Friday, September 19, 2014

Karoo Heartland Churches

Looking through everything I have that still needs to be posted I decided to take three Karoo churches and make up one Random... Karoo churches post.  Just about every small town in the Karoo Heartland of the Eastern Cape has a remarkable church of some sort.
 
Cradock must have one of the most memorable Karoo Heartland churches there are.  It stands at the top of Church Street and is known as the ``Mother" Church.  The church was completed in 1868 on the same site as the first Dutch Reformed church in the town.  This church community was also the first in Cradock and was established in 1824, 10 years after the town received it's name.  The design of the church was based on the ``St Martins-in-the-Fields" church in Trafalgar Square in London. and the great South African statesman and first President, Paul Kruger, was christened here in 1826.  During the Anglo-Boer War, the roof of the church was used as a look-out post by the British soldiers who occupied the town.

On the other end of the spectrum you will also find churches that is a lot less imposing yet still has historical value to the area its located in.  In the village if Middleton you will find a Methodist church that is probably smaller than most houses.  The church was built in 1903 and only has 5 rows of seats.  It has services in it every Sunday for the residents of the village which is run by the Noupoort Christian Care Centre who owns the village and uses it as part of their rehabilitation process for drug and alcohol addicts.
 
A little further to the north west is the village of Nieu-Bethesda.  Built in 1905, the Dutch Reformed Church is the grandest edifice in the village, with its long gothic spire reaching to the sky.  A decline in the town resulted in a dwindling of the numbers of the congregation and the church has not had a permanent minister since 1961 with the Sunday service being performed by a minister from Graaff-Reinet.  There is some fine wooden carvings on the old church pews and the original chandeliers are quite unique. 

1 comment:

  1. Have to admit some of the churches I've seen in SA are remarkable.

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