Orthodox Church Pietermaritzburg


stmark5

I wrote previously about having moved to Pietermaritzburg last year to take responsibility for Saint Mark’s Orthodox Mission in Edendale, at the request of His Eminence Archbishop Sergios. This has been a slightly rocky journey and, while some of the challenges were expected, there have been others that were less expected. One of these was that we discovered that the old house at the mission was in a worse condition than anyone realized, but there have not been sufficient funds to adequately repair or secure it. Things finally reached crisis point when it was broken into a couple of weeks ago, making the necessary repairs an urgent matter.

We are presently working on finding funding to secure and maintain the property. We hope to soon get going with mission activities, including a food garden and children’s literacy activities, in addition to regular Liturgy, prayer, and catechetical activities. However, to do this effectively we also need to find ongoing support.

I am therefore appealing to any readers of this blog who may able and willing to partner with us to support the work of the mission. You can either do this by contributing to our urgent You Caring appeal for building repairs, or you can commit yourself to pledging a set amount each month by following the links at the bottom of this page. Of course, you can also do both if you are so moved!

Most of these links are on a new website that I have just set up. To keep in touch with the work of the mission, you can also subscribe to our periodical newsletter and/or like and follow our Facebook page.

Above all, please also continue to keep us in your prayers.

This post is much overdue, and I am afraid that I have not been very good at keeping in touch with all sorts of people, much less doing much on this blog. There are various reasons for this, which I won’t go into here, but it may be good to give a brief update on where I am now.

Just before Christmas last year, His Eminence Archbishop Sergios asked me to consider moving to Pietermaritzburg to take responsibility for Saint Mark’s Orthodox Mission in Edendale. This was totally unexpected to me (we had been discussing a possible move, but Pietermaritzburg had not crossed my mind), but the more I considered it, the more I couldn’t shake off the feeling that this was what God asking me, despite being aware that it would be quite a challenging situation.

This is an old photo from the Archbishopric website - I still need to take some good current photos...

This is an old photo of the mission from the Archbishopric website – I still need to take some good current photos…

I moved here at the beginning of May, and it has indeed proved rather challenging, but also hopeful. The original plan was that I should live at the mission, where there is a church and a house. However, that turned out to not really be viable and instead I have found a hermitage at the bottom of someone’s garden that overlooks a forest and is quite idyllic! I am continuing to support myself and hope to continue selling books (and possibly other things) on Etsy once I am more settled. And I have gradually been making contacts with people in the area. Lots of things are going to have to develop slowly, but there are hopeful signs and I have met some wonderful people. I’ll post more news about some developments in due course.

hermitage

I am planning to do a website that will give more information about the mission, provide a contact point for people around here who search for information about Orthodoxy, and also enable people to support us if they would like to do so. I am also seriously hoping to revive this blog, and possibly do some other things online, so watch this space. But I would also value your prayers for the whole situation – it is challenging, but it also has much potential.