all saints church from the north west

About us

Our congregation

The congregation of All Saints' Maidstone is known for its warm and caring attitude. It is a small congregation and everyone is known and cared for.

The congregation is diverse in terms of age, race and gender.

Our clergy

The rector is the Reverend Fr Clement Mbatha, in addition the Reverend Irene Joss, a retired clergy person, assists with the worship and preaching.

Our style of worship

We use the Anglican Prayer Book 1989 for our liturgy, we have an accomplished organist and our usual form of worship is the sung Eucharist. Most of our hymns are selected from Hymns Ancient and Modern - New Standard. We draw on the rich and beautiful tradition of Anglican worship to glorify God.

Our church

The church was built in the 1930s and has been furnished and decorated lovingly over the years with beautifully carved lecterns, prayer tables, priest's and bishop's chairs and altar. In addition stained glass windows given to the church in memory of past parishioners provide light and colour to the interior of the building. The rose window in the east gable of the church was made by the well known and important stained glass artist of the 20th century, Wilgie Vann-Hall.

Our church also has an altar-piece or reredos carved by of of KZN's most important sculptors of the 20th century, Mary Stainbank.

Rich art, music and liturgy help us to worship God in the beauty of holiness.

Our history

The village of Maidstone was built by the Tongaat Sugar Company (TSC) to house the white workers of the Maidstone Sugar Factory. Maidstone was named after Maidstone in Kent, England. All Saints’ Church was likewise named after the parish church in Maidstone, Kent.

Prior to the 1930s there were two sugar mills in the Tongaat district; the first was the Tongaat Mill which was located in the area now known as 299, the second was the Maidstone Mill. The Tongaat Mill was closed and moved to Maidstone circa 1930. This meant that many of the mill workers moved from Tongaat to Maidstone. St John’s Church in Tongaat (which was a chapelry of the parish of Verulam) served the Anglicans of Tongaat. The “centre of gravity” of its congregation was moving to Maidstone and so the Vestry of the Parish of Verulam wrote to the TSC in 1927 requesting a site for a church at Maidstone Village to serve the growing number of Anglicans living there. On 6 February 1930, thirty-eight members of the Maidstone sugar mill staff wrote to the Secretary of the TSC confirming that they would support the erection of a church in Maidstone. They pointed out that a church would have a good moral and social influence on the community and would be a welcome addition to the district’s architecture. Land for a church was offered for purchase or lease to Mr Thomas Edward Hamlyn, who farmed at Frasers, and was a farmers’ representative on the board of directors of the TSC. (Watson, 1960, p. 148) In the company’s offer, Edward Saunders, the owner and manager of the TSC stipulated that the building was to have a tiled roof and the walls were to be a least nine inches thick, in addition the “Land sold must be used for European church purposes and European church purposes only”. The directors of the company also reserved the right to intervene should the grounds or buildings not remain in a state of proper repair. There is no further mention of the Maidstone Anglican church in the management reports or minutes of the TSC.

The cornerstone was laid in early 1932 by the fourth bishop of Natal, the Rt Revd Leonard Noel Fisher. Construction work stopped in that year because of a particularly bad outbreak of malaria in the area and many workmen fell ill. Work resumed after some months. The church was consecrated on 29 July 1933 by the Rt Revd Vernon Inman, the fifth bishop of Natal and was sufficiently complete by October 1933 for opening ceremony. The Revd Mr Roderic Hugh Davies, Maidstone’s first priest furnished the interior from donations received. All Saints’, Maidstone was dedicated with the prayer used in 1395 at the dedication of All Saints’, Maidstone in Kent.

O Lord our God, Who has put it into the hearts of us Thy servants to provide Thee a house worthy of Thy name: Prosper us, we pray Thee, in this our endeavour for Thy greater glory: inspire us to offer willingly for the work: and in the House which shall be built vouchsafe the Light of Thy perpetual Presence, that Thy people may worship Thee in the beauty of holiness and offer to Thee an acceptable sacrifice of prayer and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen.

Our governance

The Parish of Maidstone is a parish church in the Diocese of Natal, in turn part of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, a part of the World-wide Anglican Communion. The parish is run by the parish executive comprising our rector and three churchwardens (one of whom is an alternate churchwarden). In addition a parish council (of about eight members) oversees the work of the executive. The parish as a whole meets once a year at the Annual Vestry Meeting, to hear of and discuss the previous year's work for the furtherance of God's Kingdom and to set the goals for the next year's work. Anglican church governance is always a shared effort between the clergy and the laity.

Our beliefs

Anglicans have a saying from the Latin, the law of belief is the law of prayer (Lex credendi, lex orandi) that is to say our beliefs are to be found in what we pray, and what we pray is in our prayer book, currently An Anglican Prayer Book: 1989, which has its origin in the Book of Common Prayer.

Our beliefs are summed up in the Baptismal Creed and in the Nicene Creed, which is recited each Sunday.

The Baptismal Creed

I believe and trust in God the Father, who made the world.
I believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ, who redeemed humankind.
I believe and trust in his Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God.
I believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen