Chairman address 2022

Our Diocesan Theme which was introduced in the Bishop’s Charge in December last year is “New wine is put into new wineskins and so both are preserved” (Matthew 9:17). The theme is undergirded by three sub-themes, i.e. Remembrance, Identity, and Defining the New Normal.
Remembrance calls for an appreciation of the past, a reflection on where we came from, and is essentially a call to allow our blessed history to fund our hope and dreams for the future. Identity calls for a critical look at who and what we are, so that we can determine if we have or are compromising our calling. Lastly, Defining the New Normal is an exercise in coming to terms with the changes which the C-19 pandemic and our ever-changing VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) context demands.
Tumelong Mission was originally a settlement in Lady Selborne. It was established in about 1939 at the request of Bishop Wilfred Parker. A large nursery school (early childhood development centre) was established on the premises which already housed the church and the mission house. The staff of Tumelong were available to the Church and community and handled anything from sacristan work in the church, Sunday School work, first aid for victims of assault, training for church workers, etc. Tumelong was not an apolitical ministry and got caught up in the resistance to the oppressive laws during the establishment of grand-apartheid in the 1950’s. One of its earliest Wardens, Mrs Hannah Stanton was imprisoned and later deported.
Tumelong Mission in Lady Selborne was eventually demolished by the Apartheid regime in 1966 and the work continued from the Cathedral premises, and spread to include projects in Hammanskraal, Ga-Rankuwa, and Mabopane. These projects included sewing clubs, school-feeding schemes, selling high-protein foods, developing curriculums for Sunday Schools and facilitating the training of teachers.
Tumelong has survived further disruptions like the 1976 unrest and the resultant changes in staff, location, and projects. Today it’s administrative headquarters is at the St Saviour’s Church premises in Pretoria West, and its work has footprints all over the Diocese of Pretoria.
Today Tumelong is ministry of the Diocese of Pretoria which focuses mostly on relief and development and it does this work in partnership with HOPE Africa (an Anglican Church of Southern Africa entity). Its program of work covers HIV/Aids; Fill a Bag (Food parcels and clothes), Bottle Tops and Bread bag Tags to exchange for wheelchairs, Orphans and Vulnerable Children (in collaboration with the Starfish Greathearts Foundation), Early Childhood Development, and Family Values.
Our stated objective remains to focus on the actual needs of the people and to provide material and other means of support to those in need regardless of religion, race, or creed. It also includes the building of sustainable quality of life through the provision of skills in order to overcome hunger, poverty, ad unemployment.

Defining the ‘New Normal’
The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the critical need for a ministry such as Tumelong. Through its vast network it has helped the Church in the Diocese of Pretoria to respond to the need for relief, care and development amongst those who were deeply affected by the pandemic. In this Tumelong were greatly assisted by the governments’ Solidarity Fund (through HOPE Africa), many of the churches in the Diocese of Pretoria, and a number of individuals who provide support.
One of the positive developments in our response to the ‘new normal’ is the cementing of the partnership with the Department of Health, and the beginning of a new partnership with PEPFAR.
The need for Tumelongs’ work has become more pronounced during the pandemic and it is indeed heartening to see how well the staff is responding to the increased demands.
Immense gratitude must go to Paulina Tlaka (director) and her team, the Tumelong Board, our funders and partners, the parish churches of the Diocese of Pretoria and the individuals who support the mission of Tumelong.
We face the future with confidence, since we are able to see how Tumelong has been provided for in the past. We remain committed to provide care, relief, and development to the holy faithful people of God.

The Rt Revd AJ Kannemeyer
Chairman of the Tumelong Board

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