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St George's Cathedral, Capetown: The People's Cathedral

Posted on: August 22, 2001 5:54 PM
Related Categories: Southern Africa

People's Cathedral memorialises the struggle for liberation with the world's finest stained glass.

20th August 2001

Sunday 26th August at 3pm sees St George's Cathedral, Cape Town the venue for a unique event in the life of the nation. An hour long service - presided at by former Archbishops of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu and Philip Russell - to mark the cathedral's centenary (the foundation stone of the present cathedral was laid on 22nd August 1901) almost exactly one hundred and fifty years after the consecration of the first cathedral on the site (28th August 1851), also sees the dedication of two 'Liberation' panels to complete the cathedral's stunning Great West Window - which is one of the first major, public memorials in the country to the story of our national liberation.

As well as the two former Archbishops the service will be conducted by Rowan Smith, Dean of Cape Town and his predecessor, Colin Jones.

With music from praise singers and drummers, the UCT Choir for Africa, the UCT Choir, the St George's Singers, the cathedral choirs and the Cape Philharmonic - and with lavish lighting and video presentations co-ordinated by the producer, Jody Abrahams (star of Kat and the Kings and a former chorister of the cathedral) - the service promises to be a captivating 'rainbow' celebration of the new South Africa.

At its heart, there will be a moving ceremony of remembrance to recall the many communities who have suffered across our nation's history - with a special focus on the dead of the liberation struggle - and a dramatic unveiling of the Liberation panels themselves. These celebrate the cathedral's centenary, recall the extraordinary thirty-year tenure of former Dean Ted King, were designed and made by the finest stained-glass artists in the world - Gabriel and Jacques Loire - and depict symbolically the transformation of our society.