Ministers Appointed to Clumber Church
A Record of Ministers Appointed Initially at Clumber And Then Later To The Kowie Circuit Of Which Clumber Now Forms A Part
17 August 1863 Purdon Smailes
27 August 1864 H C Holden
17 June 1866 George H Green
6 July 1867 Ebenezer D Hepburn
11 June 1871 George H Green
19 May 1872 John Longden
21 June 1876 John Wilson
5 March 1880 G A Rose
8 July 1883 W S Caldicott
18 July 1885 Oliver Carey
1889 Oliver Carey / Charles J Hepburn
23 July 1890 J Wilson Thompson
8 October 1893 W Smith Foggitt
1894 John R Saunders
19 July 1896 T Davies Rogers
30 July 1903 John T Smart
22 July 1909 Edwin W Coombe
14 September 1917 William Glasson
14 August 1922 H Weavers
24 July 1926 Owen R Thompson
20 August 1931 H Cecil Sheasby
10 July 1934 H B Richards
8 July 1936 Albert E Karg
19 March 1944 Andrew Wilson
1 September 1945 John McKee
10 April 1946 Albert E Karg
1954 Winston A Rimmington
29 January 1959 Peter R Young
26 January 1964 John P Scholtz
1968 Jack Ingoldby
1972 Kingsley Thomas
1973 John Stewart
1974 John L Aspeling ( Jack )
1977 Neville R Richardson
1980 Aubin de Gruchy
1982 David Young
1984 Margaret Anderson-Viljoen
1986 Margaret Anderson-Viljoen / July John L Aspeling ( Jack)
1987 Bathurst Circuit incorporated into new Kowie Circuit
1987 Brian Hazell
1989 Sydney Jones
1992 Margaret Anderson-Viljoen
1994 Gary Molver
1997 No Minister
2000 Ray Lutge
2006 Dennis de Lange
2007 Bevan Sylvester
2009 Peter Woods
2013 Kamogelo Monoametsi
2017 Sandile Kalipa
William Pike, final leader of the Nottingham Party, and local preacher, was the driving force behind the establishment of the Clumber Church. He served as preacher to the Nottingham Party from the moment they assembled on board the vessel Albury and continued this role to his death. We know that he also preached in "Tent Town" whilst the Nottingham Party was waiting for their wagons to transport them to the interior. John Ayliff here describes William Pike as a small, thin man in a long blue gown: "This surprised me, for I have never seen any minister in a blue gown before". Later, on location, William Pike and John Ayliff became good friends.
Once they arrived at Clumber, the Party met outside, under the trees, at the home of John Bradfield Snr on Sunday's. This they continued to do, until the first Church was built in 1824. Considering that this Party were in dire financial straits on leaving Nottingham, and, combined with the effect of crop failures in the first 3 years, this was a remarkable achievement.
Early preachers at Clumber included Rev William Shaw (b1798 - d1872), Rev John Ayliff (b1797 - d1862) and Rev Henry Hare Dugmore (b1810 - d1896).
Recollections of Rev John Ayliff 1825 - 1829
Saturday 19 November 1825: Arrived at William Pike’s and in the evening Mr D (Davis) preached from "The poor have the Gospel preached to them" – it was a good time. The next morning I preached on the subject "By grace are ye saved through faith."
Saturday 15 April 1826: Arrived at good old Bro Pike’s but as the evening was threatening rain, no person came to preaching. I felt in my body & rather heavy in my mind. [Ayliff followed this entry with a prayer for deliverance from his depression]. The next morning about 40 elephants passed through the Nottingham party alarming the people in a nearby house but no harm was done. At 10 am read and preached to a small company of attentive hearers.
Saturday 27 May 1826: Left again my dear partner and family to attend my appointments at Clumber, Wesley Mount and Port Frances. Arrived in the evening at good old Mr Pike’s but, the weather being dark, no person came to preaching.
Sunday morning 1 October 1826: Read prayers, preached and met the members of the Class, to the number of about 20. After which I ate some dinner with good old Mr Pike...
Saturday, February 15 1828: Left home today for to supply my appointment at Clumber, James’s party, Port Frances and Zoar [at Reit Fountain], this being the first time of my riding from Salem to that end of the circuit. The road appeared very long and dreary and in passing through the Kowie Pass I found I had just been preceded by a drove of elephants.... and I got to old Mr Pike’s just as the sun was going down.
Saturday 15 March 1828: Left home today to supply my appointment at Clumber, Bethany, Port Frances & Zoar. Nothing during the journey has transpired very particular, except that I found myself very poorly, which arose partly from the greatness of the heat.
Sunday 29 March 1829: Preached this morning at Clumber to a very large congregation from 103 Psalm, 13 verse. In the afternoon we had our quarterly Love Feast, when many stood forth to testify to God’s power and willingness to forgive sins. Hana Cloete spoke in English. ..afterwards we were under the painful necessity of putting a person ‘out of Society’ for 3 months for improper conduct. This I found a most painful task, but a work of necessity for the purity & honour of the Cause of God.
Saturday 9 May 1829: Preached this evening in Clumber to a goodly company from II Tim. 4:8. In consequence of Bro. Pike being confined to his bed, we had the evening service in his house. As Bro. P. Appeared to be ripening for Glory the subject was applicable to his case & we all found it a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.
Sunday 4 October 1829: (the anniversary of the Clumber Chapel). In the morning Bro. Davis preached from Psalm 85:7 to a very large congregation & the word was evidently attended with power. After preaching in the morning .. .about 120 persons sat down to a plain dinner laid out in the most Christian-like order under the shade of a tree & the people ate the meal with lightness of heart, rejoicing in the opportunity of meeting together on such an occasion. It reminded me of the primitive days of Christianity when the first Christians had a community of goods, having all things in common. After dinner the Love Feast [itself a primitive Christian practice] commenced, when the people bore a most blessed testimony of the power of Jesus to save. .....[after the Feast and tea drinking].... repaired to chapel to the evening service, when I preached from Luke 19:10. I felt peculiar sweetness of mind while preaching Jesus!
Sunday 27 December 1829: Read prayers and preached this morning in Clumber to a large congregation from Rev. 20:11-15. After preaching Baptized two children & then afterwards gave tickets to the members of the Society &, without waiting to dine, rode to Bethany...
Recollections of Rev Henry Hare Dugmore
"Clumber on a fine Sunday morning between ten and eleven o’clock presented a very animated picture. The days of buggies and spring carts had not yet arrived, but the settlers of both sexes, though not Roman citizens, belonged to the equestrian order. As Service Time drew near, little troops of raiders might be seen coming into sight from all sides. The Cawoods from .... Drift; the Mounceys, and Cockcrofts, and Bentleys from Harewood—these came from the greatest distance. From Wilson’s Party came the Purdon's, headed by the stately old soldier who had fought for King George in the wars of the last century. Bathurst sent in a troop of Hartleys from the opposite direction. The Half-Way Bush contributed the Goldswains, the Tarrs and the Elliot's.From the Lushington Valley direction came the Timms. Following the course of the Chapel brook came the Gradwells, the Foxcrofts, the Peels, the Hulleys, the Pikes, and the Goldings; Lemon Valley sent the Brents, the Birts, the Newths(a coupleof them old men-o’-war’smen,who could talk of Nelson’s sea victories), the Bradfields, the Hodgkinsons, and Joshua Davies, the old cavalry soldier, who could tell of the horse he rode at the battle of Fuentes d’Onoro, and whose wife was one of the most devoted Christians in the neighbourhood .The very features of the men stand up before me as in a mirror :
Young Thomas Hartley, scrupulously careful in dress and polite in manners, the graver brother, William, in after years school-superintendent, class leader, and local preacher; and ‘Gentleman Cawood,’ as James was called, from his appearance and manners. All these names, so far as I know, are borne by their great-grandchildren who have spread them far and wide, and have made the little one become a thousand."
The Clumber Church is steeped in history and has a surprising effect on people. Rev Peter Woods who was resident minister, describes how on his first service at Clumber Church, he sensed a strange energy present with him in the pulpit. I
am neither psychic nor clairvoyant," he insists, "I have only had one similar experience when I stood up to speak at the Grey High School lectern in Port Elizabeth and realised that I was standing exactly where Jan Smuts had stood".
That first day in the pulpit at Clumber elicited a similar feeling . Thinking little more of the encounter he preached at Clumber regularly with no reoccurrence of the eerie presence. It was only two years later while completing the Woods
family tree, that Peter discovered that Frederick William Woods, the original settler and indentured servant, had bought land on the Torrens River at Clumber. In December 1832 Woods married Sophie Birt in the Clumber Church! It
was his settler forbear that tapped his shoulder as he got into the pulpit that day.
When he told the story to Olive Pike, the organist, her comment was, "I always knew you were one of us"