Jansenville Dutch Reformed Church

Jansenville Dutch Reformed Church



The Dutch Reformed Church in Jansenville is unusual in that the bell tower is separate from the church. The church is of typical Victorian-era design, complete with decorative plaster quoins on the corners of the exterior walls. The building was designed by prolific ecclesiastical architect Carl Otto Hager, whose plans were later revised by A.H. Reid of Port Elizabeth.

The cornerstone of the church was laid on 16 August 1884 and the building was consecrated on 20 June 1885. The wood carving around the pulpit, although simple in design, was carefully crafted. The different woods used create an appealing contrast of colours. The first organ used in the church can still be seen next to the pulpit, however, this was replaced with the grand pipe organ still in use to this day.

The organ pipes are decorated with gold-leaf motifs that add to and complement the character of the building. The beautiful patchwork tapestry Cross that hangs beneath the organ was painstakingly stitched by members of the congregation and is a feature of the church. Interestingly the organ is situated at the rear of the church opposite the pulpit and according to the church attendant, or koster, was built at the rear of the church to ensure that its splendid appearance did not distract the congregants from providing their full attention to the sermon.

The patchwork tapestry Cross was painstakingly stitched by members of the congregation. It has become a large focal feature in the church and is much admired by visitors.

The church has a beautiful silver plate jug, chalice, and offertory tray, with individual glasses. Most NG Kerk and Methodist churches have a similar collection. The Anglican church uses the chalice for the “taking of the wine”.

The famous Bible, kept under glass, is rumored to be the oldest or one of the oldest Dutch Bibles in the country. The Fourie family history in South Africa is written up on the facing page.

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  • Jansenville