St Katharine's Anglican Church
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History

WE WELCOME YOU TO
Market Street, Uitenhage
 
Our prayer is that all who seek GOD may find Him, so as you enter:
May GOD your CREATOR and unseen GUIDE bless you abundantly & be at your side, as you gaze at the treasures that we bring to glorify GOD, our wondrous KING.
May your heart soar as you hear it sing, with prayers & praises that here do ring, as the ages all echo those who have stood, as people of GOD ‘midst this stone & wood.
 
In 1875 the Church was dedicated by the Rev. William Llewellyn & named by him after St. Katharine, an eighth century Egyptian Princess who was beautiful and wise.
 
The foundation stone, which cannot be found today, was laid in 1867 & it is from this date that the anniversaries are counted, although the building only began in 1869. It was completed in 1875 after many financial constraints & problems. In 1894 the chancel was added & the original galvanized iron roof was replaced by the slate roof in 1966.
 
It is built in a simple Gothic architectural style with stones quarried from the vicinity of the farm “Hillwacht” & transported by ox-wagon to this site where stone masons of the Moslem faith built the original structure.
  
THE STORY OF SAINT KATHARINE
From earliest childhood she was known for her beauty & great intellect, stimulated by all the resources in her parents’ kingdom & beyond. Orphaned by 14 years of age she became queen & to the dismay of the elders found no suitable person to marry. A hermit learned in a dream that the King who should be Lord of her heart was to be the Blessed Virgin’s Son & after he showed her their picture, Katharine could think of no other. In a dream the Lord turned her away as not being fair enough for Him & after that Katharine could not rest until she had become a Christian & was baptised. Again in a dream, the Lord betrothed Himself to her & she was so filled with faith & fortitude that she confronted the cruel Maximin of Italy who was ravaging all the Christians in Egypt. So convincing was her appeal at the assembly he convened to trap her, that many were converted & believed that Christ was Lord & God. This so enraged Maximin that he ordered further massacres of Christians & had Katharine tortured, wounded & thrown in a dungeon. Even there, the captive princess continued to talk of God & converted Maximin’s own wife & chief captain. Finally as she was chained between 4 wheels that were to tear her body, fire came down from heaven & broke the wheels apart. While others were hurt by flying fragments, Katharine was unharmed. Maximin ordered her to be taken outside the city of Alexandria where she was beheaded with a sword. Her body was taken to Mount Sinai where a monastery named after St Katharine may be found. Katharine became a great Virgin Patron, her Saint’s Day is November 25th.

Floor Plan
 
Some interesting facts about inside of Church
 1 LADY CHAPEL: Originally the Baptistry built in 1902 along with the porch, it was converted into a small chapel for prayer & meditation in 1952 with £50 reserved for it. The furniture is in memory of Eileen Leslie (1969). On the wall is a remembrance board with the names of the men of the parish who served in the 2nd World War. The stained glass window of Jesus being baptised is inscribed “This is my beloved Son”. www.stkatharine.co.za/modules/module_gallerypopup.php
 
2 CHURCH WARDEN’S STAVES: These are the Church Warden’s symbols of office & were originally carried by the former to “protect” the Bishop. The new heads were bought by the Guild of St Francis in 1955 & the new staves made by Mr N.W. Du Bois in memory of Ronald Werth in 1956.
 
3 STONE FONT: Presented in 1867 as a gift to the un-built church in memory of Ada Evans Llewellyn (Rector’s daughter). It was housed in the Baptistry from 1902-1938 but has stood in numerous places in the building & was renovated in 2002 by Marina Niven, a parishioner to resemble marble.
 
4 TEAK PASCHAL CANDLE STAND: Mrs Jenkens presented this in 1954 in memory of her husband Mr Roderick B. Jenkins, a Sub-deacon, Church Warden & schoolmaster, who died suddenly in that year. It bears The Easter Candle which is lit during the Easter Vigil to commemorate Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead.
  
5 Window:A call to worship” was installed as a thanksgiving for the centenary (1967) & is in memory of Mr Brian W. Sellick, a Church Warden who died in 1966.
 
6 Window: “I am the Way, the Truth & the Life” was donated by Miss M.A. Parkes in memory of Mr James Forrest whom she was to marry, had he not died on 2 August 1887.
  
7 Window: “Charity” was installed in 1927 in memory of Mrs Maud Steytler (born Brehm), a past president of the S.K.W.A. 1920-1922, a Lady collector & a staunch worker in the parish.
 
8 MEMORIAL TABLET & FLAGS: Unveiled in 1921 by Rev Francis Walter Flack, Rector, the brass tablet is in memory of the men of the parish who died in the 1st World War. The Queen Victoria colours & Uitenhage Volunteer Rifles own regimental flag were received for safe keeping after the war when the regiment was disbanded. These are not the original flags & the colours were remade through the efforts of Martin Bubb in the 1970’s, paid for by the Church. The lion crests were gold leafed by Marina Niven in 2002. www.stkatharine.co.za/modules/module_gallerypopup.php
 
9 Windows: These twin lights depicting the baptism of Jesus & the Holy family were donated by Graham Cherrington, a Church Warden, in memory of his parents, Harold (1884 – 1969) & Ivy Louise (1889-1979), both long standing members & generous benefactors to the fabric of the Church.
 
10 CHOIR VESTRY: Completed in 1926 as the final phase of the “new vestries”, this addition had for many years housed the surplices & robes of the choir, (disbanded in 1993), Mr W. Thompson made the cupboards in 1938. It is currently being as a Prayer Chapel.
 
11 PRIEST’S VESTRY: The cramped space behind the organ was used as a vestry by clergy & choir boys. Debated since 1922 (when Mr Henry N. Chase submitted the plans) as to whether it should be an extension of the Hall rather than the Church, it was finally completed in 1924. Architects were Messres Jones & Mc Williams, & the contractor Mrs A.H. Gillespie.
 
12 PULPIT: The new pulpit of Japanese Oak was presented in 1954 by his parents, in memory of Richard Layton (Dick) Cherrington, an officer in the SAAF, killed in action in Italy in 1943. It replaced the original pulpit given by James Gibb, which was passed on to St Anne’s. Mr H.W. Shaw tried desperately to get designs & quotations, but it took almost 10 years due to the difficulty of finding suitable local contractors (continued in the panel to the left)
  & wood. The original contractors were St Faith’s Mission, Rusapi for £311 but the costs of shipping wood from England made it too expensive in 1950. Finally it was ordered from Messrs RH Morris & Co. by Mr Cherrington. It depicts the story of our patroness, St Katharine. Can you match the panels to the story? www.stkatharine.co.za/modules/module_gallerypopup.php
 
   13 ROOM BEAM & CROSS: This spans the archway between the nave and chancel. It was erected with £100 of the gift to beautify the interior of the church left by Rev AWS Moore (Assistant Priest) who returned to England in 1904 after 2 years with the parish.
 
  14 CHOIR STALLS: In 1952 Mrs Edith Gibbon presented the stalls, made of Phillippine Mahogany costing £254, in memory of her husband W Gibbon, who sand in the choir, & her brother, former Church Warden & Choirmaster, Len Wadham. The extra row of pews on both sides of the aisle were removed to create more space in this area.
 
   15 ORGAN: The 1st harmonium was sold in 1881 & replaced by an organ harmonium. The present organ was installed in 1911 for £795. It was made by Norman & Beard, England & was 1st “water powered” with an alternative manual operation, the bellows of which many a choir boy was paid to pump vigorously during services. In 1921 a Discus Electric Blower was purchased for £150 & is still in service today. Several major renovations have been done over the years including the augmentation of the range by installing “voices”. It currently requires repairs again. www.stkatharine.co.za/modules/module_gallerypopup.php
 
   16 MERCURY VAPOUR LAMP: Suspended above the centre of the chancel, it was donated in 1934 by the Brehm family regular church goers.
 
    17 COMMUNION RAIL: The new rail was paid for by the Mens Fellowship Society in 1923. It replaced the original teak rail & brass standards donated respectively in 1870 by Ian Cook Snr, Church Warden & Lt Colonel Dixen. The “positioning holes” of the latter can still be seen in the floor under pew no. 4.
 
   18 Window: “He is not here, He is Risen” depicts the resurrection & was installed to the memory of Susan Sadler (born De Wet) by her husband, Percy Sadler. Both were prominent parishioners.
 
   19 SEDELIA: This wooden seat was presented in memory of Martin Bubb’s grandparents, Edward & Caroline in 1940.
 
   20 OAK CREDENCE TABLE: Given by Mrs Loftus Magennis & Mrs Windsor Wilmot in memory of their parents, Thomas & Mary Mackay, & brother Allan. It cost £10 & the other £10 was used to buy a set of Cruets, used during communion as a servers table.
 
  21 REREDOS: Under discussion since 1919, the beautifully crafted panel was shipped from England & was the church’s official war Memorial for the men who had made the Supreme Sacrifice in the Great War. Made by Messrs Wippell & Co., designed by Messrs Jones & McWilliams & erected in the church by Mr AH Gillespie in 1923. The Rev SN Gurney was given the task of painting the heraldic designs while the choir boys sand at practice in 1950. The colour was brought back to life during the renovations in 2002. In the centre is the ambry where oil for anointing & other consecrated elements can be stored.
 
   22 Window right: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord” depicting St John was installed to the memory of Mr Edward Philpott, a Church Warden, & to his wife Sophia.
 
    23 Window centre: “It is finished” depicting Jesus on the cross, perpetuates the memory of Mr Hudson Spence & his wife Vera who were parishioners in the late 1800’s. A further inscription reads “Suffer little children to come unto me”. (continued in botto right panel)



24 Window left: The Rev CB Jecks dedicated this window on All Saints day in 1884. It depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary in memory of his mother, Maria Jecks.
 
25 ALTAR: Consecrated in 1958, it was designed & built by Mr NW du Bois (Councillor), & funded by the Miss Joan Petit bequest. Included in the Altar is a stone tile from Canterbury Cathedral obtained by Mr HW Shaw who had encouraged St Katharine’s to give a £5 subscription (enough for 5 years) to be a Friend of Canterbury Cathedral. A small stone which was brought back from the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives, by Mr WP Sellick in the 1980’s is mounted under the tile. www.stkatharine.co.za/downloads/image/gallery/altar_web-204.jpg
 
26 BISHOP’S CHAIR: Presented in 1896 in memory of Joseph Crowe, 1st South African born recipient of the Victoria Cross, who died in India in 1857. This is reserved for the Bishop when he is in attendance at services.
 
27 LITANY DESK: This item was given to complement the Bishop’s chair & is in memory of Mr Roger Restall.
 
28 SANCTUARY LAMPS: This set of elegant lamps cost £25 & was donated by Mr Harry Knight in memory of his wife, Nellie, in 1951. They were brought over from England by a Johannesburg firm.
 
29 Window: “Not my will, but Thine, be done” was installed in memory of Mrs Kitty Shaw, who devoted her life to service in the Parish. She was the daughter of Rev. Flack & wife of Mr HW Shaw.
 
30 Window: “Peace be still” was installed in memory of Mr Herbert William Shaw (1887-1973), Church Warden & prominent member of the parish. www.stkatharine.co.za/modules/module_gallerypopup.php
 
31 Window: “Feed my Lambs” was installed by the Parish Council in memory of Mr Robert Redvers Bosch, (1901-1987), whose generous bequest assisted in reducing the debt of the Abundant Life Centre. This window was crafted by Mr Hunter Nesbit of Port Elizabeth. www.stkatharine.co.za/modules/module_gallerypopup.php
 
32 PROCESSIONAL CROSS: It replaced the original wooden cross & was donated by the Rev CB Jecks (Rector) in memory of his late mother.
 
33 NEW LECTURN: This item cost £10 & was paid for in 1924 by the Womens Association in memory of Mrs FH Holland, a Church worker.
 
34 PEWS: The original black, slat-backed pews were donated to St Anne’s Church when the existing pews arrived in 1940. They were made at the Trade School now known as Daniel Pienaar High School. One of the pews was given in memory of Miss Agnes Elizabeth Raab, and active member of the Church, Local SA Church Railway Mission Branch & sidesman. Two interesting “pew stories” are that the pews were “rented” prior to 1867 as a fundraiser until the Archdeacon imposed the condition that in the new ‘to be built’ Church, the pews were to be “free”. Secondly, since ladies were allegedly not allowed in the chancel, the choir singers had to sit in the front pew in the nave until Rev William John Keate’s allowed them to be capped gowned & admitted to the choir stalls in the late 1940’s.
 
35 Window:”The Good Shepherd” was installed by the Church Council and commemorates the service & generosity of Rev AWS Moore (Curate 1902-1904). The money he left to the parish went towards the parish hall, rood beam, new organ & a church at Bayville.
 
36 Window: The twin lights Depicting the Good Samaritan was erected as a tomb stone & perpetuates the memory of Rev Charles Bloomer Jecks, the first Curate of this parish (1885-1892) who became Rector (1893). He formed the St Katharine’s Mens Society & St Katharine’s Church Choir Boy’s Football Club which later became the Swifts Rugby Club. (contiuned in right panel)

 
    He died of a burst appendix in 1911 & would have  been buried in the church grounds by the grief  stricken congregation had the Mayor given permission. The predominant colour violet denotes humility & the theme, his nature.
 
   37 Window: These twin lights inscribed “Blessed are they that have not seen & yet believe” remembers the Venerable Francis Walter Flack, (Rector, 1911-1933) & Depicts St. Thomas, on whose anniversary he was ordained. He was a mathematician & educator, serving on many local committees. His was no easy task during the war years, the influenza epidemic & the depression, however his spiritual leadership was sturdy.
 
   38 Window: The St Katharine window was installed in memory of the 2nd Rector of our parish, Rev William Llewellyn (1857-1892), a man of ”indomitable perseverance”, for it was during his ministry that the Church was built & consecrated despite all the trials & tribulations. After 36 years of service in Uitenhage, he became Archdeacon of Grahamstown (1892-1897) & laid the memorial stone of the chancel in 1896. He died in Cradock (1907), still in office as Archdeacon of Port Elizabeth.
 
   39 THE VERGERS OFFICE: This was built in 1902 with the porch & baptistery and currently houses the prayer books. Designed by architects Messrs Tomlinson & Walker.
 
   40 SILVERWARE GIFTS: A number of gifts presented to the Church have been preserved:
 
    40.1 This BAPTISMAL EWER is the oldest gift & was presented in 1847 by the Church of St John in England to the church of Uitenhage. It is thus 20 years older than St Katharine’s.
 
   40.2 This CIBORIUM was presented by the daughter of Mrs Mary AE Hopkins who died in 1965 aged 101 years, 7 months.
 
    40.3 The silver COMMUNION CHALICE & PATEN were donated by the Swifts Rugby Club in 1967 (our centenary) in memory of their founder, Rev CB Jecks.
 
    40.4 The COLLECTION PLATE was donated by Mr HJ Ruddie.
 
   41 THE BELFRY: The original wooden Belfry stood on the station’s side at the entrance of the property from 1877, acting as a lichgate but not used as one. In 1904 it was placed behind the Church to house the apparatus to make acetylene gas for lighting. It was again relocated to the front & although in bad condition, later disposed of to Muir College who donated £10 for it, when the present Belfry was built to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Though permission was sought, the rules would not allow it to be named the Queen Elizabeth II Bell Tower.
 
    42 THE WAR MEMORIAL ARCHWAY, GATE & WAR MEMORIAL WALL (DWARF):
   In 1951 the Fifteen Fallen of the Parish were    commemorated by the dedication of the present  archway & gate. The dwarf wall on the Market Street  side was designed by Mr Peter Heugh & Simpsons. Messrs WC Cowie tendered for the work at a cost of £466.11.0 with an additional £498 for the Archway. Mr van Rooyen was the build & Mr WT Masters credited as Clerk of Works. The boundary on the other 3 sides replaced the living hedge earlier at a cost of £724. The teak gates were made by 2 parishioners who were retired coach builders & brothers-in-law, Messrs George Trestail & Willie Burger.

 

 
 
 
 

Service Times

Sundays:
7:30 am Holy Communion
9:30 am Holy Communion

Wednesdays:
9:30 am Holy Communion
 
 
 
 

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