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St Andrew’s Grahamstown celebrates its chapel centenary

| November 4, 2013 | 0 Comments

One hundred years ago, the foundation stone of the St Andrew’s College Chapel in Grahamstown was laid. This beautiful building, designed by Sir Herbert Baker, is the twin of St Michael and all Angels, Boksburg, Gauteng, which was built in 1912.

The chapel was the third one to be built at St Andrew’s College. The first chapel, which now houses the Andrean Resource Centre, was designed in 1855 by Bishop Armstrong, his wife, Frances, and Captain Hervey of the Royal Engineers. It was the first building to be built at St Andrew’s College. The second chapel was designed by Sydney Stent and was built in 1877. Sadly, it was demolished in 1941.

In 1905, the foundation stone was laid for a new chapel, designed by William White-Copper, whose architectural work is much-loved in Grahamstown. This building was never realised, but the foundation stone was incorporated into the vestry wall on the north side of the present College Chapel.

The foundation stone for the present chapel was laid on 8 September 1913 and the completed chapel was consecrated on 14 June 1914. The Great War broke out only six weeks later, and the chapel became a profoundly sacred memorial to the 125 Old Andreans who gave their lives in that dreadful conflict, as well as the 131 Old Andreans who died in World War II.

The St Andrew’s College Chapel centenary was celebrated on Sunday 8 September 2013 with a special Eucharist led by the Bishop of Grahamstown, the Right Reverend Ebenezer Ntlali. Visitors and Old Andreans from near and far attended. To mark the centenary, a new altar frontal was commissioned from the Keiskammahoek Tapestry Project in Hamburg. The beautiful frontal is a tribute to Dr Marguerite Poland who, through her tireless research and her book The Abundant Herds, has restored the dignity of the Nguni cattle. The Eastern Cape theme of the frontal depicts the traditional sacrificial cow in place of a lamb.

Category: Summer 2013

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