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The Bishop of Kimberley and Kuruman is the Bishop of the Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, which encompasses the area around Kimberley and Kuruman and overlaps the Northern Cape Province and North West Province of South Africa. The current bishop is the Rt Revd Oswald Swartz. The seat of the Bishop of Kimberley and Kuruman is at St Cyprian's Cathedral, Kimberley. There have so far been 12 bishops of the See, though one of these actually served for two different periods of time:

Contents

Formation of the Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman

The Anglican presence on the Diamond Fields and in Kimberley’s hinterland, from the early 1870s, was at first administered from Bloemfontein, initially under Bishop Alan Becher Webb, the oldest parish here being St Mary's, Barkly West. By the early 1890s, however, there was a feeling in some quarters that the Diocese of Bloemfontein was too big and there were proposals for the formation of a separate Bishopric with its seat in Kimberley. But in the event the Bishops decided upon establishing the missionary Diocese of Mashonaland instead - an area also up until then administered from Bloemfontein.

From 1907 to 1910 motions were passed and planning and fund-raising initiatives were being conducted in earnest towards founding a new Diocese of Kimberley. These included the “Million Shillings Fund” launched by Bloemfontein’s Bishop Chandler in London on 2 February 1909. It was hoped that all would be in place so that the coming into being of the new Diocese would coincide with the establishment of Union in South Africa in 1910. However it was not before July 1911 that all was ready and a formal resolution could be proposed, as it was at a meeting in the Kimberley Town Hall, that ‘the western portion of the Diocese of Bloemfontein be constituted a new and separate Diocese with Kimberley as its Cathedral Town’[1] – to which Episcopal Synod, meeting in Maritzburg, gave its final consent in the form of a Mandate dated 11 October 1911. The Elective Assembly for the choosing of a Bishop for the new Diocese was held in Kimberley on 13 December 1911, at which the Very Revd Wilfrid Gore Browne, Dean of Pretoria, was the unanimous choice.[2] Gore Browne was consecrated in Bloemfontein Cathedral on 29 June 1912. He was enthroned the following day as Bishop of Kimberley and Kuruman, at St Cyprian’s Cathedral.

Geographical extent

The Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman has not been constant in extent and at times less than exactly defined. Taking over the western side of the Diocese of Boemfontein (now "of the Free State"), it also included some of the sparsely populated interior extremities of the Dioceses of Cape Town and of Grahamstown. Added in 1915 was the southern half of Bechuanaland Protectorate, which remained part of "K&K" (as Kimberley and Kuruman is often called) until Botswana's independence in 1966 (interestingly this history flavoured liturgical usage there, which still resembles the style more of the South African Prayer Book than the Central African Prayer Book[3]). The 1952 Diocesan Synod was concerned to establish the boundaries of Parishes; noting also a lack of clarity on “where is the Diocese” – “The Bishop called attention ... to the fact that certain places where at present the Diocese has Clergymen at work are not technically in the Diocese.”[4]

The Bishops of Kimberley and Kuruman

Tenure Incumbent Notes
1912 to 1928 Wilfrid Gore Browne (1859-1928)
1928 to 1943 Theodore Sumner Gibson (1885-1953)
1943 to 1951 John Hunter (1897-1965)
1951 to 1960 John Boys (1900-1972)
1961 to 1965 Philip William Wheeldon (1913-1992)
1965 to 1967 Clarence Edward Crowther (b 1929)
1968 to 1976 Philip William Wheeldon (2nd spell) (Ibid)
1976 to 1983 Graham Charles Chadwick (1923-2007)
1983 to 1991 George Alfred Swartz (b 1928)
1991 to 1996 Winston Njongonkulu Ndungane (b 1941)
1996 to 2006 Itumeleng Baldwin Moseki (b 1944)
2007 to present Oswald Swartz (b 1953-)

Parishes

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Cathedral

Archdeaconry of the North

  • St Mary's, Kuruman
  • St Michael's, Batlharos
  • Mafikeng
  • Vryburg
  • Taung

Archdeaconry of the South

  • Upington
  • Prieska
  • Postmasburg
  • Douglas
  • De Aar
  • Richmond
  • Kimberley
  • St Mary's, Barkly West - the oldest Parish Church in the Diocese

References

  1. ^ Brian Roberts (1976). Kimberley, turbulent city. Cape Town: David Philip with the Historical Society of Kimberley and the Northern Cape. ISBN 0949968625.
  2. ^ Lewis, C & Edwards, G.E. 1934. Historical records of the Church of the Province of South Africa. London: SPCK p 515
  3. ^ Charles C. Hefling, Cynthia L. Shattuck. 2006. The Oxford guide to the Book of Common Prayer p 310
  4. ^ Highway 14(4) Oct 1952.

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