destroyed by torrential rains and on the arrival of the first R.C. Bishop, P. R. Griffith, the following year, permission was obtained to say mass in the Barracks; but soon the Bishop purchased the 'Magdeburg garden' with a building belonging to Baron C. F. H. von Ludwig. A large room was fitted out as a chapel and served as such for several years. Tanner's Square (Looyers [...]

History of St. Mary’s Cathedral2018-10-16T07:29:53+00:00

Church Cemeteries Cape Town


For most genealogists, trying to find out when a certain church or cemetery opened is important for tracing your relatives. I am trying to find dates of these places to make it easier for you to find those missing records. If you can add or help with any additional information kindly contact Heather.

Church Cemeteries Cape Town2018-10-16T11:59:07+00:00

Quakers in South Africa


The Quaker movement arose in Great Britain out of the religious ferment of the mid- 17th century and soon spread to North America. Probably the first members to visit South Africa were whalers from Nantucket, who often called at Table Bay around 1800. Immigrants followed later and settled in various parts of the country. As their numbers grew they gathered for worship and counsel, first in isolated groups, then on a wider basis, until eventually national gatherings became possible. In 1946 the Friends in Southern Africa were given recognition as an autonomous body within the world fellowship.

Quakers in South Africa2018-10-16T11:36:54+00:00