Stories and Traveltips

ID #1262

The Minister who Lost his Temper, Port Alfred (Portalfred), Settler Country, Eastern Cape.

Port Alfred is the nucleus of a farming area that includes Bathurst, Southwell, etc. As a child I attended services at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Port Alfred, where I served as an altar and choir-boy. It is a pretty little red brick building on the East Bank overlooking the Kowie River. To serve the needs of rural communities, the minister from St Paul’s regularly conducts services at churches in the area.

A unfortunate incident occurred with one such minister (lets call him Bill). Irritated by a female member of the congregation, he lost his temper and slapped her. She reported the incident to the Bishop of Grahamstown, who, understandably, took a dim view of events and exiled Bill to the Kalahari.

Having conducted services at St John’s Church in Southwell for several years, Bill was keen to conduct a farewell service with them prior to his departure. The bishop however insisted that such services be conducted by a minister he had appointed. However, his appointee was unfamiliar with the Southwell area. 

A friend, Basille Glanville, unlocked the church minutes before the start of the farewell service at 10h00. However, he became concerned when Bill insisted that the service start immediately because the Bishop’s appointee had not yet arrived.  After some time, however, Basille reluctantly agreed, the congregation entered the church and the service began. After the reading of the first and the second lessons, Bill began his final sermon. He was almost finished when the Bishop’s appointee entered the church looking flustered.  After a hurried discussion, Bill sat down and the Bishop’s appointee carried on without as much as a stammer. After communion, the service ended, we said our farewells and the congregation returned home.

However, while returning to Basille’s home, I noticed that the signpost at a nearby intersection which provides directions to the church had been moved. It is a wayward signpost at the best of times but someone had enhanced its waywardness to the extent that it pointed in the wrong direction!

Port Alfred is on the R72 west of East London, which is at the intersection of the N2 with the N6. Alan McIver NFMinister

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Last update: 2014-03-28 08:03
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.4

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