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Settlers Methodist Church, Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, South Africa




"An old church scarred & wrinkled, awarded a nations proud medal”

Aged, yet ageless, voiceless yet, eloquent, a home for the dead, yet pointing to eternal life. Built, destroyed, and repaired by human hands, yet more than a man-made edifice, a house of God. These are living stones.

The church was built on lot No. 84 Port Frances, on land granted by the Colonial Government on 5th December 1825. The builders where James & Alexander McPhail, two 1820 settlers who came out to this country in Moodie’s Party from Edinburgh. The church was opened on 25th November 1827, by Rev. William Shaw. 25th December 1834, during the ‘Sixth Frontier War” the church was burnt out. It was rebuilt & on the 24th November 1840, re-opened. The Rev. Shaw again preached the first sermon. Six years later, 1st May 1846, during the ‘War of the Axe’ the church was again burnt down. In the 1850’s, a wall was built transversely across the centre of the church & an iron roof replaced the original thatch, this half was used for public worship.

1900/1* Church housed refugee family during the Anglo Boer War.

1915* Used as Sunday School. 1938* Proclaimed an historical monument.

1939 * Re-opened after a further restoration . 1968 Major restoration, once again.

1974 * Gazetted a full National Monument. The restoration work has been ongoing since then.

The bell is original. The present bell frame was donated by the late Mr. J.P. de Wet Steyn. The churchyard is particularly interesting, filled with the graves of the 1820 settlers & their descendants. The earliest grave is 1830.

A bible is housed for safekeeping in the Kowie Museum, was presented to the Settlers Church by MR. & Mrs. Goldswain of Port Alfred in 1940. “William Goldswain 1866” is written on the front page. William was the first son of the Jeremiah & Eliza Goldswain, (original settlers). William was born in 1823 & died in 1898.

Latitude: -33.58552, Longitude: 26.904227


Buildings 4 Buildings


Matches 1 to 1 of 1

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Buried    Person ID 
1 Gowar, William Turner  Settlers Methodist Church, Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, South Africa I68778


Matches 1 to 1 of 1

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Baptism    Person ID 
1 Richards, Joseph  7 Mar 1827Settlers Methodist Church, Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, South Africa I39765

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