Meet our Chaplain
The Kingswood College Chaplain, Rev Madika 'Dix' Sibeko was inducted in February 2012 as the first woman chaplain at the College. The service was led by Rev James Headbush and Bishop Musi Losaba. Reverend Madika “Dix” Sibeko took over the reins as chaplain from Rev Tim Rist who moved to the Salem Circuit as Superintendent Minister. Rev Sibeko has had previous experience in the role of school chaplain at fellow Methodist school, St Stithian’s, where she was based for five years before working for the Methodist Church of Southern Africa at the John Wesley College in Pretoria for three years. This teaching experience led her in 2008 to spend a year teaching at Cambridge University in mission and ministry courses, before returning as chaplain to the Marsh Memorial Homes in Cape Town. Besides her wide-ranging teaching experience, Rev Sibeko has worked extensively with youth groups and in counselling, pastoral care and ministry, so she is well prepared for her new role.
Below, Rev Dix Sibeko (centre) is congratulated by Chapel Stewards Christine Collett (left) and Jason Woodley (right) after her induction at a moving chapel service in Feburary 2012.
The Memorial Chapel
The first suggestion that Kingswood should have a Chapel of its own was made on 14 March 1903 at the first Annual General Meeting of the Old Kingswoodians Club. It was proposed that 'some permanent memorial should be erected to the memory of any Old Kingswoodians that had fallen in the late war. The President (E G Gane) remarked that the only fitting place for such a memorial was a School Chapel'.
The College, at that time, had suffered the loss of two old Kingswoodians in the Anglo-Boer War. But then came World War I, followed by World War II, during which the College losses were horrendous. It was at the Reunion of the Old Kingswoodians in 1946 that the issue of a Memorial Chapel was taken up in earnest. Mr Jack Slater, the Headmaster at the time, proposed that the Old Kingswoodians should aim at raising funds for the building of a College Chapel, a long-felt need. A chapel would help develop the corporate spirit of the College and it would be a place where things precious to the School could be kept.
And so the Chapel scheme was launched. Over the years from 1946 until the building of the Chapel began in 1961, much thought, research and planning went into the project. Gradually two principles began to take root in the minds of the committee charged with the responsibility of building the Chapel:
a) because we have scholars at Kingswood from various denominations it must be a building in which they can feel spiritually at home;
b) it must be a building that would house not only the whole School but also be in keeping with the other buildings on the campus."
With these two goals held firmly in mind, the committee set out to build, as far as it was able, a Chapel on traditional ecclesiastical lines and in the Kingswood style of architecture. The Chapel is, therefore, cruciform in shape to remind us that God's plan for the salvation of mankind cost Jesus Christ the Cross.
It seemed right that here in a place of Christian education, even the structure of the Chapel should teach and bear its silent testimony to things eternal. Therefore, it should be traditionally correct in its architectural details.
The Chapel is central to school life at Kingswood.
Commemoration Methodist Church - our first spiritual home
Commemoration Church, situated in the centre of Grahamstown, has long been associated with Kingswood College. It was the Leaders' Meeting of the Commemoration congregation that pledged support for the idea of the 'Committee of Gentlemen' in 1892 to found the School.
In their book Still Upon a Frontier, the history of Kingswood's first hundred years, Rev Howard Kirkby and his wife Joyce write as follows :
'Once the School opened, its scholars attended the Church regularly. It was also the decision of the Leaders that the School be seated in the gallery. Whether this was because the trustees of the Church feared that the downstairs pews would fall victim to the penknives of the scholars (which they did!) is not known, but the gallery balustrade and pews illustrate the art and the craft of schoolboy carving and their yearning for immortality!'
(Click here to see some photographs of Old Kingswoodians returning to find their names carved into the gallery pews of Commem.)
While Kingswood pupils now worship in the College Chapel, the link with Commem Methodist Church is still maintained.