PROFILE OF THE DIOCESE
Updated by Neil Modingoane, Deputy Registrar (February 2016)
The Diocese of Pretoria is made up of 29 Parishes, 16 Chapelries and 80 Mission Districts. It has 10 Deacons, 65 Priests and the Diocesan Bishop. Together it is our mission to pray and worship, to proclaim the Gospel, and to promote justice, peace, and love, and we do all of this in a variety of ways.
Please note that reference to “Diocese” shall be reference to the Diocese of Pretoria.
We Are Expansive
The Diocese of Pretoria includes the areas starting from Centurion and Oliewenhoutbosch (in the south of the City of Pretoria) moving to just below Warmbad (Bela Bela) in the north of Pretoria. From the far-east of Pretoria it covers areas from Zithobeni, Culllinan, Ekangala and moving towards the margins of Swartruggens in the West of Pretoria. The Diocese of Pretoria falls within a number of municipalities which include the following:
- Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality (in the Gauteng Province);
- Moretele Local Municipality (in Bojanala Platinum District Municipality of the North West Province);
- Madibeng Local Municipality (in Bojanala Platinum District Municipality of the North West Province);
- Rustenburg Local Municipality (in Bojanala Platinum District Municipality of the North West Province);
- Moses Kotane (in Bojanala Platinum District Municipality of the North West Province);
- Kgetleng Rivier Local Municipality (in Bojanala Platinum District Municipality of the North West Province); and
- Royal Bafokeng Nation (situated in the North West Province).
The Diocese also covers parts of Thembisile Hani Local Municipality and Dr J S Moroka Municipality in the Nkangala District of Mpumalanga Province.
We are a Diocese in the Capital City of the Republic of South Africa with pastoral units ranging from small rural congregations to large township and suburban ones, with liturgical styles that embrace semi-evangelical, semi-charismatic to high Anglo-Catholic forms of worship. The main liturgical style in the Diocese is Anglo-Catholic – albeit moderate in a number of instances. The spaces we worship in, value and maintain diversity, as well as shared spaces. Our Church buildings range from mid-century to modern buildings, and form part of the historic landmarks that one finds, especially in the city area. Some of our parishes are financially challenged, others can rightly be described as financially blessed, and there are many variations in between.
We Are Culturally Diverse
The members of our congregations represent the entire spectrum of the diverse South African population, regularly holding services in a number of official South African languages which include Setswana as the predominant language with the Diocese, Sepedi, isiZulu, English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa.
Our parishes in the townships are predominantly, if not wholly, black and our parishes in the suburbs have mixed demographics of black and white people. The composition of the membership of our parishes was to a large extent determined and premised on historic apartheid spatial planning that saw black people relegated to the townships and white people living in the suburbs of Pretoria. The dawn of democracy in South Africa has seen changes in the residential patterns of the country, least of all in the Diocese, and this has resulted in the current cultural and racial mix in our parishes, especially those in suburbia. Today, no parish can be said to be a black parish or a white parish as any Anglican can choose to become a parishioner of any parish within the Diocese no matter its geographic location.
The Diocese has a number of educational institutions that are within its jurisdiction and these are regarded as being extra-parochial chaplaincies of some archdeaconries, and invariably the Diocese. The following Anglican schools are extra-parochial chaplaincies of the Diocese:
- Saint Alban’s College for Boys;
- Saint Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls; and
- Saint Augustine Diocesan Leap School.
In addition to the above Anglican schools, the following institutions of higher learning also form part of the extra-parochial chaplaincies of the Diocese:
- Tshwane University of Technology;
- University of Pretoria; and
- Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University.
The Diocese is committed to campus ministry and supports full and part-time chaplaincies at these institutions of learning.
General Leadership Structures
The main decision making body of our Diocese is the Diocesan Synod which is held every three years to discuss matters pertaining to the life of the Diocese and take decisions in relation thereto. During the intervals, in the periods when the Diocesan Synod is not meeting, the Diocesan Standing Committee (“DSC”) becomes “Synod-in-Recess” and thus carries on the work of the Diocese.
It meets four times a year (quarterly) and is chaired by the Bishop. Other leadership structures of the Diocese are:
- Diocesan Chapter;
- Diocesan Executive Committee;
- Diocesan Trust Board; and
- Diocesan Finance Board.
The above boards or committees play a valuable role in the strategic leadership of the Diocese and work in consultative and collaborative leadership with the Bishop of the Diocese. This consultative and collaborative leadership style is practical and all inclusive; as such it does not create a void between the Bishop and the laity as well as clergy in the Diocese.
We are Hopeful about the Next Generations
The Church in the Diocese of Pretoria is not facing a crisis in respect of its appeal to the youth and young adults, generally, and there is no anxiety about the average age of Anglicans in most parts of the Diocese. In some of our suburban parishes attention must be paid to the seemingly decreasing numbers of the youth and young adults in our pews and innovative means are being employed in some suburban parishes to curb this concerning pattern. Some of the means employed to keep the youth engaged are that youth pastors have been appointed to care for the needs of the youth and in some instances separate services are held to bring a much more youthful perspective to Anglican worship.
The Diocese of Pretoria is all inclusive and is aware that it needs to be forward looking in its development of the Church and future Anglicans and as such the Children’s Ministry Department was established to cater for the special needs of young Anglicans within the Diocese. This department trains teachers and has a syllabus that is specially created for those in Sunday school, pre-confirmation class as well as confirmation class. The basis for proper orientation of young Anglicans within our Diocese is set and although execution can be a challenge at times, this department has proved itself to be a success.
We have reason to be optimistic about the spiritual and religious life of the next generations of Anglicans within our Diocese, and are committed to our ministry among them. Ours is a deep seated conviction that all of the ministries within the Church is to bring all people into an intimate relationship with God and to nurture and create space for a true experience of and encounter with Jesus.
Much work still needs to be done in respect of the development of young Anglicans within the Diocese and financial resources need to be channeled to the Children’s Ministry Department to ensure that its work is revitalized.
Mission in the Diocese
It is a non-profit, Public Benefit Organisation of the Diocese which focuses on mission and community development. Established in 1939 it has now become the flagship mission and development programme of the Diocese and its work is central to the life of the Diocese. It runs many projects that are related to improving and promoting self-sustainable quality of life through the fostering of self-respect, self-discipline and learning among all, especially the young, needy and vulnerable to overcome hunger, poverty and unemployment. The projects that are run by Tumelong Mission focus on:
- HIV and AIDS – Tumelong Mission’s approach is prevention focused. It does this through the peer educators program, voluntary counselling and testing, and through education;
- Capacity Building – this is a tool for poverty eradication where Tumelong Mission provides skills in agriculture, hand-crafts and computer literacy for people to be employable and to realise income for themselves; and
- Care and Relief – this is provided for the immediate needs of orphans and vulnerable children, the elderly and the displaced due to social challenges. Tumelong Mission helps with food parcels, clothes, blankets and other means of aid to the poverty stricken.
HIV, sanitation, hunger and gender related issues, amongst others, remain priorities of Tumelong Mission, particularly in those areas that are remote and often not reached by government services. The monetary support of Tumelong Mission comes through donations from the parishes throughout the Diocese as well as donations from companies and South Africans who care about the work done by Tumelong Mission. Grants from the Departments of Health and Social Development come in handy to add to what the National Lottery also provides from time to time.
The Bishop of the Diocese is the patron of Tumelong Mission and is instrumental in promoting it and participating in its projects.
Bousfield Lodge Retirement Village
It is an institution that is registered both as a non-profit organization and public benefit organization whose mission is to provide tranquil residential accommodation, at the four complexes that fall under this institution, for the benefit of retired persons over the age of fifty. It is the desire of the Diocese for retired Anglicans to utilize this institution for occupation in their retirement because it is an institution belonging to the Diocese. The facilities under this institution are well looked after and ensure that the elderly in the Diocese have the option of retiring in dignity. This institution is represented at DSC.
It is a unique, tranquil residential care facility providing life-long care to ladies with mental disabilities. Residents, approximately 83 in total, are housed in residential ‘home from home’ houses, being cared for by qualified nursing staff and house-mothers. Some of the residents are orphans and have been abandoned not only financially but in support and care by their families. The ladies are stimulated in activities carried out in the contracts workshop, creativity workshop, knitting and sewing workshop as well as a weaving workshop. In these workshops each person is evaluated and given tasks suitable to their individual mental and physical capabilities. Therapy of this nature creates self-worth, self-advocacy and dignity in our society.
Without the facility that Irene Homes offers, these residents would find life awkward, unpleasant and most probably unmanageable because of their intellectual disability that makes life threatening for them to compete in today’s demanding society. This institution belongs to the Diocese and is represented at DSC.
Please see the discussion, above, under the heading “We are Hopeful about the Next Generations“. The Children’s Ministry is a department of the Diocese and is represented at DSC.
Training for Ministries
This department has as its goal, equipping and developing men and women of the Diocese in order for them to begin ministry which may stimulate and enable the Church to participate more fully in the mission of God in the world. The department is also responsible for running the Discernment Conference which assesses the readiness of the men and women to enter into Holy Orders. Those who have concluded their theological studies and have a sound theological formation are invited to the conference which looks into a number of areas which, inter alia, include vocation, ministry in the Anglican Church, leadership and collaboration, spirituality-liturgy-worship, relationships and pastoral skill as well as mission and evangelism. Training for Ministries is a department of the Diocese and is represented at DSC.
Multiplication of the Diocese
There has been much work done in the Diocese to look into the feasibility of establishing a new diocese in the western region of the Diocese and after considering reports and documents, that were produced by a sub-committee of DSC, the DSC at its meeting of Saturday, 17 May 2014, resolved to request the then Bishop Jo to approach the Synod of Bishops to affirm and support the multiplication of the Diocese of Pretoria and to establish a new diocese in the western region of the Diocese of Pretoria.
The reason for the envisaged multiplication of the Diocese of Pretoria is that the area of the present Diocese of Pretoria is very large and the congregants in the western region of the Diocese of Pretoria have been approached and engaged in respect of the establishment of a new diocese in the western region.
A call has been made, throughout the Diocese, for contributions – that will be handed over to the new diocese once it has been formed. A Rural Dean has also been appointed to focus the attention of the congregants, in the area where the envisaged new diocese will be located, on the goal of establishing this new diocese as well as leading the on-going conversation around this new creation.
The new Bishop of the Diocese will have to lead the process of the establishment of a new diocese in the western region of the Diocese and champion the achievement of this goal within the Diocese and at the Synod of Bishops.
Organisations in the Diocese
The Diocese has a number of organization or guilds for both young and old and the said organisations cater for women and men.
The following organisations function and are recognised in the Diocese:
- Anglican Students Federation;
- Anglican Women’s Fellowship;
- Cathedral Administration Board;
- Diocesan Youth Council;
- Guild of Saint Agnes;
- Guild of Saint Lawrence (Server’s Guild);
- Anglican Men’s Guild;
- Mothers’ Union;
- Pretoria Anglican Choirs Fellowship; and
- Saint Bernard Mizeki Men’s’ Guild.
Support of Mission
This office, which is headed by the Administrator, is made up of nine staff members who have various responsibilities including the administration of finance, administration assistants, cleaners and care takers. The Bishop of the Diocese has one personal assistant who supports the Bishop in the running of the Bishop’s Office. Historically, the Bishop of the Diocese has also been supported by an Archdeacon to the Ordinary.
The Diocesan office manages a budget of ZAR 15 million, for 2015.
The annual assessment budget pays the salaries of the staff and it also funds the payment of stipends to full-time clergy.
Church Wardens’ Conference
It is held in the last quarter of every year, meets to discuss all matters pertaining to the budget of the Diocese and to consider financial implications that inform the work of mission and ministry in parishes throughout the Diocese. The said conference is made up of church wardens and rectors of respective parishes of the Diocese and ensures transparency in the decision-making processes relating to finances within the Diocese.
We have great confidence in the financial affairs of the Diocese and believe that they have been, and are still, competently managed and capable of meeting the needs of the Diocese in 2016 and the years going forward.
The parishes in the Diocese, both large and small, have diverse financial standing, over 97% of them are in a good financial position. For those parishes that are not performing well financially, the Diocese is deeply in conversation with them to support their needs and to move them towards a renewed state of financial stability that will put them in a position to effectively proclaim the Gospel.