Newsletter 14 May | The Ascension – We are only sojourners here

For the followers of Jesus, his Ascension, which we celebrated on Thursday, was a turning point. From then on, they would live in the in-between time, between Jesus leaving this earth and his promised return.

For Christians, that means we are part of this world, but not of it. We are born here, live here, work here, love, and are loved here. We even eventually die here. But here is not our home. Here is not the source of our power. Here is not the focus of our hope.

What are we to do then? We don’t want to be so earthly-minded that we are of no heavenly good. But we don’t want the opposite to be true either. We don’t want to be so focused on “pie in the sky” that we ignore people suffering in our midst. We can’t solve the world’s problems, but surely, we can put a dent in them! How do we get the balance right?

Jesus’s Ascension reminds us that we are only sojourners here. Jesus has seated us in heavenly places with him at the right hand of God (Eph. 2:6), and we are called to see our activities from this eternal perspective. We are to engage the world. We are to use the resources at our disposal in the world to better it by advancing the Gospel. But we are never to put our trust in our use of them. Rather, we rely on the work of the Spirit to glorify Christ through our efforts while he tarries, and to make all things new again according to God’s promises when he returns.


My dear family of St John the Baptist and the broader Diocesan Family; I greet you in the warm affection that God, our heavenly Father, has for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

The purpose of my writing to you is summed up in the banner headline above.

The Very Revd Mark Derry, Dean of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth, and currently Rector of St John the Baptist Anglican Church, has been appointed Senior Priest of the Anglican Church of the Epiphany in Doha, Qatar, effective 1st August 2021.

The appointment is for a period of three years and Mark replaces the previous incumbent Paul-Gordon Chandler, recently appointed as Bishop of Wyoming, USA.
Mark, who was ordained deacon in 2003, and priested in 2004, has served in several parishes within the Diocese since leaving his position as Volkswagen Public Relations Manager more than 17 years ago, including as Rector of St Francis Xavier Anglican Church and St John the Baptist for the past seven years.

Mark has also been involved at various levels of Diocesan Leadership, not the least of which has been Canon: Bishop’s Chaplain and Bishop’s Executive Officer, Archdeacon to the Ordinary and, for the past four-and-a-half years, as Dean. He has also twice been Vicar General in his tenure as Dean.

This is a wonderful opportunity and spiritual challenge to be able to minister in the Gulf at the Anglican Church Centre in Doha.

The Diocese of Port Elizabeth, and more specifically St John the Baptist, where Mark came to a saving faith along with his wife Debbie, through one of the first Alpha courses, remains embedded in their DNA. Therefore, this is not a permanent “goodbye” as they will be returning, at some point in the future, to the Eastern Cape where their roots run deep.

Mark’s wisdom, integrity, and unselfish counsel will be sorely missed by me.
So, as a Diocese, we wish Mark and Debbie well as they take up this new and exciting ministry to an eclectic international community in the Gulf region.

God be with you till we meet again.
Yours in Christ


Do you want to go deeper into studying God’s Word but don’t want to register for a formal qualification? 

We are doing a survey to find out who will be interested in doing an 8 session lecture in the next few months on a week night.
It would take participants through the Apostle’s Creed to give a basic theological framework for a biblical studies foundation. This would be followed by an Introduction to the Bible: Hearing God speak.
The cost will be minimal and is not restricted to St John’s parishioners and you may invite other interested persons. Please email Mark Derry if you are interested (


All sermons are available on our website. Click here.

Piano for sale
R2 800 or nearest offer.

(Requires tuning.) All funds to support the Organ upgrade.

Spring cleaning?

Please remember that we collect and distribute clothes to our various outreaches.  We also are collecting for our Organ Fund and for our Outreach Mission fete, so any furniture, bicycles, household goods, records, CD’s, books  etc are all welcome. We can even arrange to collect if the items are too bulky to be dropped at church. Contact Allan Anderson (076 906 6334).

WESSA Algoa Bay Branch / Zwartkops Conservancy
Beach Clean-Up Wells Estate Beach

Saturday, 15 May 2021
from 09:30 to 10:30am
We will again be joining forces for the May beach clean-up.  We will supply bags, but please bring your own gloves if possible, water, hats and sunscreen. For more information contact Tim on 082 775 8816.

School holidays – See you next term!


Lockdown prayers every Thursday @ 2:30pm. All welcome!

Please contact Andrew (083 546 2451) for the Zoom link.

Dedicated Giving

We would appreciate it if you could deposit your dedicated giving contributions via EFT into our bank acount: 
Standard Bank
    Branch Code: 050417
    A/C Name: St John the Baptist Church
    A/C Number: 080281206
(Please make sure your number & reference is included)
Contact Allan at if you do not have a pledge number.

Look out for articles featuring St John’s in the latest Iindaba.
Click here for the latest Iindaba.

General Notice

Please be aware that the recycling area is currently closed until further notice.

Accommodation Request:

Tinky Hodgson is looking for a garden cottage/flatlet needed for her son. Preferably in the Walmer area. Ideally from 1 July but if there is something that comes up before or a month or two after that can work too. Please contact her on 084 445 4003.