Graaf Reinet – Groot Kerk

Graaf Reinet – Groot Kerk

The Groot Kerk or Fourth Kerk was designed along the lines of Salisbury Cathedral in UK and designed by Charles Freeman along Victorian-Gothic lines, and built by Grant and Downie at a cost of 18000 pounds.

The building can seat 1500 people and the spire is 45.72m high.

The first sermon was held by Prof. De Vos on 11 September 1887. The first minister was Charles Murray who arrived in Graaf- Reinet in August 1866 and Reinet House where he lived became a stopover for Missionaries like Dr Moffat and Livingstone.

Graaf- Reinet had been established in 1786 and the first church started in Church Street in 1792, but only completed in 1799, but was burnt down in the same year. The second church was completed in 1800 on the present site. A third church was built on the site in 1822 which was in use until 1886, when the present ‘Groot Kerk’ was built. The foundation stone was laid by Rev Charles Murray, the son of Rev Andrew Murray.

The first church  later the Parsonage was built in 1812. This album display the interior, exterior and monuments in the grounds of the Church, which dominates the skyline. For 90 years a member of the Murray family presided over the churches.