Pretoria and Mamelodi

On the last Sunday before my return to the UK, we had kindly been invited by a family friend to attend a church service in the Mamelodi township just outside Pretoria.

Although it was a rainy Autumn day, whilst driving though Pretoria we could see why the city is popularly known as The Jacaranda City,
due to the enormous number of Jacaranda trees planted as street trees and in the parks and gardens. They were in full bloom ...



... adding subtle coloration to an otherwise dull and damp day.


We were met and warmly welcomed at the door of the church by the French Roman Catholic priest .. asked our names and led to the front pew of the church. Having spent some years working amongst the local people, he announced to all that he would be conducting the service in the Zulu language, but in deference to the visitors .. us, the only whites in the congregation .. he would also be giving some explanations in English.

Before starting the service, he introduced us by name to the congregation.
Smiling irreverently, I just couldn't help wondering if he was reading out the lunch menu !!

I cannot profess to being overly-religious, but the service was one of the best I have ever been to. Capped to perfection when a group of around twenty young lads .. who had been lounging in the front two pews opposite us .. suddenly burst into song in the most beautiful harmonies.

South Africa is world famous for its beautiful and melodious singing ..
this really was so unexpected and so truly moving, it brought tears to my eyes.