Saturday, June 1

In 1835 at a quiet village outside Cape Town, the rev Barnabas Shaw used to walk up and down what is now the Main Road, ringing a bell to call people to worship under an old oak tree. That was probably the start of the Methodist work in Rosebank.

Three years later the Rev T L Hodgson, then chairman of the District, bought part of the farm “Zorgvliet”, apparently out of his own pocket. This is the ground on which we now meet. A Sunday school with 101 children is reported two years later plus a day school. But it was only in 1845 that the Chapel was built and opened – known today as the Hodgson Hall.
Above: View of the 1845 church, now known as Hodgson Hall. (The porch was added later.) The picture was taken in 1960 during the construction of the CK Storey Hall complex, with the current stone church to the right and the Victorian manse in the middle.
The first sermon was preached, appropriately, by the Rev Barnabas Shaw and services were held regularly in both English and Dutch.
When the Rev Henry Cotton was the residing minister a new church was opened in 1901. It is quite striking that when the foundation stones were laid on 17 March 1900, the Methodist influence in this part of the world was such that four neighbouring mayors were all Methodists, and each laid a stone – Thomas Ball, Mayor of Cape Town; Mr G B Attwell, Mayor of Mowbray , Mr G S Withinshaw, Mayor of Wynberg ; and Mr G Wunder, Mayor of Sea Point.
Above: The original architect’s drawing showing the front view of the Stone Church and spire.
The church building is of Gothic design and has seating for about 400 people including the organ cost 6000 pounds. Although the church is exceptionally well sited, in the earlier days there were many complaints about the dust from the road and then the noise from the trams that
would often drown proceedings inside the church.

In 1961 the President of the Conference (Rev Dr J B Webb) opened the Clifford Storey Hall, a fine building honouring one of Rosebank’s outstanding ministers, Rev C K Storey, also a former President of Conference,who died while at Rosebank.

A cottage originally called “Kismet” was acquired in 1961 and renamed Elloughton House, the name given by Rev Barnabas Shaw to his cottage at Rosebank in 1848. Elloughton was Shaw’s birthplace in Yorkshire. Elloughton House now forms the office block and provides space for small meetings.

Rosebank has been very fortunate in its heritage of those who have served here both as ministers, leaders and lay persons.

Above: The Stone Church and CK Storey Hall as seen from the Main Road at Rosebank, looking up to the University of Cape Town campus and Table Mountain beyond. A very strategic position in the centre of a suburb known for its schools, colleges and university residences where many of the country's future leaders are educated and nurtured.

1 comment:

Keith Dietrich said...

Dear Owen

This week I visited Leliefontein for the second time and on this occasion I also visited Bethelsklip. This was truly a sublime experience and one that I will never forget. What really interested me was the ruin at the site of the stones, which I first assumed was the site of a mission station. However, I have found no reference to these ruins in Shaw's "Memorials of South Africa" or any other reference at that. Have you any idea as to what stood there?

I am most impressed with your blog and and have enjoyed reading the material.

Kind regards



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