Northern Cape Tourist AttractionsSt Cyprian's Anglican Cathedral
Where? 129 Du Toitspan Road, Kimberley, Northern Cape
This understated old parish dates back to 1871 when the congregation met in diggers' camps in the nearby New Rush on the Diamond Fields, later called Kimberley. Before long parishioners were meeting in a tin shanty, a wood and iron church, in Jones Street.
But it wasn't until 5 March 1907 that the foundation stone for the church was laid. The stately building, dedicated to a third century North African martyr, has the longest nave of any church in South Africa. It was elevated to cathedral status in 1911 and is regarded as the mother church of the Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman, serving as the seat of the Bishop.
Interestingly, as with many cathedrals, it was only to reach completion many years later. In 1961 it dedicated its bell tower. And since then the parishioners have slowly funded stained glass windows, plaques, furnishing and ornaments. Particularly memorable are the Holy Spirit windows in the south transept. This beautiful work is by the artist Leo Theron.
Alongside the cathedral is a garden of remembrance within which is a bronze statue commemorating Sister Henrietta Stockdale, both nun and first matron of the new Kimberley hospital, who is buried at the Dutoitspan Cemetery.
The co-educational, independent school - St Cyprion's Grammar School - is affiliated to the cathedral and opened its doors in 2009, one of the pilot schools initiated by Archbishop Emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane.
Visit it: at 129 Du Toitspan Road and hear the cathedral choir sing Evensong at 17.30 on Sundays. Best to go during church service time as otherwise the church is closed.