Over the past twenty years Church of the Holy Spirit (CHS) has slowly seen God write our story. As our name implies, CHS actively seeks to be Holy Spirit led and we have been encouraged by the ways in which our journey has been guided and inspired through words and prayers of prophecy and also creatively through worship, painting and tapestries. God’s vision for our church is unfolding as a Holy place to worship God, home for prodigals, harbour for equipping and a hub for partnerships. Lately the CHS children have drawn a table, where “everyone is invited to eat at the table”. We wait with the promise of a brand-new building called the CHS Life Centre and our faith and foundations are being strengthened as we see God at work on the journey and our listening continues.
Part of a global family
CHS is an informal and lively church birthed in May 1999 as a plant from the Parish of St John’s Wynberg. We are part of the Anglican Church of South Africa (ACSA) – a global multi-cultural family with a heritage, structure of governance, and wide network and accumulated wisdom along with the faults, failures and foibles of any human family.
Planted in Kirstenhof
After much listening and prayer, leaders were called by God and funds given sacrificially to purchase an old warehouse in Kirstenhof, Cape Town which was then lovingly restored by our members. Situated at the intersection of diverse Cape Town communities, CHS welcomes people from all walks of life and encourages everyone to come as they are.
Worship and Prayer as Foundations
Worship has been part of the fabric of CHS from the start and we embrace prayer and seeking God’s voice as an essential part of life in Christ. Everyone, from young to old, is actively encouraged to get involved as they feel led. Whether it’s singing, playing an instrument, or in movement – we love to worship and pray together, and many songs are ‘home grown’ and shared in our services.
Church for Prodigals
With a calling to see people reconciled to God and one another, we have witnessed God’s faithfulness at work as we follow him. Our vision to be a home for prodigals, was celebrated by the donation of two watercolour paintings – by Charlie Mackesy – which illustrate the Father God embracing his returning son and daughter. Over years, we have seen relationships grow and many lives touched as we have shared lives and intentionally worked together in this safe, God-centred environment.
Church as a Harbour
We see CHS as a harbour for those hurt by life or experiencing struggles, a place for them to be refreshed, equipped and empowered. Gavin Thompson, a CHS member and celebrated cartoonist, used his creative skills through CHS member communication, to bring this harbour prophecy to life.
Church sent out
Central to our CHS values is to train and grow our members to be sent out to join God’s mission to the world, whichever way they are called. We are accompanied by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit as we set out our boats from the harbour and into stormy seas. The image is beautifully depicted through a colourful tapestry (created by long-standing CHS member Gillian Wilson) which hangs prominently at CHS as a lovely reminder of this calling.
Welcome to the Table
Inclusivity is central to how we do church. The young people of CHS are valued and play an important role helping us to understand and unfold God’s story. They are encouraged to listen to God and share what they have heard. In a recent exploration of the Great Banquet parable some CHS children were prompted to draw pictures of families and people eating meals together. This was a confirmation of the CHS call to be an inclusive place where everyone is welcome to the Lord’s table.
Call to the CHS Life Centre
We believe God is calling us to take a bold next step. Our vision is not just a church building used on a Sunday, but a new kind of facility – open to all throughout the week – to bring transformation to the people and communities around us. We believe the CHS Life Centre will fully enable God’s vision for us to be, first and foremost, a holy place to encounter the living God; a safe and welcoming home to bring people together; a resourcing harbour to empower and equip communities to extend hope and action; and a linking hub to connect and work alongside those with a similar call and passion.