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1832 Methodist Church, Salem, Albany District

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Post date: 07/08/2012
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History: This church complex, consisting of the 1832 re-erected church, the 1850 neo-Gothic church and the early nineteenth century ring-wall, is closely associated with the 1820 Settlers, as well as the start of Methodism in South Africa. The corner-stones of these two churches were laid on 1 January 1832 and 18 July 1850, respectively.

The British Settlers of 1820 came to South Africa in groups or parties under various leaders. The largest of these parties was led by H. Sephton and was assigned to Salem. It was accompanied by the Rev. William Shaw, a Methodist Minister of deep sincerity and great devotion. Besides all his other activities, he started to build a chapel as soon as the Settlers were established at Salem. The foundation stone was laid on New Years Day, 1822, and the church was inaugurated on 31st December, 1824, precisely two years later, but in 1832 it was demolished and replaced by a far more substantial building. During the wars against the Xhosa in subsequent years, the little church served as a refuge for women and children and sometimes housed them for months on end. It is still in use as a chapel.
Visual Description: The little 1820 Settler village of Salem is situated barely 24 kilometres south of Grahamstown on the road to Alexandria.
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Construction Date: 1832
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