Thursday, 18 April 2013

St Boniface Anglican Church

Front view of St Boniface Anglican church
St Boniface Anglican Church

Earlier this week I took a trip down memory lane. It is something that I have been wanting to do for a long long time now. Somehow there were always silly reasons that delayed the visit. 

Side entrance

Eventually, with the help of my wife and son, I managed to get around to it and so they drove me to Germiston to visit St Boniface Anglican church. 

I went tethered as usual to my portable oxygen machine. Cannot imagine what I would have done without the benefit of the portable machine. 

St Boniface was the last Anglican parish to which I belonged before I converted to Catholicism in 1987.

This really surprised my wife and son. Not expected in an
Anglican Church. Didn't surprise me! Our Lady of Grace.

I wanted to visit this parish again for various reasons.

The most significant reason was because, as brief as my time in the parish of St Boniface was, it certainly did continue to play a significant role in my life for a long time after the parish had forgotten all about me. 

To this day I am still amazed, when I take the time to think back over my life, particularly the period after leaving the Anglican parish of St Boniface, at the many and varied ways in which that parish continued to play a significant role in my life. 

From the sanctuary, through chancel to nave

My experiences in that parish positively shaped me as a person and I am so grateful for the time that I was able to spend in that parish.

There is no doubt that had it not been for the influence of this parish, I would never have converted to the Catholic Church. 

Norman and Beard Pipe Organ - Built in 1910

I know of more than one person who, following time spent in this Anglican parish, chose to convert to Catholicism. 

Clearly this parish was somehow used by God to unite people back to the Catholic church, which is ultimately what we should all hope for. Christians all united back as one Church.

Confessional - This also surprised Greir and Christopher
(Not sure if still used. I recall using it)

I was actually quite nervous about going back to visit the parish. 

There was always the danger that what I remembered about the church would be dashed when I actually got back to see it again. Well that was not the case. The church was as beautiful as I remembered it.

All Souls Chapel

Greir and Christopher both agreed that the church was as beautiful as I have always explained it to them. In fact, it was apparently more beautiful than they had imagined it.

particularly remember spending every morning and evening of each day when I was still at the parish, in the Lady Chapel, with David Beetge and Peter Lyness, praying the Liturgy of the Hours in common – Morning and Evening Prayer. For practical reasons Compline was not prayed in common. Neither was the Angelus and Midday prayer.  

Lady Chapel

I believe that this habit of praying the Liturgy of the Hours is one of the reasons that this parish continued to have such an influence in my life. 

I wish every single person, from a very young age, could be helped to develop this habit of praying at least Morning and Evening Prayer, preferably in common with the family or with friends or colleagues. 

Lady Chapel
I was obviously exceptionally happy that I could spend time praying Midday Prayer in the Lady Chapel, sitting in the same place where I always used to sit for the Liturgy of the Hours. 

If you are ever able to visit St Boniface it is definitely worth it. It certainly does help to remind one of how close the Catholics and Anglicans once were and should inspire us to pray all the more earnestly for the unity of all Christians. 

High Altar

I hope you enjoyed the photo's. Greir must have taken nearly 300 while I mostly sat and rested in the Lady Chapel. Maybe later I will add some more photo's to this post.

Crypt Chapel below chancel

Entrance to Columbarium next to Crypt Chapel


Take note of the words of the prayer in this photo below. This is placed prominently in the sacristy of St Boniface so that the Anglican priest can pray it while vesting. (Clicking on the photo may give you a better look at the words. I have also included two photo's with the flash spot in a different area on each photo so that you can read the whole prayer.) 

There is a related post here - Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for also bringing me down memory lane.

    Germiston was my hometown as a child in the 1950's.

    Even though I attended St Augustine's Catholic Church in this railway industrial town, I can remember St Boniface's Anglican Church very well indeed and I always associated the outside building with the castles in England. Thanks for the fine pictures and reminding us how close the Anglican heritage really is to our Catholic Tradition.

    This ongoing heritage helps to confirm our faith in modern times like these when people try to deny the power and influence of Catholic Doctrine and the Church.

    Even at the time when the Anglican movement began with Henry VIII some 500 years ago, our tradition is being continually confirmed by the Anglicanism whose parallel heritage lies with the Catholic Church. (The beautiful statue of Our Lady at St Boniface indeed reveals their roots and proximity to us. I am overjoyed to recognise that Our Blessed Lady is still in their heart and , by this, she cares for them!).

    A similar heritage applies to the ancient Greek Orthodox Church, going back even further into history. Here too, our Catholic Doctrine and Tradition is being confirmed over thousands of years and being confirmed true by the parallel beliefs and practices which the Greeks have carried forward in their heritage. .

    Protestants contrary to expectation through the mystery of God, contrary to skeptics and cynics, bless Catholicism by confirming that Jesus Christ is Lord! Confirming the truth of the early Fathers who have carried the Truth of Jesus Christ and his Apostles through the Catholic Church right down the ages.

    Yes, one day, the Protestants will return home to the Sacraments, hopefully realising the pain of schism and separation while appreciating the need for the dispensation of true sacramental grace by the One True Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church..

    Thanks for reminding me of my home town. God bless you with your health too!.