This historical church is open to the public to visit. Various facilities on the premises cater for day visitors and tour groups.
I met Drew de Kock, the congregation manager. He showed me around and we talked about the rich history of this building.
People sometimes refer to the building as the "cross-church” as it is in a symbolic cross shape. The cornerstones were laid by Rev. Johan SS Ballot in 1832.
Although a historical building, the church is still active and sermons are held every Sunday.
Because of financial problems, the building took twelve years to complete. In 1842 the church was officially inaugurated by Rev. Ballot.
The church steeple collapsed in 1905. The congregation bravely started with reconstruction work and the present bell was bought at the time. The London firm, Philipson and Stow, presented the congregation with the steeple clock.
A "Tower-festival” was held in 2006 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the church steeple.
Visitors have the opportunity to climb the 85 stairs in the steeple and see George from a height of 27.7 meters.
Chris Hattingh, the church verger, accompanies tour groups to answers all questions regarding this historical building. The original graveyard, church clock and missionary building have also been preserved, each with their own attention-grabbing story.
The teak door of the main entrance was brought from Cape Town to George by ox wagon.
The present organ dates back to 1879.I found the high, wooden ceiling very impressive. The yellowwood and stinkwood used in the ceiling and pillars, came from local forests in Plettenbergbay and Knysna. The pulpit is made from stinkwood.
On Wednesdays choirs, orchestras and singers entertain visitors during lunch time. Light lunches are served at "Die Oude Pastorie”. "Die Ou Pastorie” is a guesthouse on the premises which offers accommodation at very reasonable rates.
Food and drinks are also served at the Seestar coffee shop on the premises.
The church council still endeavors to do it’s duty to "Keep the church as a heritage for posterity and a symbol of God’s command to Man”
A visit to The Dutch Reformed Mother Church is a relaxing and peaceful outing. Visitors will appreciate the incredible history and architecture of this place.
For contact details please see: www.caw.org.za
Directions: Situated on the corner of Courtenay and Church Street in George,South Cape,Garden Route, Western Cape.