Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Anglican Diocese of Cape Town

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Parishes  47
Established  1847
Phone  +27 21 469 3760
Rite  Anglican
Archbishop  Thabo Makgoba
Country  South Africa
Anglican Diocese of Cape Town
Archdeaconries  Cathedral, Athlone, Constantia, Groote Schuur, Ibongoletu, Rondebosch, Waterfront
Suffragan  Garth Counsell, Bishop of Table Bay
Address  Zonnebloem, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa
Cathedral  St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town
Ecclesiastical province  Anglican Church of Southern Africa

The Diocese of Cape Town is a diocese of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) which presently covers central Cape Town, some of its suburbs and the island of Tristan da Cunha, though in the past it has covered a much larger territory. The Ordinary of the diocese is Archbishop of Cape Town and ex officio Primate and Metropolitan of the ACSA. His seat is St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town.


Desmond Tutu was archbishop from 1986 to 1996 and is currently archbishop-emeritus. The current archbishop is Thabo Makgoba. Because of the archbishop's responsibilities as primate, many of his diocesan duties are delegated to a suffragan bishop known as the Bishop of Table Bay, an office currently held by Garth Counsell.


The diocese came into being in 1847 with the consecration of the first bishop, Robert Gray, and was the first diocese of what was to become the Church of the Province of Southern Africa and subsequently the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. The original territory of the diocese, which had previously fallen under the Diocese of Calcutta, included the whole of Southern Africa.

In 1853 the territory was reduced by the creation of the Diocese of Grahamstown in the eastern parts of the Cape Colony and the Diocese of Natal in the Colony of Natal. In 1859 a Diocese of St Helena was created for Saint Helena and Ascension Island. In 1863 the Diocese of Bloemfontein was created, taking over all the territory north of the Orange River and the Drakensberg mountains. The territory of the Cape Town diocese was further reduced in 1911 by the creation of the dioceses of George and Kimberley and Kuruman. Finally, in 2005 the diocese was divided into three, with the part to north of the city of Cape Town becoming the Diocese of Saldanha Bay and the part to the east of the city becoming the Diocese of False Bay.


The Diocese has four diocesan schools:

  • Diocesan College
  • Herschel Girls' School
  • St. Cyprian's School
  • St. George's Grammar School
  • Coat of arms

    The diocese has borne arms since its inception. The arms, designed by Bishop Gray, combined elements of those of the dioceses of Durham and Lincoln and of Baroness Burdett-Coutts, who financed the establishment of the diocese.

    In their original form, the arms were : Quarterly Azure and Sable: I and IV, a lion rampant Argent; II and IV, three open crowns palewise Or; on a cross throughout Or an anchor in fess point Sable and in honour point the shield of arms of Baroness Burdett-Coutts; the shield ensigned with a Bishop's mitre proper.

    The arms were revised by the College of Arms and granted in 1952. The revision consisted of replacing the Burdett-Coutts shield with a stag's head erased Gules, between the attires a pheon Azure. These arms were registered at the Bureau of Heraldry in 1968.


    Anglican Diocese of Cape Town Wikipedia