The Dutch Reformed Church (Grotekerk) in Graaff-Reinet, South Africa
The Dutch Reformed Church gave rise to several Reformed denominations in South Africa, including the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk), the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk, the Gereformeerde Kerke in Suid-Afrika, the Afrikaans Protestant Church (Afrikaanse Protestantse Kerk), and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa.
About Dutch Reformed Church in Graaff-Reinet:
The Dutch Reformed Church in Graaff-Reinet is the symbol of the town. few small towns anywhere in the world can have such a spectacular centre-piece.
Constructed between April1886 and consecrated in 1887, the church is loosely modelled on Salisbury Cathedral in England. It must have been irritating to the townspeople when the nearby town of Aberdeen finished a church with a taller steeple!
The congregation were very active in helping to build this, the fourth church to be built here (although the first burnt to the ground before being completed). The stone was quarried at Adendorp, 10km from the twon, and they loaded the stone onto their ox-wagons to deliver it to the building site. The third church had a thatched roof, so the leap to a structure that resembled Salisbury Cathedral must have been quite a magnificent sight for the people of Graaff-Reinet!
The church is a wealthy one, owning extremely valuable silverware, and still attracts a large congregation to its doors on a Sunday, although not, perhaps, the 2000 that turned up on the 11th September 1887 for it's first service.