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St Peters Anglican Church Ruins - South End

Eastern Cape > Gqeberha > South End

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St. Peter's Anglican Church Precinct in South End, Port Elizabeth, offers visitors a captivating journey through time and heritage. The site, with its partially restored historic church ruins, presents a poignant narrative of resilience against apartheid-era challenges and cultural dispersion. Visitors can explore the remnants of the church, including the enduring Fisherman's Cross, symbolizing hope for seafarers. The wooden deck provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the ocean, creating a serene atmosphere for reflection. Additionally, the planned coffee shop and curio shops, set within the amphitheater, promise a delightful experience, making St. Peter's a unique destination where history, culture, and scenic beauty converge.
St. Peter's Anglican Church in South End, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), overlooking the harbor, has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1871. Initially established as a daughter church of St. Mary's, it operated in temporary premises under the guidance of missionary Rev. William Greenstock. In 1875, the church purchased part of St. Mary's cemetery land and built a permanent church, with the foundation stone laid by Bishop Merriman in 1876. Rev. George Smith, the first minister, designed and built the church, which was inaugurated in 1877.

St. Peter's played a vital role in serving the culturally diverse South End community. It housed a school for colored and Malay children, pioneering education up to standard 6. By 1878, it became a separate parish. Father Paddy, a legendary figure, served as both minister and school principal, contributing significantly to sports with the formation of Paladins Soccer Club and St. Peter's Hockey Club.

Despite its impact, a tragic chapter unfolded in the 1970s due to Group Areas removals. The church suffered vandalism as congregants left, leading to its deconsecration in 1972. The Fisherman's Cross, a symbol of hope, stood in front of the church, surviving through the years, later relocated to St. Mark and St. John's in Parkside.

By 1983, St. Peter's fell into ruin, prompting restoration efforts led by Mr. George Holliday. The Anglican Diocese sold the church for R30,000, and restoration began, with a vision to transform it into a museum depicting the city's history.

The Mandela Bay Development Agency took over the project, creating the St. Peter's Precinct. Partial restoration of the church includes a new representation of the Fisherman's Cross, timber walkway, an amphitheater with a wooden deck offering a stunning ocean view, and plans for a coffee shop and curio shops.

As of August 2023, the St. Peter's Anglican Church ruins on Gardener Circle are being revitalized, contributing to the historical heritage of South End and offering a splendid view from the newly constructed wooden deck and coffee shop.

This ongoing project aims to transform St. Peter's into a heritage site, contributing to the cultural and historical richness of Port Elizabeth.
Contact / ReservationsSt Peters Anglican Church Ruins - South End

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Latitude : -33° 58' 0.72" S | Longitude : 25° 37' 33.21" E


Groups Accepted Yes
Car Parking Available Yes
Day Visitors Allowed Yes
Disabled Access Yes
Children Allowed Yes


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