Canon Phinda Kwini was appointed as rector to St Philip’s Anglican Church in Graaff-Reinet in 2013, and one of his early projects was to hold an annual conference for the members of the associated churches in the outlying areas. His ministry at St Philip’s includes the churches in Aberdeen, Jansenville, Nieu Bethesda, Murraysburg and Klipplaat –these were previously known at “outstations”, but to convey inclusivity in the body of the Mother Church, are now “instations”.
For the first three years, the conferences were all held in Graaff-Reinet, but it was decided that the other instations should have a chance to host the gatherings. This year, the honour fell on the church of St Peter and St Paul in Aberdeen, and by Sunday, over 500 people had joined the conference events .
During the meeting, an outreach was held to Aalwynhof Home for the Aged, with the entire executive of the parish. Other activities included a concert on Friday evening, after registration, and a modelling show on Saturday evening.
On Sunday, all those who were physically able joined in a procession from the entrance to Thembalesizwe to the church, before the service. Later in the morning, some trees were planted in the church grounds, part of the donation from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for Arbor Month.
The visitors were hosted by local parishioners, and many wonderful hours of fellowship were shared between the hosts and their guests.