It is hard to believe that FORTY years have passed, as All Saints Church – Belhar, this year celebrates its
40th Anniversary. In 1971/2 a few dedicated and hardworking Anglicans moved into Belhar and took the initiative to establish house churches and Sunday school homes in the neighbourhood.
In 1976 the vacant plot in Denneboom Road was acquired. The excitement of what lay ahead was tangible and the realization of an own church was soon to become a reality. Many families rallied around and helped clearing the plot, hiring bulldozers to level the ground, whilst some of the ladies were cooking food.
Belhar, as a new urban development was comprised of people from all over the Peninsula. The church had to be named and after in-depth and robust discussions, the name All Saints was ultimately decided upon. This was proposed by Michael Beyers, the rationale being that it was all inclusive of all the Saints that gathered in the Belhar area.
In March of 1976 All Saints became a Chapelry of St Johns – Bellville South, with Revd Burnett being the first Rector. Messrs. Henry Petersen and Mervyn Beyers were elected as first Chapel Wardens with Mr Llewellyn Meyer as Alternate Chapel Warden.
According to Mr Lenford the First Holy Communion Service was held at his home, 13 Agapanthus Crescent, Belhar. The following families attended: Leng; Greeves; Fester; Meyer; Van der Poel; Mrs English and Melvin & Michael Beyers. It is further said that the first Vestry meeting was held at the residence of Mr Ivan Van der Poel and the first Lenten service was held at the residence of Mr & Mrs Greeves. All these services and meetings were held in Agapanthus Crescent, Belhar, which is indicative of the important role that this area has played in the establishment of the church. Services later moved from people’s homes to the Belhar High School.
Revd Henderson, became the first resident Priest. His main focus was family visitation which resulted that the numbers hugely increased. This resulted in Church Services had to move from Belhar High School to the Dutch Reformed Church, Belhar. This is where the first confirmation service took place. During this time it was decided to embark on a three phased building project, i.e the hall, followed by the rectory and then the church. The unveiling of the plaque in the hall by Suffragan Bishop George Swartz of Cape Town took place on 5th November 1978.
Revd A. Dennis was rector of the parish for 3 years, followed by Revd A. Langenhoven. During his tenure the building of the church commenced in1985. The foundation stone of the church was laid by Bishop Patrick Matolengwe on the 21st September 1985. The dedication of the church took place on the 22nd March 1986. It was also during this period that a second priest’s home was purchased in Schubert Crescent, Belhar.
Revd Kuppan succeeded Revd Langenhoven, followed by Rev. Nolly. Various structural developments took place during the reign of Revd Kuppan and Revd Nolly such as the building of the boundary wall, enlargement of the church office, church entrance, church kitchen and wall of remembrance.
In 2009 Revd Humbles was appointed as Rector to the parish. During this time a new organ was acquired and the overhead projectors and screens were installed.
During the interregnum when Revd Humbles moved to the Parish of Groot Drakenstein, Revd Steyn was appointed as Priest-in-Charge of the Parish. He played a critical role in this transition period until the appointment of Revd Canon Mlandu in October 2014.
Under the leadership, spiritual guidance and teaching of Revd Canon Xola Mlandu the parish returned from a period of relative uncertainty to greater stability and calmness. Revd Xola places a huge emphasis on family life and the family as an “incubator” for Society. Since his institution as Rector, the building plans for the extension of the church hall, to serve as a multi-purpose centre, has been approved by the Annual Vestry Meeting in February 2016. After nearly a year has passed in trying to get these plans approved by the City Council, it can now proudly be announced that it has finally been approved. It is envisaged that this building project will commence and be completed in 2017. This project is long overdue, since organizations and ministries require more space and the parish will now also be able to accommodate some of the needs of the community.
The organisational life of the church has grown tremendously over the past years under the able guidance of the Rectors, Assistant Priests and committed Leadership of the Parish. The 2016 Executive and Parish Council wish to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to everyone who has made a contribution in the establishment, growth and development of the Parish of All Saints Belhar, no matter how great orsmall. We want to assure you that it has made a significant difference.