History of the Anglican Chaplaincy at UCT

According to Carol Archibald, the Anglican archivist at Wits University Library, the Rev Gordon P. Jodrell Day was UCT Chaplain from 1935 until 1944. The Rev Jodrell Day was also licensed as Assistant Priest at St Paul's from 1935 to 1939. Richard Simons, in his unpublished history of the parish, mentions, "In October 1935 (Gordon) Jodrell Day announced his intention to work fulltime with young adults both at the University of Cape Town and in the Diocesan Ordination Candidates Committee." (Simons, page 203). When the Parish drew up a Parish Profile in 2000, it lists "1935: Jodrell Day is appointed curate to serve young congregants, especially UCT students." Shaen Hinchliff says: "A few years ago, George Copeland, then in his 80s, mentioned in my presence that Fr Jodrell Day had had a great influence as UCT chaplain on him (George) when he had been a UCT student. This surprised me at the time because, although Jodrell Day was a friend of my parents, I had never heard any mention of him ever having been UCT chaplain." Perhaps he was an assistant priest at St Paul's with emphasis on UCT students.

In 1944 the Rev P.H.S. Sitters was appointed UCT Chaplain until 1957. A pamphlet released in about 1995 when funds were being sought for the conversion of Cambria states: "Part-time chaplains to UCT must go back to the beginning of the century. But the first full-time chaplain was Padre Sitters, a Czechoslovakian. (Sitters was also a well-known religious broadcaster on SABC.) He was chaplain to both the Anglicans and YMCA in the late 1940s. "Padre" Sitters sounds a very interesting fellow. If any of you reading this know more about him, please let us know.

Further records need to be accurately researched using the Priest Licensing Book at Bishopscourt, but using the Anglican Church Year Books approximate dates can be obtained. The Rev John Stanley Carter (late the Rt Rev Bishop John Carter, Bishop Suffragan of Johannesburg) was UCT chaplain from 1957 to at least 1961. He was listed in 1961 but may have left in 1962 or '63. Bishop Leslie Stradling invited him to be Bishop Suffragan of Johannesburg, where he remained until the 1970s, when he returned to the Cape as Rector of St Margaret's, Fish Hoek. He served as PEO under Archbishop Tutu but retired to Cape Town and served at Ascension, Devil's Peak. He died a few years ago.

The Year Book of 1964 lists the Rev C. D. McWilliams as UCT Chaplain and he served until 1966. The Rev Roy Barker, who later became Sub-Dean of the St George's Cathedral, Cape Town, and Dean of Grahamstown Cathedral, succeeded him. He left the Chaplaincy in 1973 and was succeeded by the Rev R.P.J. Le Feuvre, who had been assistant priest at Somerset West and would later become Lecturer at St Paul's College and in 1987 Bishop of the Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist (in what was then the Northern Transvaal - now Limpopo Province).

From 1977 until 1987 it was the Rev John D. Read who was Chaplain. The former Dean of Cape Town, the Very Rev Rowan Smith, was Chaplain for a year. No one was appointed until 1991 when the Rev David Hart occupied the post until 1993. Once again a longish "interregnum" occurred. During these interregnums the Rector of St Paul's or his assistant acted as Chaplain. In 1997 the Rev Wilma Jakobsen was appointed and the connection with St Paul's was made stronger. Rev Wilma departed in 2003 and in 2005 the Rev Christopher Swartz was appointed UCT Chaplain, followed by the Rev Matt Esau in 2013. In 2018 Fr Isaias Chachine was appointed Chaplain.

As a parish, we commemorate our former Rectors and those parishioners who followed God's call to the Priesthood with boards hanging in the church. Perhaps we also need to remember the former Chaplains with their own boards. An idea: Perhaps someone might want to donate the UCT Chaplaincy board as a memorial to a UCT academic?

UCT Chaplains
G.P. Jodrell Day 1935 to 1944
P.H.S. Sitters 1944 to 1957
John S. Carter 1957 to abt1961
C.D. McWilliam 1963 to 1966
R.T. Barker 1966 to 1973
R.P.J. Le Feuvre 1973 to 1977
J.D. Read 1977 to 1987
R. Smith 1988
Vacant 1989 to 1990
D. Hart 1991 to 1993
Vacant 1994 to 1996
W. Jakobsen 1997 to 2003
Vacant 2004
C.J. Swartz 2005 to 2012
M. Esau 2013
I. Chachine 2018
To read more about Ansoc and ASF at UCT go to their website