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St Mary's Anglican Church
Potchefstroom, North West

John George CRONE: Architect
Type:Anglican Church
Street:Auto Lane

A visit by the first Bishop of the Orange Free State, Bishop Twells (see also Modderpoort), resident in Bloemfontein in February 1862, led to the establishment of the first Anglican Church in Potchefstroom. It was early in 1865 that Reverend W Richardson arrived to begin work on the first church north of the Vaal River. The foundation stone was laid by President Marthinus Wessel Pretorius on 25 March 1867. After the First War of Independence (1880-1881), a chancel was added in memory of Reverend Richardson and the men who fell in the siege.

After the first church was demolished, the present St Mary's was completed in 1891 it was designed by John George CRONE and built by Augustus Falconer. The foundation stone was laid on 25 March 1890. In August, when the walls were almost complete, the chancel arch collapsed, leading to the resignation of CRONE together with some members of the building committee. John William GAISFORD, an architect connected with the church for over 40 years came to the rescue. An opening service was held on 14 June 1891 without a ceiling and without the interior walls being plastered. Both ceiling and walls were completed in 1897. With the arrival of Reverend A Devonshire in 1911 and his motivation, a war memorial plaque was erected in the church after the First World War (1914-1918). The memorial hall was formally opened by HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught, Governor General of the Union of South Africa.

(Richardson, 2001: 268)

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.