The Anglican Church of Southern Africa commemorates the 150th anniversary of its inauguration on Sunday.

A service marking the anniversary will be led by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby making an online appearance as the keynote speaker.

The service will take place at the St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town at 4pm.

Makgoba says various religious denominations from the Christian community, including the South African Council of Churches will all celebrate with the Anglican Community.

A message from President Cyril Ramaphosa will be read at the service during the anniversary.

The Anglican church began as a colonial church, with missionaries. It is now an indigenous Southern African church, also referred to as the Anglican Province of Southern Africa.

29 local dioceses

It is the first Anglican Church to have women priests and bishops, before the Church of England.

The Church consists of 29 local dioceses in eight Southern African countries.

Makgoba says, “The Anglican Communion is formed of 42 provinces all over the world. We are one of those Provinces with its Archbishop based in Bishops Court, looking after Angola, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia and St Helena. We were formed much earlier than 1870, in 1847.”

He says, “But as an organised Province of the Anglican Church, we were constituted at a provincial Synod in 1870. So this is indeed a significant milestone of faithful witness worship and serving the shores of our continent. We may be of English, that is Anglican, but we have gathered roots and are really Africans and have served in different contexts. We celebrate diversity. We celebrate different races, cultures, classes, all you name it. We are what my predecessor would want, a church of the rainbow people of God.”

Below is a report by SABC Parliamentary Correspondent Mercedes Besent: