Father Grant’s ordination in SMS Chapel momentous and historic

BY MARLONÉ SURTEES

Father Grant Trewern (kneeling) being licensed as Chaplain of St Michael’s School for Girls, having taken the Oath of Canonical Obedience. Bishop Dintoe Letloenyane and Marloné Surtees officiate. Looking on, from the left: Mr Braam van Wyk, Diocesan Administrator, Itumeleng Pooé, Dean Lazarus Mohapi and the Chaplain of St Andrew’s School for Boys, Father Deon Lombard.

THE ORDINATION of Reverend Grant Trewern to the order of priest was a momentous and historic occasion, not only for the Church but for the school as well, as it marked the first time that an ordination took place at any school. It also coincided with the 145-year celebration of the school’s founding on Founder’s Day.

The two-hour service was preceded by months of preparation, patience and spiritual dedication. Discussions about the ordination service began in earnest in late 2018. It was decided that it would be a wonderful opportunity to bring the school and church together to celebrate the ordination and the founding of the school and thus foster the bond between church and school. Where better to do this than in the Chapel at St Michael’s?

The service included a number of priests and deacons, as well as Bishop Dintoe Letloenyane. Six St Michael’s learners also assisted, namely Moleboheng Mohapi (thurible), Onalenna Sethole (boat), Rethabile Lebakeng (crucifer), Marloné Surtees (bishop’s chaplain), Mpopi Molapo (acolyte) and Mpho Raliopane (acolyte).   

Rev Trewern was first called to ministry when he was thirteen years of age. He aspired to be a charted accountant and became a professional athlete during his early twenties. Then he realised that he was running away from the plan that God had already set out for his life. He decided to turn away from his own personal ambitions and embarked on the journey towards ordained ministry in the Church. Father Grant thus went through a discernment process and completed a four-year degree in Theology at the UFS as well as a post-graduate certificate in education at the Central University of Technology.

Reverend Trewern was then ordained to the diaconate, a position of service, and reminded that he must always be a servant to the people –  a promise that is re-emphasised at the ordination to the priesthood.

Father Grant envisions a future for the school in ministry where it will uphold the old traditions of the school and worship, but at the same time explore modern forms of worship and how the Anglican ethos can be fostered and built upon for future generations, considering that the chapel is an extension of the Anglican Church and has a rich history founded by the Anglican Church and the Sisters of the Community of St Michael’s and all Angels.

Staff and learners must work within the parameters of what it teaches and live out their faith according to what has been entrusted to them by the lives and teaching of the sisters. St Michael’s must strive to create a space for people to express their love for God in their own unique way, keeping in mind that the school is diverse. It is important to consider the African heritage and its influence on Christianity in the school. At the same time, the legacy that has been left to the school must be remembered and the traditions that have made St Michael’s what it is must be protected. All stakeholders should cherish what the school has and ensure that it is fostered for future generations.