St. George’s Cathedral Save The Roof Market

By Marica

There is a handful of things every Cape Townian MUST do in his or her lifetime – for instance a trip up Table Mountain, Sundowners at Camps Bay, Wine Route wine-tasting or a boat ride to Robben Island and the list goes on… You can also not really call yourself a true Cape Townian without having set foot in the beautiful stone landmark which is St George’s Cathedral.

The Cathedral Church of St George the Martyr (in full) is the Anglican cathedral in the centre of Cape Town, South Africa and is the seat of the Archbishop of Cape Town.

The cathedral was designed by the masterful architect, Sir Herbert Baker and the foundation stone of the cathedral was laid on 22 August 1901 by the Duke of Cornwall and York (later to become George V). The cathedral replaced a church built in 1834 on the same site. Since then building has progressed by fits and starts. In 1939 the north aisle was finished; in 1963 the Lady Chapel and south aisle were completed, and in 1978 the belfry and the Link section, with additional seating, were built. But to this date St George’s Cathedral is still incomplete.

The Cathedral is fortunate in having some fine Gabriel Loire stained-glass windows and over the south transept is the most breathtaking rose window. Another must see (or rather must hear) is the beautiful ring of the cathedral bells. I once lingered around St George’s in order to hear the wonderful chimes of the cathedral’s majestic ten bells (each bell with its own name) which are usually rung as a call to worship or on special events.

St. George’s also played it’s own part during our difficult struggle during the apartheid era. On September 13 1989, about 30000 people marched from the cathedral to call for the release of political prisoners, unbanning of political parties and an end to the tricameral parliament.

” … this cathedral became widely known as a site and focus of resistance against apartheid. And so St George’s won the splendid accolade contained in the title The People’s Cathedral.”


The Cathedral has withstood many a storm and even a couple of wars but is now in serious need of repair. “Over the years we have repaired the roof. Now, alas, it is beyond repair and is in need of replacing. Estimates range from R7-million to R9-million.” In an effort to save this historic and cultural gem, St. George’s has organised a side-walk “White Elephant” sale to raise some much needed funds. Please visit the market this Saturday and Sunday (the 26th and 27th) to support this excellent cause! Browse through the collection of bric-and-brac items, secondhand books and other handmade crafts – you might even stumble upon some gorgeous vintage treasures for your home. For more details please visit the St. George’s website and if you feel inclined to give, please see this page.

St. George’s Cathedral White Elephant Side-walk Sale:
When: Saturday & Sunday, 26th & 27th of November 2011
Time: 10am to 3pm
Where: Area outside the St George’s Cathedral shop
Contact: (021 424 7360) : Pat Ellis

Images via Flickr here: 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 

About The Design Tabloid

The Design Tabloid brings you the latest gossip concerning South African design talent. It’s our aim to showcase local interior design, architecture, furniture, décor, & related suppliers and feature the gifted designers behind them. Also, providing a platform to young emerging designers and added exposure to unknown established companies. We strive to be an interactive online source of design innovation, information, and inspiration. The Design Tabloid is brought to you by Design Monarchy; a Cape Town based Interior Design & Decor Company under the expert guidance of Rose McClement, an interior decorator/stylist with more years of industry experience than she cares to mention. We hope our passion for design inspires you. We are Proudly South African, celebrate with us!

Posted on November 25, 2011, in Architecture, Events, Markets and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. howtoclimbamountain

    St. George’s regular charity shop is an absolute gem! They have a great selection of theatre and poetry books, and a few amazing finds from all over the world! I can just imagine the sidewalk sale to be a blast.

    • Weren’t you with me the day I first visited the cathedral? I think we attempted to walk the labyrinth without stumbling – it’s deceptively difficult, you have to really concentrate or else risk looking like a fumbling drunk.

  2. Cape Town has so many strong landmark features and iconic spaces and places, that the history of St. George’s Cathedral is often over-shadowed by the likes of Robben Island and the like. Such a pity, because it is a very beautiful architectural landmark.

    In the year 1972 the University of Cape Town student protested against the Apartheid Regime’s drive for make education in Afrikaans compulsory and for free education for all (something along those lines). The protesting students were met with fierce resistance from the strong SA Police Force. They were chased and beaten by the police and naturally as a church is always regarded as a sanctuary, the students fled into the Cathedral, hoping for it to present a place of safety for them.
    But it was not to be. The police ruthlessly followed the students into the Cathedral chasing them through the pews and passages, all the while continuing to beat them and arrest them.

    I remember the incident clearly as I was at UCT at the time. It was a major contributing factor towards the rumblings of discontent in the early part of the 70’s. That police brutality and lack of respect that they showed for a church sanctuary sent shock waves through large parts of Cape Town’s liberal community, whilst others tended to think that the police had to show the students who was boss.

    I often wonder why this tale of history around the Cathedral and its part in SA’s 70’s protest actions has not been more widely told. Or maybe it could be that I am not listening too closely. These protest went on for a very long time that year, all the while moving the masses towards the Soweto Riots/Uprising of June 1976 and the Hector Pietersen incident.

    So, lets support the drive for its roof replacement and at the same time, take advantage of scoring one or two VINTAGE items.

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