The Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin
Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Address where meetings are held map
St Mary's Terrace
P.O. Box 12868
6006 Port Elizabeth
Tel: 041 585 3047
Fax: 041 585 5255
Rector / Provost: The Very Revd Sharon Nell
Assistant Priest: Revd Martin Louw
Until the arrival of settlers in the early 1820's, the needs of the British garrison at Port Elizabeth had been served by chaplains in passing ships. By 1825 a substantial settlement of 500 people had congregated in the town, one of whom was the Revd Francis McClelland. During that year he was appointed Colonial Chaplain, and the foundation stone for the Collegiate Church of St Mary the Virgin was laid. Until the church was finally opened for worship in 1832, the congregation met in a school room near the present St Augustine's Cathedral. St Mary's Vestry pioneered the Diocesan Grammar School in 1856. The first organ was installed in 1867, by which time there was a well established choir, which continues today. In 1895 the building was gutted by fire. It was quickly rebuilt in far grander style with money collected from people as diverse as the Cape Prime Minister, Cecil Rhodes and President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal. Over the years St Mary's played a leading role in the formation of new parishes and mission churches.
Today, after major renovations the congregation's inner-city mission is becoming increasingly apparent. A short "Mission Statement" based on the hopes of the Parish Council is: St Mary's Collegiate Church, the Mother-church of Port Elizabeth in the heart of our city, is endeavouring more and more to be a responsible member of the Diocesan Family and at the same time have a mission to the City as a true sanctuary of prayer, ministry, worship and Counselling to the growing number of visitors, city workers and increasingly cosmopolitan parishioners who find their way through its portals.
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