Metropolitan Methodist Church
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The second-oldest remaining building facing Greenmarket Square is the Wesleyan or Methodist Church of which the foundation stone was laid in 1876. The architect of what was long considered the finest church in the Colony was Charles Freeman. He produced a masterpiece of high-Victorian Gothic Revival architecture, adhering closely to his source of inspiration. It is a basilica type of church, with the lean-to roof of the aisles broken by a series of gabled transverse roofs. A tower with a tall spire stands on the corner, beside the nave at the head of the aisle. The building has fine dressed shale walls, its plinth in granite, and an interior of great beauty with its high timbered roof and a gallery supported by cast-iron columns. Its Gothic Revival sculptured stonework is equalled only by that of the Oudtshoorn DR Church.
The building on the left in the old black and white photograph, above left, is the Old Town House.
Rev. Barnabas Shaw, pioneer Wesleyan Methodist missionary to South Africa, who after his arrival in Cape Town on 14 April 1816, established South Africa's first Wesleyan Methodist mission station at Leliefontein in Namaqualand.
Rev. Barnabas and his wife, Jane, were buried in the Somerset Road Cemetery, Cape Town. After the closure of this cemetery, the gravestone was removed and placed inside the Metropolitan Methodist Church. (See photograph right).
The Central Methodist Mission website gives a brief history of the church.
(SAB Dec 1932:11; SALQB Dec 1967:58)
All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.
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