Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Die Groot Kerk and the fireplace

Spending a night in Graaff-Reinet recently I made sure I popped by the Dutch Reformed Church (Groot Kerk) on the Monday morning to see if I could actually get into the church.  The cornerstone of the church was laid on 12 April 1886 and it cost what was then a staggering 7,500 pounds.
The inaugural service took place on 11 of September 1887 with 2 000 people attended the service.  People must have come from far and wide to attend.  I wonder how many were there purely cause they were curious to see it.  Anyhow.  One of the interesting things about the church is its ecclesiastical collection silver.  During the time that Reverend Andrew Murray was in Graaff-Reinet the church acquired 14 valuable items of old Cape silver.  Because of their exceptional value they are only viewable in pictorial form.
One of the other very interesting facts about the church is that it has a fireplace situated in the vestry.  It is said to be the only such fireplace in a Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa.  Because of this the church also has a chimney.  I wonder how many locals even know this.   The fireplace though has never been used.

Anybody visiting Graaff-Reinet and wanting to visit the church can do so from 9am - 4pm from Mondays to Fridays.

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