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Anglican Church Children’s Homes Thanksgiving Service

This past Sunday, 29th October 2023, the Bishop of the Anglican Church in Cape Town, Right Reverand Bishop Joshua Louw, invited congregations from the 46 churches in the Table Bay Diocese, to join him in a thanksgiving service to celebrate the Children’s Homes that they started more than 160 years ago in the Western Cape. In attendance was the Archdeacon of the Athlone archdeaconry, The Venerable Allen Goliath.

The staff and children of St. George’s Home for Girls, Leliebloem House, St. Michaels Home for Girls and Fikilele Child and Youth Care Centre attended. It was an opportunity for the Directors of these Homes to address the congregation and share a bit of the history and current services that they offer the vulnerable and at risk children in their care. They also had the opportunity to share their challenges and what they need to continue to provide for children in the future. It was the first time ever that a joint service for all of these children’s homes was held and showcased. The spiritual undertone of praise and worship and the enthusiastic singing of the songs by our children certainly ensured that this was a memorable occasion.

In his homily, Bishop Louw highlighted the fact that the ‘Homes’ were established by the Anglican Church and therefor remains the responsibility of the Church. He however emphasized that children are the responsibility of the ‘crown’ (if they were in England) or here in South Africa, the government, and emphasized that they (Government) should take their responsibility seriously. There are just too many children in this country who are in need of care and protection, and it seems to be getting worse. It is for this reason that we as a church should take our responsibility seriously and ensure that the future of the world is cared for, that they are prepared to face life experiences, and able to deal with its challenges.

It was unfortunate that the congregations from the 46 Anglican churches in the Table Bay Diocese wasn’t well represented. The Bishop reminded those present that the children in the Children’s Homes are our children, and we should help provide for them. He also asked that this message be taken back to the Anglican Churches in his diocese and that the emphasis be on assisting the staff in these Children’s Homes in providing for our children.

In closing, a request to all religious organizations to bear in mind that children are our future, and we have an obligation to provide for them. Give your best to them and nurture them so that they can have a bright future and provide for the next generation after them.

Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.”