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 brought courage to my heart to be an agent of change for King Jesus today.
The Story of the Church is a pilgrimage through the Cape Town CBD, exploring the role of the church as both an agent of oppression and injustice and an instrument of liberation and hope. Beginning at the Castle of Good Hope and ending, approximately 4 hours later at St Mark’s Church in District Six, the route includes stops at:
- The Castle of Good Hope: reflecting on the intertwined history of Christianity and Colonisation
- 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 liberating
- Bo-Kapp: reflecting on the growth of Islam and the injustice of the church
- The South African Sendinggestig Museum (also known as the South African Slave Church Museum) reflecting on the legacy of mission and missionaries
- St Mark’s Church District Six mourning the legacy of forced removals and segregation
This pilgrimage, approximately 6.5km in total, takes the form of historical commentary, Scripture readings, individual and communal reflections, debrief and lament. Each participant will get a handout with readings and questions for reflection.
Next Pilgrimage Date:
2022 dates will be announced shortly
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 for your church contact firstname.lastname@example.org now to discuss availability.
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.
I’ve learned things I wish I didn’t know! The Church at times resisted but often compromised to align with the status quo, directly or indirectly perpetrating and perpetuating injustice. The most challenging question though was what is my complicity in the ongoing injustice in this city?
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.
A life-changing morning. Thought-provoking and deeply moving. God at work!!
At Church Square. I realised I am still sitting with people worshipping inside the church while slaves sit outside, under the trees.
I am more aware of the questions that the church needs to be asking today.