Sunday, May 23, 2010

St. George's Cathedral

Last Sunday, Dan and I decided to attend the ‘EvenSong’ at St. George’s Cathedral. First, I want to give you a bit of history of the Cathedral. It was designed at the turn of the 19th century and its official name is the ‘Cathedral Church of St. George the Martyr in Cape Town.’ Now it is commonly known St. George’s Cathedral or the ‘People’s Cathedral’. The latter name is used because it was one of the few places of worship that was open to all people of all races during apartheid. Archbishop Desmond Tutu presided at the Cathedral and made it a focus of opposition to the apartheid government. It is also an HIV and AIDS friendly space and has many outreach programmes including some that work with people infected and affected with the virus/disease.

Ok, enough history. The evening song time was interesting, but not as upbeat as we thought it would be. I particularly liked how the prayers were said in a chant-like way. It was a very ceremonious evening, which was a different experience for both of us. We were given a church leaflet about upcoming events and important dates. This was how we found out about Desmond Tutu’s book launch. There was a notice that caught my eye. It was asking for people to make and bring a sandwich to feed the hungry. There was also a small pamphlet about the second store at the Church. I made a mental note to go on Monday. Turns out the store is closed Mondays, so I had to wait.

I will say that second hand stores are one of my favourite places to shop – I especially love Church run second hand stores.

This small store is nothing short of a gem, filled with tiny treasures and dusty old books. I ended up buying a pair of ancient knitting needles and speaking to the old woman working about knitting for quite some time. I also came across an amazing book – “All the answers to your child’s questions” Unfortunately the book is much too big for me to lug home. Before I left, I asked her about the sandwich program and how I could get involved. She asked whether I meant helping in the Soup Kitchen or with the after service sandwiches. I said that I would be more interested in the soup kitchen (I didn’t intend on going to the services). She immediately called a woman named Mary, who came right over. Mary took me right inside and asked if I would be interested in helping out for an hour right away and then coming back the next day as they would be short two people. I agreed. This was how I started working at the soup kitchen at St. George’s Cathedral. Unfortunately, until just last week, I didn’t realize they had a soup kitchen at the cathedral, but luckily I am able to volunteer there for the next two weeks.

I will write some stories about the soup kitchen later, I am still figuring out how to tell about my experiences there. I could write a short book, but I will spare you from reading pages and pages. I will sort out my thoughts and post something soon.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear that you were able to find some volunteer work. Enjoy your remaining weeks. By the way, your apt. has not been incinerated and me and your plants are bonding just fine.