St Anne's South Africa

St Anne

The Diocese of Lichfield in 2008, in connection with the upcoming Lambeth Conference, wanted to establish links between churches in the Diocese of Lichfield and churches in its partner dioceses. The suggestion was to create links between English churches here in this diocese, and churches in those partner dioceses elsewhere in the worldwide Anglican Church.

St John’s took advantage of the opportunity and became linked with St Anne’s Anglican Church in the South African diocese of Matlosane. Our link began in January 2008.  Since that time,  we  shared information about St Anne’s within St John’s; and we have been praying for St Anne’s, for its needs, for the mission it believes God has called it to in its locality. St Anne’s in return have been praying for St John’s.

Over the months, since the link began, we have been in quiet regular communication, mostly through email.In July 2008, we received two members from St Anne’s, both churchwardens, for a two week visit. Their visit was one of great fun, learning, and memorable moments for both St John’s and Alan and Abraham.

Since their visit, we were able to send some packages of knitted clothes to support one of their care programs. And we continue on a bi-monthly basis to exchange news and prayer points.

The hope, through this scheme and link, is that not only will there be support for each church through prayer, but also each church can learn from each other’s insights as we share, as well as gain a greater, fuller vision of the worldwide Body of Christ, the Church. As we state in the Creed and as the Bible reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12, there is only one Body. This is a great opportunity to learn about another part of the Church Body.

About St. Anne’s

  • St. Anne’s is a small Parish in Stilfontein, a mining town approximately 160km South West of Johannesburg.
  • The church was built in the 1950’s to serve the then new town which grew in size as more gold mines were opened in the area. The population of Stilfontein now is about 11,000 (4,200 houses).
  • Although in apartheid days Stilfontein was a ‘white’ area, St. Anne’s today is a very mixed Church ethnically. It’s made up of approximately 80 family units, many of which consist of one member e.g. elderly white widows; and younger black domestic workers who live in the homes in which they work.
  • The vicar, Canon Mafora, known as Father Thom, is assisted by 5 Lay-ministers and occasionally by 2 ‘retired’ Priests.
  • St. Anne’s Support and Care Centre (known as ‘the SCC’), is the Outreach arm of St. Anne’s, based at the church, but working among destitute people, orphans, and those suffering from HIV and AIDS in Khuma – an adjacent township, and 2 rural villages – Gannelaagte and Kopela about 200km away.
  • There is also a “Ladies Club”, whose main aim is to raise funds and ‘attend to the fabric of the church’ i.e. furnishings, kitchen equipment, etc. They are also known to be very good hostesses and many of the Matlosane Diocesan meetings (e.g. Synod) are held at St. Anne’s, as we are fortunate enough to have the necessary facilities.

Please go to our Photo Album (on our older website :www.achurchnearyou.com/lawley-stjohns)  to see some photographs of St Anne’s, its vicar Father Thom, and the two church members – Alan and Abraham – who visited Lawley in July 2008.