From The Rector's Desk

From the Rectors Desk 4 June 2021

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

It has been a wet and cold week and our hearts go out to those who are suffering as a result. Thank you to all who have contributed to our winter warmth campaign and assisted those in need. As St James writes “If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that? So too, faith by itself, if it does not result in action, is dead. (James 2:16 &17)

As we celebrate World environment day, I continue to encourage you take to heart the 5th Mark of Mission to “safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” We serve and worship the Creator God, the cosmos is God’s and all that is in it.
Environmental issues are social justice issues, they are economic issues, they are health issues they are caring issues.

The “Anglican Creation Care Network of Natal.” Launched our #MyriversMysea 2021 project in which we aim to raise awareness about Water related issues and pollution and get parishes involved in doing something about it. Networking with the people of our parishes around critical issues of Water Resource management, pollution control, sustainable development, Eco-justice, and doing what God created us to do.

In this campaign we are calling on Parishes to identify their local river system, find out what is being done in their community and arrange a clean-up day for September 18th – the idea is to choose a spot – clean it up and celebrate the Eucharist right there. We will be running a Social media campaign and invite you all to get involved. In Genesis 2:15 we are told to “work and care for the Garden of Eden that God has created. “

I encourage you to engage with the prayer series being run each evening and available on WhatsApp and Facebook, deepening our prayer life is a critical part of our spirituality and faith. If this season is teaching us anything, it is that we need to take responsibility for our relationship with God and persevere and be diligent and seek the Lord with all our heart.

In the words of St Paul: “Him (Jesus) we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in : Christ. “ My dear fellow pilgrims let us not tire, but let us wait upon the Lord, let us lean on him and be revitalized in our faith. Let us uphold one another in prayer and uplift one another with encouragement.

May the God of peace fill you with all wisdom as you trust in him.
Love and Peace.

Fr Andrew

From The Rector's Desk

From the Rectors Desk 12 March 2021

Grace and Peace from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

As we are not having a Vestry this year – I am using this opportunity to give the report that I would have given at Vestry.

I would like to begin by offering my Condolences to all who have lost loved ones during this pandemic, who have lost jobs and income, who have lost friends and for whom isolation has been a sad reality. While we have tried to maintain contact with everyone and provide a support base, I do acknowledge our failures and inadequacies and ask forgiveness from those who feels the church failed them.

For many, 2020 was a year of intense and challenging growth in their faith and some very good things have emerged from the calamity, but we know the cost that it came at. We are grateful to God whose promises have become a reality and our prayer is that more and more people will turn to a true religion – “what God requires of us is this, to love mercy, to seek justice and to walk humbly with our Lord, who desires mercy not sacrifice.”

Scripture says – “My house will be a house of prayer” and the fact that we now follow an Anglican ethos of daily Morning and Evening prayers has been a wonderful blessing and is holding us together as only the Spirit of God can do. The word of God says – “If my people will humble themselves and pray then I will hear from heaven and heal their land.” We have become a house of prayer and will continue to be.

I am grateful to God that we can meet and interact in ways that we never imagined, and I encourage you to join us in this new adventure of community life as a Physical and Digital church.

As a Diocese (the institutional Church) 2020 has been a challenging year and the year ahead holds even more change and adjustment. Going into 2020 the Diocese faced an economic crisis and COVID 19 has further negatively impacted upon the financial sustainability of the Diocese. Various commissions have been established and lots of work has been done to address the situation. The bottom line is that our clergy numbers have been drastically reduced and further cuts are anticipated. A new Bishop has yet to be appointed and a turn around strategy has yet to be developed. Much prayer is needed to address the current situation.

On 11 March 2021, I, and 4 others, were appointed as Senior Priests to act as Archdeacons to replace the 5 that have left the Diocese. This means that my Ministry to the Diocese will change somewhat and I need to explain that, as it affects the Parish too.

As Senior Cleric it will be my duty to support the clergy and Parish Councils of the 12 Parishes that make up the eThekwini South Archdeaconry, namely:

• Amanzimtoti – Good Shepherd,
• Bellair – All Saints with St Marks Hillary,
• Bluff – St Barnabas,
• Chatsworth – The Epiphany,
• Enwabi – St Philip,
• Ezimbokodweni – Kwamakhutua/Folweni/Illovo,
• Kingsburgh- St Mary,
• Lamontville- St Simon of Cyrene,
• Merebank- St Michael & All Angels with Isipingo, St James,
• Umlazi, St Augustine,
• Wentworth- St Gabriel,
• Woodlands with Montclair.

As a Diocese we have adopted a system of Clustering in which Parishes will be manged by a Team Rector (developing on what we have done here at St Mary’s and Good Shepherd). I sit on that Restructuring Committee. Using our experience at St Mary and Good Shepherd it is my intention to work with this Committee to build a Model for use across the Diocese.

As Wentworth is without a Rector, we will begin a process of Clustering with Wentworth, Amanzimtoti and Kingsburgh. Lamontville is also vacant, and I am looking for opportunities for them to Cluster with other parishes too. This system will enable us to strengthen the parishes through collaboration.

The major need is therefore, for the people of God to adopt a mission- based approach and seek ways to work together with other churches to address our financial and ministry challenges. The solutions to the challenges lie on the Parishes and we need to drive the change needed to build the church.

Each of these 12 Parishes need to be managed as an individual, interdependent body and allowed to develop in its own way but work together to build the Kingdom, even where a Team Rector exists. A mindset shift is required.

The Key deliverables for this year will be a revised Ministry Plan and a Parish Charter compiled by the Church Council of each Parish which will be used to determine how the church will be structured going forward.

Digital ministry and what we call Phygital, a combination of Physical and Digital, is part of the new normal and we will need to develop the ministry team and provide the budget to manage this.

I ask for your support and input to make this work.

I am also the acting coordinator of the Diocesan Environmental Network (Creation Care Network) and chair the subcommittee for “ministry to the world” on the Theological Education and Formation Committee. As part of this portfolio, I serve on various community-based organisations to address environmental issues with a specific focus on water. This is driven by the desire to act justly, seek mercy and walk humbly with our God, as we care for God’s creation.

Part of that work also involves supporting the Diaconate ministry of the church and training of laity and clergy.

Building a strong ministry team is my passion and I have had a long hard, prayerful look at this, and how I can better serve the church in this regard. I look forward to more people getting involved as the “Ministry of All believers” as we build a new way of doing church to be contextual and relevant to the world as it emerges from this pandemic and into a glorious future.

My prayer is this, that we will seek the Lord our God while He may be found and that we will grow in ourselves and as a community and live out the Kingdom values and participate with Jesus in what He is doing in the world today.

I wish to end with a vote of thanks to my wife, whose love and support empowers me. To Revd Peta who has worked tirelessly despite ill health and has risen to the challenges of being Church in our Time. To Vanda who has provided all the technological expertise to make St Francis online possible and whose daily prayer series have been the backbone of the Parish throughout this time, and to Kim who holds this community together through the power given her by the Holy Spirit as an administrator and communicator. I am grateful to God for the gifts that He gives us through them.

May 2021 be a year of growth, healing and hope!

Love and peace,
be assured of my prayers!
Fr Andrew
Team Rector.
choose faith not fear!

Sunday School

The Prophet

Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Last year we followed the interesting story of Moses’ life. How he was found in the reds on the banks of the River Nile and rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter and was brought up in Pharaoh’s household. In spite of his privileged upbringing in Pharaoh’s court, Moses never forgets his Hebrew roots. Later God chose Moses to guide the Israelites through the desert to the Promised Land of Canaan.

The writer of Deuteronomy highlights a series of addresses given by Moses to the people of Israel. Moses recalls the events of the past forty years. Moses is the mediator between God and his people. Moses reminds the people how God led them through the wilderness and he appeals to them to remain faithful and obedient to God.

When Moses is addressing the people, he takes the opportunity to remind the people of the meaning of The Covenant that God had made with them, Moses calls on the people to recommit to obeying the laws of the covenant set down in the Ten Commandments.

The writer of Deuteronomy tells us that Moses has become a very old man and that the people were afraid that he was going to die soon and that would have no one to lead them. They were afraid of false prophets. Not people who spoke for false gods, but people who said the wrong things about the true God. But Moses reassures them that God will give them another prophet like himself from among their own people.

Raymond Brown comments that,

  • An authentic prophet obeys God’s call. God is the one who calls the prophet.
  • An authentic prophet welcomes God’s word. The prophet is to speak the word of God, not his own words.
  • An authentic prophet imparts God’s message. When the prophet receives God’s word, he is not to keep it to himself, but share it with God’s people.
From The Rector's Desk

From the Rector’s Desk Friday 29th January 2021

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

The Elective Assembly has been suspended until physical meetings are possible, though some other options are under consideration. Please continue to pray that a way forward will be found.

Vestries have been suspended until physical meetings can be held, but we have been given the latitude to co-opt members to fill vacancies. Please submit your nominations to the office, vacancies will be filled earlier than our set Vestry dates if possible, as leadership is essential to the work of the church in these difficult times. I remind you that we are two separate Parishes administered separately although we share a common ministry.

The Finances are complete and are available on request from the office. They will be submitted to the Diocese by 15 March 2021 and ratified at the next Vestry.

I encourage you to send me a review of the last year with suggestions of how we can grow the ministry within the current situation as we will need to continue to develop ministry within the constraints of Social Distancing throughout this year.  It’s your parish and your input is critical to our ministry plan.

Remember that I am available for pastoral counselling and spiritual guidance. In these challenging times, we need to be addressing our doubts and uncertainty by deepening our relationship with God. While we aim to inspire and assist you through regular messages to the whole parish, only in a one and one can your specifics be dealt with. Please feel free to Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, Telegram, email or phone me. I am here for you.

Be assured of my prayers for you.

Choose Faith not fear.

Fr. Andrew Manning

Sunday School


Mark 1: 14-20

Welcome to our online Sunday School Lesson.

This year we shall be using Phyllis Crofts Notes to guide us with us lessons and we will follow the Lectionary for Year B.

Before you begin this lesson to please read Mark 1 : 14-20 from your Good News Bible.

In Galilee there is a very large lake which is actually called either the Lake of Galilee or the Sea of Galilee. This lake is full of fish that provided the people with their main source of food.

Jesus had grown up in this area of Galilee and knew his way around it very well.  He was well known and many people had heard him teaching about God.

This week we learn how Jesus was walking along the shore of the sea of Galilee and how He called two fishermen to follow him. These fishermen were named Andrew and Simon Peter.

Jesus said to them ‘’come and follow mw and I will teach you to be fishers of men’’ At once they left their nets and went with Jesus. A little further along the shore Jesus met up with James and John the sons of Zebedee and he invited them too to follow him.

Jesus wanted Andrew, Simon , James and John to all help him to find people who would love God and follow through with Gods instructions.

The men stopped their fishing and all followed Jesus!

In todays lesson from Mark we hear how Jesus called his first disciples.

It is clear from our reading from Mark that the fishermen of Galilee who became Jesus’ disciples and companions did not hesitate when Jesus called them. They left their work in the middle of what they were doing in order to follow Jesus.

The work ‘’follow’’ can be very misleading. It makes us think that in order to follow Jesus we are going to be walking behind Jesus – always trying to catch up.

However – this is not want Jesus intends from his followers. When Jesus invites us to follow him he wants us to be close to him and to actually walk beside him.

Jesus called those who followed him his close friends. Good friends do not fall behind, they try to stay close to Jesus and invite other friends to join them as well.

Something to think about

·       What do you think it means to be a ‘fisher of men’’ or to ‘’catch people’’?

·       Is it easy for you to talk about God? Why or why not?

·       Why do you think the first disciples were happy to follow Jesus? Was there something special about him that made people want to be with him. What could that somethings special be?

·       Do you need some help in learning to be a ‘’people catcher’ for Jesus? How could we at Sunday school help you to become a good people catcher?

·       Have you ever felt that God was calling you to do something unusual, or special? If so, what was it?

(Get members of the class to share their own experiences)

If you have any questions about the lesson please feel free to contact me on my cell – 0836335085

Thank you to Revd Peta May for today’s Sunday School lesson.