Story of the Church

Church Square was heartbreaking! My ancestors stood under that tree, sold as commodities, disposable assets… in the shadow of the church. But strangely, it was this same moment that brought healing and courage to my heart to be an agent of change for King Jesus today.

Dylan Groep

This pilgrimage through the Cape Town CBD explores the role of the church as both an agent of oppression and injustice as well as an instrument of liberation and hope. The pilgrimage includes historical commentary, Scripture readings, and time for individual and communal reflection. A participant’s guide will be provided with bible readings and questions for reflection.

Our pilgrimage route comprises the following stops:

  • The Castle of Good Hope: reflecting on the intertwined history of Christianity and Colonisation (beginning point)
  • Church Square: exploring the legacy of the church and slavery.
  • The House of Parliament: reflecting on the unholy of church and state for the creation of apartheid
  • St George’s Cathedral: investigating the role of the church in the struggle for liberation.
  • Bo-Kaap: reflecting on the growth of Islam and the injustice of the church.
  • The South African Sendingsgestig Museum (also known as the South African Slave Church Museum): reflects on the legacy of the missionaries.
  • St Mark’s Church District Six mourning the legacy of forced removals and segregation.
  • Debrief and Reflection at St Mark’s Church (endpoint)

Time and Distance:

Approximately 6.5 km in total the pilgrimage usually takes about 3 hours.

Next Pilgrimage Date:

Saturday 9 December 2023 from 9:30 – 12:30 (depending on speed and group interaction the ending time can fluctuate so you might want to allow for an extra 30 mins).

Cost: R300 per person

Book your place here

Group Bookings:

This pilgrimage can be run for a group of your own gathering. It has been particularly impactful for church leadership teams, small groups, or even foreign missions teams wanting to learn more about South African history.  To book a pilgrimage contact john@isiphambano.com to discuss availability.

Cost: R3000 for a group of ten or less. For every person over 10, you will pay R250 per person.

Special rates can be discussed for NGOs and groups from lower-income or historically disadvantaged communities. Drop us an email at john@isiphambano.com to discuss options.

What Others Have Said:

The pilgrimage was amazing. I’ve learned way more history and about Cape Town in these few hours than I would in a whole term at school.

Kay-Cee Van Nee

At Church Square where we read the names of the slaves and heard about how their names were given just broke my heart. It was like my eyes were opened to how much slavery dehumanized black people and tried to rip off their identity, culture, and heritage.

Nkhensani Chauke

I’ve learned things I wish I didn’t know! The most challenging question was what is my complicity in the ongoing injustice in this city?

Gil Marsden

I wasn’t prepared for what I was going to experience. I had no idea that this pilgrimage would be deeply emotional and painful, yet at the same time deeply healing.

Dylan Groep

A life-changing morning. Thought-provoking and deeply moving. God at work!!

Caren Falconer

I realised I am still sitting with people worshipping inside the church while slaves sit outside, under the trees.

Shelley Gordon-Williams

I am more aware of the questions that the church needs to be asking today.

Mark Harris