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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tuesday, 28 April '09: Country churches



You will find a church standing, solid and staid, in the middle of every dorp (village) in South Africa's platteland (countryside). Here are some of the country churches I encountered on the drive through the Eastern Free State last week. Built in 1894, the Dutch Reformed Church in Fouriesburg, Free State, was built of the tawny local sandstone hewn from the surrounding hills.
In the church hall of the Dutch Reformed Church in Rosendal, we met a congregant busy with carpentry. He told us that the once large congregation now numbers eighty regular worshippers. But they are a close knit fellowship and the hall is used for cosy potluck meals on special festivals, such as Pentecost. We took the opportunity to slip in to admire the austere interior, dominated by the elevated pulpit, the pipe organ, the single ornamentation: a banner, God is liefde, (God is Love) and the communion table.




The little Anglican church tucked away in a sandy side street of Fouriesburg was locked. Its size reflects the demographics of the area where English-speakers have historically been a minority. The notice outside announced twice-monthly services.


Wynford Holiday Farm, our vacation destination, has its own simple thatched A-frame chapel, recently built, overlooking the road from Fouriesburg to the Lesotho border. Services are held weekly for the Farm's guests.



A favourite venue for weddings the bridal couple can gaze on the distant mountains while making their vows.




On Sunday we listened to George, Wynford's owner, preach a down-to-earth sermon; hymns were sung to the guitar of Linda, his wife. The simplicity of the service fitted the majestic natural surroundings.


I have linked this little holiday snippet part to That's My World. Do take a visit!

17 comments:

jeannette stgermain said...

waauw. ;pplomg at the pics it looks like I'm back in Holland - especially looking at the banner and communion table!! I am Dutch but have lived for a long time in Los Angeles.

Clara said...

What lovely churches. The pipes in the old Reformed church are beautiful. But the view from the final chapel tops them all. It must have been wonderful to praise God while looking at his amazing creation.

BTW, I'm just blown away by the beauty of your header picture!

Wolynski said...

Some lovely, simple churches in South Africa, especially that last one. Love your dogs.

Adel and Robyn Kadis said...

Lovely old and new churches. When I took my Egyptian husband on trips around SA, we always looked for the big DR church in the centre of each little town. They are always so beautiful. The fact that they now have so few attendees is due to the fact that many of the Afrikaans white people have moved away as our beautiful country changes.

Jo said...

Eleanor, what a wonderful post and the sandstone kranzes on your header photo are AWESOME. I love my Eastern Free State photos and have started sharing them on "Scenic Sunday" . I find the chapel at Wynford stunning - yes you can only feel so close to God in these surroundings. I've had a look at your side bar and love how you've added the birds in your garden. I have so many visitors to my garden and enjoy them like you do. God bless you.

The Explorer said...

you have wonderful world... i like the church where you can have overlooking of the mountain, seems there is wonderful scenery outside.

Pam said...

What a wonderful church. All of your photos are so beautiful, thanks for sharing.

Vicki Lane said...

Thank you, Eleanor, for sharing more of your world. The header is amazing as is the view from the chapel!

Regina said...

Nice shots of your church.

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

What a beautiful post of churches there! I'm glad I found this blog, and will look forward to more! Thank you.

Pam said...

I enjoyed this very much. Thank you Eleanor.

Avril said...

Lovely photos of beautiful churches!

I must do a post on the little chapel at Champagne Castle - also A framed with a large window overlooking the mountains.

Gaelyn said...

Beautiful churches all. I love old buildings. Yet the modern chapel is delightful.

Anonymous said...

The last several pictures are so interesting, because to me the newly built chapel cannot compare with the beauty of the old stone churches. The beauty is the view from inside, looking out on God's creation. To me, this was like a lesson. One can only know the beauty of God when one is taken into his fold.

erin said...

beautiful post...i so enjoyed the photos and commentary. i like the openness of the modern chapel in the last few photos as it draws you into the beauty of the surrounding area...gorgeous.

Poetikat said...

Beautiful churches! And what a view from the A-frame chapel! Magnificent!

Kat

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