Being in the right place at the right time
Sometimes look back over your life, and recall that you were just in the right place at the right time, and something quite remarkable flowed from it.
I’m sure that’s true of all of us on our human journey.
I often joke that I founded a church and that this church is hugely present in Blackheath a northern suburb of the Western Cape. See the pictures opposite and below.
But its founding happened almost despite my playing an active and very small part.
In 1974 I went to The Parish of the Transfiguration Bellville to begin my second curacy under the Revd Tim Bravington. At that time St George’s Kuils River was part of the parish of Transfiguration, and I was the assistant priest.
Fr Bravington told me that the bishop, was keen that I investigate the possibility of beginning some kind of Anglican presence in Blackheath, for a new housing area was due to spring up there, just outside Kuils River.
So when I was settled in Kuils River, I eventually went to look for the new homes in Blackheath. Alas there were very few, and they were difficult to find.
I was only in Kuils River for 18 months, when I was invited to be the Assistant Chaplain to Diocesan College, Rondebosch.
So how did the little Anglican community get started in Blackheath? Rest assured it would have started on its own without my efforts. Just before the Christmas of 1975, and the end of my stay in Kuils River, to honour what the bishop had asked I went to take another look at the development in Blackheath. Now there were many homes, with houses springing up daily.
How God direct us and makes good things happen, almost despite our offerings! I met a Mrs Buckley at the home of the elderly Mrs Kearns in Sarepta, Kuils River. She lived in Blackheath. I told her that I wanted to hold a eucharist in her home on Christmas day, and asked her to invite anyone who would come. She agreed and invited as many people as she could. There were about 30 people present on that first Christmas day, most of them children.
For the next few months I conducted a service once a month at someone’s home in Blackheath. There were some remarkable layminister’s there, like one Michael Dyers who carried the whole movement forward, while I went to immerse my life in a boy’s school. Under leadership of various clergy and layministers the little community grew into something quite special, the church of Holy Nativity, Blackheath.
Look with amazement, at those times in your life, when you were in the right place at the right time, and something good and special came from it.
Thank you Bob, for an eye-opening trip through woodstock. So many talented people.
What a feast, thank you. One of my favourites is the man with the leafy beard on the blue building.…
Superb. Thank you so much for the photographs and so much more you give us all Bob. May you continue…
This is beautiful 🙂 thank you so much for sharing this!
Hi Bob – Wonderful collection (photo-essay?). Thanks for lifting our spirits! Stay safe! Mike