All are welcome in this church. Should you join us at Mass you will find yourself amongst an eclectic group made up of those who value traditional Catholic worship and teaching, and who come on Sundays from all over the Peninsula.
St Michael's is a parish in the Diocese of Cape Town, in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. It is the local Parish Church for Anglicans living in Observatory. Those living outside the area are also welcome to join by attending the Church and applying to be placed on the Parish Roll. Membership forms can be found at the back of the church.
St Michael’s Church
The building was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, the architect of St George' Cathedral and of the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The foundation stone was laid in 1898 and the completed building was consecrated on 18 June 1905. The organ was installed in 1906; it is the work of the English firm Norman and Beard and is one of the finest of its kind in the country. You can read more about the parish on the History page.
We use the form of Mass found in the Book of Common Prayer, South Africa. You can follow the liturgy in the Mass booklet found in the pews. On Sundays our Masses are as follows:
8.00 am Low Mass
10.00 am High Mass
10.00 am Sunday School
Occasionally there is an Orchestral HIgh Mass, usually on the greater feasts, whichbegins at 10:30 am. Information about when these are is found under the "Upcoming Events" on the left of the screen.
On the first Sunday of the month at 7.00 pm the choir sings a full Choral Evensong followed by the short and beautiful service of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The service is followed by a light supper in the Parish Hall.
The Mass is also celebrated during the week, in the Lady Chapel; it lasts about thirty minutes.
Attending a weekday Mass is one way of forming your own personal faith whilst praying with the Church. It is also an appropriate way of commemorating an anniversary or praying for any special need.
The weekday Masses are held at the following times:
Tuesday 6:30 pm
Wednesday 6:30 pm
Thursday 9:30 am
Saturday 8:00 am
Help and Advice
The Parish Priest is glad to help in time of need and to pray with those who wish it. Anyone with problems about their faith or personal relationships, wanting advice on how to pray or what to read is urged to come and talk about it.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we receive the assurance of God's forgiveness, as well as his grace and strength. Confessions are heard by arrangement with the Rector.
In the case of illness please inform the Parish Priest immediately. The Blessed Sacrament is available for the sick at any hour of the day or night. The Sacrament of Anointing with Holy Oil is available for those whorequest it.
At 9.30 am, on the first Thursday of each month, the Mass is offered especially for the sick, with the Anointing with Oil for all who come to the altar rail.
Requests for Prayers
Requests for prayers for the sick, or for any other reason, are always welcome and will be remembered at the altar.
The Shrine of Our Lady
Requests for prayers may also be written in the Votive Book at Our Lady's Shrine, situated at the entrance to the Lady Chapel. You are invited to light a candle to express your prayers before or after any service, but please remember to place a donation in the box to cover the cost of candles lit.
Icon of St Michael
There is also an icon of St Michael on the South side of the Crossing, where you might wish to light a candle. Again, please remember to place a donation in the box to cover the cost of candles lit.
St Michael's is eager to extend its membership and to open to others the wonderful truths of the Gospel of Christ. You are encouraged to bring your friends to any of the services and to tell others about St Michael's. Communicant members of any Christian denomination, in good standing, are welcome to receive the Blessed Sacrament.
Courses for children and adults, leading to the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Communion are given. Please consult the Parish Priest.
Growing and Learning
Adult courses are offered during the year, usually during the seasons of Lent and Advent.
The Sacrament of Baptism is normally administered at the conclusion of the 10.00 am Mass by arrangement with the Rector.
We welcome children to our services. There is also a Sunday School which meets at 10.00 am, in the Parish Hall during the High Mass. The children leave for their lesson after the Gospel, and return to receive Communion or a blessing.
Children who have reached the age of seven are prepared to make their Fist Communion. This preparation takes place during the Sunday School lessons.
Young people and students are welcome at all celebrations of the Mass, other services and Parish functions.
These are held on a regular basis to encourage fellowship and unity, all parishioners; family and friends are welcome.
Tea and coffee are served in the Church Hall every Sunday after the 8.00 am and 10.00 am Masses.
Young men and boys are invited to train as Altar Servers.
The Choir and Music
St Michael's has a strong musical tradition. In addition to the privilege of housing the largest Parish Church organ in Africa, the choir has achieved a reputation of choral excellence, both liturgically and through concert and television performances. The repertoire is wide and covers not only liturgical works written for the Anglican tradition, but also many drawn from the great European Catholic tradition. The parish choir sings at the 10.00am High Mass on feast days and on alternate Sundays, with a choir practice from 9.15am on that morning. There is also a choral group that sings regular orchestral masses during the year. This group meets for rehearsal Tuesday evenings. If you are interested in joining either or both of these choirs, please contact the Choirmaster.
Supporting St Michael’s
St Michael's exists solely on the voluntary support of its members, who are asked to give regularly and sacrificially each month or each week. Planned Giving Envelopes will be supplied on request. There are also a number of fund-raising events held through the year.
Couples wishing to be married in St Michael's should contact the Parish Priest three months before the date they have in mind. They must be baptised, not divorced, and willing to attend a series of classes which explain the teachings of the Church on Marriage.
Opportunities for Service
If you are interested in becoming involved in any of the activities of St Michael's - teaching children - serving at the altar - choir - youth work - flower arranging - fund raising - visiting the sick - community and neighbourhood service - hospital work - prayer groups - general maintenance work - please contact the Parish Priest.
The St Michael’s Community
We are a worshipping community, firmly in the Catholic tradition of the Anglican Church. Come along and worship with up if you feel attracted in any way, or call if you want any further information.
We do not present a religion that is easy going, but one that is challenging and has definite spiritual disciplines to help us move forward on our Christian pilgrimage.
We offer, to all who will hear, the life in Jesus Christ that brings hope, joy and peace to those who believe.
May God bless you.
The church is in St Michael's Road, off Lower Main Road, Observatory.
Contacting the Parish Priest
8 Howe Street
Telephone: +27 (0)21 447 6420
Facsimile: +27 (0)21 448 8172
Cell: 071 349 2587
Parish Office Hours
Monday to Thursday, from 9.30 am to 1.00 pm