Started in Matlosane, but now writing on Saturday 3.11.18, having run out of time there, travelled home and sorting myself out here in Prestatyn!
My last full day here and it’s been 35o. As from tomorrow it gets cooler, but still not much sign of rain. It is so badly needed.
I had a good night’s sleep with the help of an electric fan, but was still awake by 6.30 so wrote the previous blog entry then! I also chose my seats for the flights home and was delighted to see that it is one of the big planes for both flights.
This afternoon I went to Matlwang to see what the church is like now. The village of Matlwang is between Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp, and the Church is one of the outstations of the Cathedral, having a service once a month. They have put up new metal doors this year, but they are not very good. They don’t shut easily or properly.
The area around Matlwang, and some of their goats.
The old water supply, and the new water tank on the horizon, from which water is pumped to the stand-pipes around the village. This is the water tower that can be seen from the main road, some miles away.
But the welcome was warm. As I got out of the car a voice from the house next door asked if I needed help. It was the teenagers of the house, and they came with a key and let me in. The older one of the two remembered me from November 2013,and the younger one sort of did. I wish I could remember their names but they were Xhosa names and unfamiliar to me.
Inside the church , and outside with their home in the background.
The inside of the church has changed so much since I first saw it. As well as changing the doors earlier this year, they are now in the process of sealing off the roof. It will make it so much cooler when the sun shines. They are also going to replace the plastic chairs with wooden benches with backs to them - pews in other words. The reason for this is that in the heat the plastic soon becomes brittle and the chairs unsafe! But if the two young people I met are anything to go by, the Church, the people are in good heart.
All too soon it was time to say Goodbye, and be told that there would always be a welcome for me at the church. Talking later to the Dean, he told me that that is a typical African welcome. If a stranger turns up, they may not have much but the host will give the guest the best of what they have, however little that may be. It has certainly been my experience that I have been received with love and generosity.
(Sat) As Dean of the Diocese, +Steve and another Bishop have to accompany the Archbishop to the Consecration of the new Bishop of St Helena next weekend, on the island of St Helena. (Church Law says that there must be three consecrating Bishops.) The problem is that there is only one flight a week onto the island. So they all fly in next Saturday, do the Consecration on Sunday 11th, and then travel around the island for a week while they wait for the next plane on Saturday17th!
Tuesday, +Steve took me to the airport. It was the end of a wonderful three weeks. It was sad to leave while I was still getting used to having my own place in the Diocese, as well as continuing to be a visitor from 'Lichfield', but good to know that my health had held out and I can plan future visits!! I was also good to get back to the fresher autumnal air of the UK!