By Samantha Carolus
This year, will see Spiritfest celebrating the Arts in the context of the Christian faith with an array of new items, along with the familiar favourite performances and events. Spiritfest runs throughout the National Arts Festival, from June 28 to July 8.
Spiritfest favourites which return this year include the Lucernarium, St Michael’s Marimbas, 40 Stones in the Wall Group Exhibition, Guided Prayer, as well as an Open Mic session for poetry, story, music and sacred text lovers.
New to Spiritfest in 2018 will be some Christian Meditation sessions led by visitors from the World Community for Christian Meditation and the Centre for Christian Spirituality. The Cathedral Choir will once again present a Choral Evensong featuring works by South African authors and composers in different languages. The Jesus College Choir from Cambridge in the UK conducted by Richard Pinel will sing the Cantus Missae by Josef Rheinberger at the Cathedral Festival Eucharist service, on the second Sunday of Fest. In the visual arts section, a solo exhibition by Franli Meintjies has the intriguing title ‘Chicken Feet and Popcorn’. Sculptures by Niel Jonker will be exhibited in the Cathedral, and artist Julia Skeen will lead an art walkabout with moments of silent contemplation in Rhodes Chapel
The two Sundays of National Arts Festival 2018 will see special services in a variety of churches: a Unity Mass at which the congregations of four local Catholic churches will worship together, as well as a weekday Mass at St Patrick’s Catholic Church. There will also be Festival services hosted by the Every Nation Church, the Cathedral and the Trinity Presbyterian Church. On the last Sunday of the festival the Methodist Young Men’s Guild will lead a Procession of Witness down High Street, with choir and musicians, culminating in a Service in Commemoration Church.
Music will this year will include choral concerts by the Grahamstown Kwantu Choir and the Grahamstown Circuit Church Choir; as well as performances by the Trinity Tenors, organist Cameron Luke, soprano Emma Farquharson, the Choir of Jesus College Cambridge and poet-singer Fafa Hopkins.
The Spiritfest Winter School will look at the topic of ‘The Spiritual Journey’. Speakers will include Rev Dr Mary Ryan, a theologian and advocate for women’s priesthood in the Catholic Church; Phumeza Mntonintshi, a Methodist who is in training as a sangoma; and philosopher Laurence Bloom on ‘The Immortality of the Soul’. Al Gini from Loyola University in Chicago will be looking at the importance of humour in our lives. Books to be launched include ‘Reminders of Connectedness’ by Jeanette Eve, and ‘The Forgotten Feast’ by Michael Arnold.
Spiritfest 2018 is sure not to disappoint. There is no entrance charge for any Spiritfest events but a retiring collection will be taken.
For more about Spiritfest see http://www.grahamstowncathedral.org/spiritfest