Saving Good Shepherd-Protea
In 2007 it became apparent that if we did not take urgent action to restore the Church of the Good Shepherd-Protea, it would be condemned as a building, and in due course, would collapse. At that time we had R250 000 in our building fund to cover what we thought would be the likely costs. Once the necessary surveys were carried out however, we realised that it was not only the roof that needed replacing, but the south wall was collapsing, and the east wall was in need of support. This was also going to entail the re-building of the vestry. The eventual bill was going to be in excess of R2m.
Three key decisions were then taken:
A formal fundraising campaign would take place to raise the necessary funds.
- We would enlarge the church slightly so that the proportions would be more uniform and the capacity would increase from approximately 100 to 150.
- The general appearance and ambiance of the church would be maintained.
To cut a very long story short, we asked for building tenders in August of 2009. By then we had raised approximately R1,7m which was enough to cover the basic re-building and restoration costs. Approval was obtained from the Parish and the Diocese for us to commence the restoration process and work commenced in January of 2010. The church remained closed from then until June 27th 2010 when it was re-opened for regular service. Our re-consecration service, presided over by Bishop Garth Counsell, was held on Sunday 21st November 2010.
After that, a further R800 000 was raised to enable us to continue with the refurbishment of the inside of the church and the surrounding grounds. The gardens were lovingly and professionally redesigned and restored, giving us a truly picturesque open area where teas and cakes are served after Sunday morning Eucharist. It also serves as an overflow area for people to sit outside and follow the service when the church is full. In addition, due to the generosity of a member of the congregation, we purchased a wonderful new organ to enhance our services.
A number of people willingly and freely contributed their money, time and expertise to the project, enabling us to complete the renovation within budget and without having to raise any loans. Without their commitment, faith and support this whole project would not have been possible. One person, however, does require mention: project manager, Brian Lindsay, working closely with the architect and member of the congregation, Binci Clarke, worked tirelessly and freely to project manage the whole tender negotiation and re-building process. He was on site regularly to ensure that standards of workmanship and quality were being maintained. He rang the bell and read one of the lessons at our re-opening service on 27th June. Sadly, the next day he very sadly and very suddenly passed away; his work at Good Shepherd-Protea having been completed. If you seek his monument, look around you when you visit the church.
Special thanks must also go to all those members of the congregation who gave so generously. There were a number of very sizable donations with the majority of the congregation giving generously according to their means. Over 99% of the money raised came from members of the congregation, their families, friends and associates. It was heart-warming to receive donations from people who had never visited our church but wanted to support our project none-the-less.
(The prayer said during the re-opening service is included in our Prayers page.)
The present need for funds:
If you would like to contribute towards the costs of running Good Shepherd-Protea, the renovation of the graveyard and our various outreach programmes, then bank transfers can be made to the following account:
Name: The Church of the Good Shepherd
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch No: 025109
Acc No: 072554509
Reference: GSP (your name)