Anglican Diocese of Grahamstown

Anglican Church of Southern Africa

Welcome to the web site of the Anglican Diocese of Grahamstown. This Diocese was founded over 150 years ago, in 1853. Ebenezer Ntlali is the Bishop.


Vision and Mission of the Diocese

Vision: That all people in the Diocese should know God’s love in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. 

Mission of the Diocese


Archbishop's reflections for Advent

Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town, is again recording a series of audio reflections on the Sundays in Advent. To listen to his reflection on the Gospel for Advent 1, click here.


Fresh Expressions Conference

All church leaders who want to be part of God’s future Church are invited to the next international Fresh Expressions of Church Conference, to be held from 16-18 February 2016 in Cape Town. Bishop Graham Cray, who visited Grahamstown in July 2013, will be among the speakers.  For more details click here.

To book, contact 084 657 5476. Or email Visit the Fresh Expressions website at:


Anglicans Ablaze Conference, October 2016 

Booking is open for the 2016 Anglicans Ablaze Conference, to be held in Cape Town from 5-8 October 2016. The theme will be "Vulindlela - Open the Way". Invited speakers include Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, Vicentia Kgabe, Rector of COTT, Mike Pilavachi, Soul Survivor and South African cricketer J P Duminy. Click here for details of prices and how to book. For a letter from Bishop Martin Breytenbach appealing for support, click here.


Death of Honorary Canon Nancy Charton

The Reverend Canon Nancy Charton died on 10 November, in Graaff Reinet, at the age of 95. We give thanks for her long life of devotion to her Lord and his church and people, and pray for the family. The funeral will take place at 10:30 on Saturday 21 November 2015 at St James, Graaff Reinet (please note, NOT Saturday 28th which was the date previously mentioned as a possibility).

A Memorial Service for Canon Nancy will be held in Grahamstown Cathedral on Thursday 26 November 2015 at 3 pm. Bishop Ebenezer will celebrate and preach.

Nancy served at Grahamstown Cathedral as a lay minister and Sunday School teacher. She was ordained Deacon in the Cathedral, and in 1992 she was ordained Priest there by Bishop David Russell, the first woman to be ordained priest in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. May she rest in peace and rise in glory!


Diocese of Umzimvubu

Prayers are asked for the people of the Anglican Diocese of Umzimvubu. On Saturday 7 November, the day of a meeting of the Diocesan Council, the diocesan centre in Kokstad was destroyed by fire. Please hold especially in your prayers the Bishop of Mthatha, Bishop Mzamane, who is Vicar-General of the Umzimvubu Diocese. For a letter from Archbishop Thabo Makgoba describing the background to these events, click here.


Statements from Bishop Ebenezer Ntlali on Student Fees, Xenophobic Attacks, and Service Delivery

On 26 October 2015 Ebenezer Ntlali, Bishop of Grahamstown, issued statements on three current issues of vital importance:

On the occasion of student uprisings against increases in University fees, the Bishop wrote: "As a church we want to make it unequivocally clear that we support the demand of the students for zero increase of fees. We appreciate the fact that the President has listened and intervened effectively to avert a catastrophe." Read more... 

Concerning recent attacks on foreign nationals in Grahamstown, Bishop Ebenezer wrote: "We call upon those who incite others to acts of violence against foreigners to refrain from such acts. How do you sleep at night when you know you have caused harm to your brother or sister?" Read more... 

Concerning corruption, mismanagement, lack of services and crime, the Bishop wrote: "We would like to indicate our stand when it comes to campaigns that seek to root out corruption, mismanagement, lack of services and crime." Read more...


Funeral of Canon Jesse Sage

Jesse Sage, a former Rector of Gonubie and an Honorary Canon of Grahamstown Cathedral, died suddenly on Friday 9 October at home in the UK. The funeral service will  take place at St. Mary the Virgin Batcombe, Somerset, UK on Friday November 13th at 2:00 pm. Give thanks for his life and the contribution he made in this diocese, and pray for his family.


Letter from Archbishop Thabo Makgoba to the People of God

The latest letter from the Archbishop of Cape Town "To the Laos" - to the People of God - dated 13 October 2015, is available. Click here.


Ordination of six Deacons

Bishop Ebenezer Ntlali ordained six Deacons on Saturday 26 September in St Alban's Church East London. He is seen here with the six new Deacons in their Dalmatics, and some of those involved in their training. Back row: Warren Bada, Dean Andrew Hunter, Bishop Ebenezer, Etienne Maree (partial face - licensed to St Michael Nahoon); Front row: Archdeacon Thami Mhlana, Cynthia Webbstock, Nkosazana Maqoma (licensed to St John Fort Beaufort), Phumelele Mvubu and Weziwe Williams (both licensed to St Peter Peddie), Bongani Booi (licensed to St Mary Pumlani), Alice Barlow Zambodla (licensed to All Saints East London), Wezo Bloko. 


Death of Sally Ashby, wife of former Grahamstown Cathedral Dean

Sally Ashby, wife of former a dean of Grahamstown, Bishop Godfrey Ashby, died of pancreatic cancer on 7 October. She was magnificently cared for in the Hospice in Exeter, England, and many of her family were able to be with her in the time leading up to her death. Prayers are asked for Bishop Godfrey and the family.


New book published by the Cathedral's Director of Music

Dr Andrew-John Bethke, Director of Music at Grahamstown Cathedral, has just published his first book, "Celebrating the Seasons: Themes and Symbols of the Christian Year".  

This book is aimed at ordained priests, musicians and lay people. Those who lead worship and preach will find it a helpful resource companion (which can be used alongside Word and Worship) and as an introduction to the depth of the Christian calendar. The book stems from teaching seminarians about the theological connections which are embedded deeply within the cycle of seasons.

While the book is aimed at those who lead worship, it is easily accessible to anybody who is interested in the Christian liturgical year. Read more ....

The book is obtainable from the publishers,, for R90 plus postage. 


Umbuliso for October-November 2015

The latest issue of Umbuliso, newsletter of the Diocese of Grahamstown, is now available. Click here to download the pdf version.

Articles include: Diocesan Youth Guild celebrates Youth Day - Computer Lab sponsored at Grahamstown School - Bishop's letter "Holiness is not optional" - Cathedral students help the hungry - Order of St Barnabas news - St Francis Youth celebrate Chaplain's Birthday - Diocesan Family Weekend - From the Department of Spirituality " Holiness is doing God's will" - Thanks to Canon Cynthia Webbstock from St Saviour's Parish - Ginsberg Church Choir Retreat - Berlin Parishioners' "67 Minutes" - Obituary: Vuyiswa Mize - ACSA Bishops pray at site of Marikana killings - Umbuliso Uyakubulisa (short items of news).


Message from the Synod of Bishops

The Synod of Bishops, which met in September, has issued a Message to the People of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.


Prayer for Refugees and Migrants - by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

On the feast of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2015
O God, give us tender hearts and restless minds,
to pray and act with open hearts and discerning minds.
O Christ, move us to ask profound questions,
about the plight of your people.


Media and Publications Officer for the Diocese of Grahamstown

Are you a Christian who’s excited by the idea of communicating the Good News through a variety of media, both print and electronic? Do you have skills and experience in the fields of writing, editing, desktop publishing, and managing a website? The Anglican Diocese of Grahamstown is looking for a part-time Media and Publications Officer. This post carries an honorarium (negotiable), and would suit someone who enjoys working flexible hours from home, perhaps recently retired. Although the Diocesan Office is in Grahamstown, the Media and Publications Officer could operate from anywhere in the Diocese. Read more...


Rectors sought

See below for details of two vacant parishes in the Diocese of Grahamstown. For more information and more detailed profiles contact the PA to the Bishop of Grahamstown, the Revd Canon Cynthia Webbstock at or Tel. No: 073 180 0311 or the Bishop’s office at Tel. No: 046 636 1996 or


1. St John and St Chad, Zwelitsha


In the heartland of Eastern Cape Province stands Zwelitsha between Bhisho and King William’s Town. A large Xhosa speaking congregation seeks to find a suitably qualified priest with a least 5 years’ experience in leading a congregation to become their new Rector. For more details, click here.


2. St Paul Port Alfred with St John, Bathurst

A suitably qualified priest is sought with the heart of a pastor and good interpersonal skills to lead and nurture the parish of St Paul Port Alfred as Rector. He/ she will also serve St John’s, Bathurst and two small settler churches St Mary’s at Cuylerville and St James at Southwell. St Barnabas, the Xhosa speaking congregation in Port Alfred is part of the team ministry of the area, along with two outstations St Thomas at Southwell and St Mark at Kenton on Sea. For more details, click here.


Ad Clerum for August 2015

Bishop Ebenezer Ntlali's latest letter to the clergy of the diocese is now available. Click here to download as a pdf.


Archbishop appeals for prayer for a landmark event in the life of our Church

The Archbishop of Cape Town has appealed for prayer for two meetings to be held in September representatives from all 28 dioceses will review our Vision and Mission as a church, strategise around ways to implement our priorities, and then make practical decisions on how to implement them in a manner that is productive, holistic and transformative. Read more ...


Chaplain sought for St Mary's School Waverley, Johannesburg

St Mary's School, Waverley, a pre-eminent independent Anglican school for girls, invites applications for the post of School Chaplain from 1 January 2016. See more... 


An Appeal to Young People by Archbishop Thabo

The Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, has made an appeal to young people aged 20-21, in the 21st anniversary of our democracy, to share with him the issues and values that concern them most. Parishes are encouraged to disseminate this message to young people in this age group. To read his Appeal, click here. 


Statement from an Extraordinary Meeting of the Synod of Bishops

The Synod of Bishops held an extraordinary meeting at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg on Saturday April 25, primarily to elect a new Bishop of the Highveld, but also to discuss other urgent matters. Read more...


Pastoral Letter from Bishop Ebenezer on xenophobia

Ebenezer Ntlali, Bishop of Grahamstown, has issued a Pastoral Letter in the wake of the current suffering and pain of our African brothers and sisters. To read it, click here


Pastoral Letter from Bishop Ebenezer on the defacing and removal of statues

Ebenezer Ntlali, Bishop of Grahamstown, has issued a Pastoral Letter on the defacing and removal of statues. To read it, click here.


Special price on leather-bound Prayer Books

The Publishing Committee of the ACSA has announced a special offer on leather-bound copies of An Anglican Prayer Book 1989, in various languages. See more...


Southern Anglican Online Magazine

The latest offerings of stories on the Southern Anglican website (  make for interesting and exciting reading.


Lecture and Sermon from 160th Anniversary of the Diocese

Prof Barney Pityana has kindly agreed to make the text of his lecture and sermon on the occasion of the Diocese's 160th anniversary celebrations available on this website. Click here for:

David Russell Memorial Lecture;

Sermon on Christ the King Sunday


Diocese celebrates 160 Years of Faithful Witness

The Diocese of Grahamstown celebrated its 160th anniversary in Grahamstown over the weekend of 22-23 November 2014, with thought-provoking lectures, a Procession of Witness and a glorious Eucharist service.


Diocesan Calendar 2015

The draft diocesan calendar for 2015 is now available: click here. Archdeaconries, Organisations and Guilds are encouraged to consult this Calendar before planning any major events, in order to avoid clashes. Please send dates of Diocesan events to the Media Officer, Maggy Clarke at: is obviously not space to include parish events in the Year Planner, but parish organisations are also encouraged to look at this calendar to avoid clashes with diocesan events.

NB this is a work in progress. Further events will be added when information is available.


Handbook for Churchwardens and Parish Councillors

This Handbook, published in 2001, is now available on the Diocesan website. Click on "Parish Handbook" at the left.


Video of Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery

The Episcopal Church of the USA has recently produced an excellent 10-minute video about the Monastery at Hillandale, Mariya uMama weThemba. To view it, click here.





Bishop's Office
P O Box 181, Grahamstown 6140
Tel 046 636 1996 (office)
Fax 046 622 5231
Diocesan Office
P O Box 181, Grahamstown 6140
Tel 046 636 1995
Fax 046 622 5231
Diocesan Administrator:
Financial Manager:
Administrative bookkeeper:
Finance Officer:
Media Officer: 
P O Box 181, Grahamstown 6140
Tel 046 622 7803
Fax 086 681 4677


Please note: This is the only official website of the Diocese. The old address "" was discontinued at the end of 2013. Unfortunately someone unconnected with the Diocese (based in Russia!) has taken over the old address, and a very out-of-date version of our content. Please ignore that phoney website.