By AMY-GRACE BESSICK
After two years, Spiritfest will finally be returning to celebrate the arts through the context of the Christian faith, alongside the National Arts Festival running from 23 June to 3 July 2022.
The festivities will begin with Spiritfest Online sharing the Songs and Poems of Fafa Hopkins. Recordings of Fafa performing three song-poems by beloved Makhanda poet and troubadour Chris Mann, who passed in 2021, will become accessible on Spiritfest’s YouTube Channel on Thursday, 23. The Green Anglicans videos will become accessible on the same day.
Friday will start with an array of serene musical experiences. In the afternoon, a concert titled Ingoma yoHadi (Song of the Harp) will be performed by Asakhe Cuntsulana at the Cathedral. The concert uses traditional South African folk music on the Adungu (Ugandan harp) to evoke expressions that mirror the four phases of being spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. The highly anticipated return of Choral Evensong, led by the Cathedral Choir, including children from the Makana Choir School, and directed by Kutlwano Kepadisa, will take place at the Cathedral at 5.30 pm.
The exuberant musical style of the Makhanda Kwantu Choir can be enjoyed on Friday and Saturday at the Cathedral. Another must-hear musical event is the Grahamstown Circuit Choir, which will perform at the Commemoration Methodist Church, Church Square, on Saturday, 25 June.
Music is just the beginning of what Spiritfest has to offer, with Christian Meditations at 9.30 am followed by afternoon Guided Prayer sessions at St Patrick’s Church from Monday 27 June to Friday 1 July. The meditation sessions will be led by visitors from the World Community for Christian Meditation and the Centre for Christian Spirituality. The Guided Prayer sessions in the afternoons will be led by a group of prayer guides trained in Ignatian spirituality.
Unforgettable talks from the Revd Janet Trisk and the Revd Linda Schwartz titled, And yet we all die and Good Grief respectively, are sure to incite thought-provoking conversations on Monday, 27 June in St Patrick’s Church Hall. Following these talks is another exciting one from Prof Rui Krause, titled God the Scientist, speaking on the compatibility of faith and science, on Tuesday, 28 June.
For the classical music lovers, there is a recital from youthful pianist Bayanda Mthetho at the Cathedral on Wednesday. On Thursday, St Andrew’s College Chapel Organist, Peter Black, will play some of the great standards of the organ repertoire in a performance fittingly titled Well-known Favourites on the King of Instruments.
Wednesday evening will see a candlelit Taizé Service in the Cathedral, where the simple repetitive chant of worship music will be sure to uplift the soul and speak to the heart.
On Thursday afternoon, there will be an interdenominational Prayer Walk from the Police Station on Raglan Road to the Commemoration Methodist Church at the end of Bathurst Street.
On both the Sundays of the Festival, 26 June and 3 July, there will be a wide variety of Worship services at the Cathedral, Commemoration Methodist Church, Every Nation Church, Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk, River of Life Church, St Patrick’s Catholic Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church.
St Patrick’s will also be offering weekday masses at 1.15 pm on both the Monday and the Wednesday of the festival.
There is no entrance charge for any Spiritfest events – retiring collection.
Covid regulations will be observed.
Please note that masks are mandatory in indoor venues, which will be operating at 50% of capacity.
For more about Spiritfest, see: http://grahamstowncathedral.org/spiritfest/