DIOCESE OF ST JOHN’S, KAFFRARIA / DIOCESE OF ST JOHN
Cathedral: St Andrew’s, Lusikisiki, until about 1882; after that, St John the Evangelist, Umtata.
Arms apparently adopted by Bishop Callaway in 1873. The blazon reads:
Azure, St John the Evangelist Argent, holding a chalice Or.
Brownell writes: “The figure of the Patron Saint as the single charge in the arms of this Diocese has ancient precedent. For example the arms of the Diocese of Salisbury, England, show the Virgin Mary with the Holy Child, those of Orkney show St Magnus and those of Galloway, St Ninian. The Cathedral church in Umtata is also dedicated to St John.
“Together with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the Episcopal Church of Scotland played an important part in the establishment and funding of this Diocese. The principal colours of the shield are those of the arms ascribed to St Andrew, Patron Saint of Scotland. Indeed, it was at one time suggested that the Bishop of St John’s, Kaffraria, should be counted as a Scottish Bishop, not South African, but the suggestion came to nought.” [sic]
The diocese (intentionally or unintentionally) bears the name of a Portuguese vessel, the São João, which was wrecked along South Africa’s east coast 8 June 1552. Although a site on the coast of KwaZulu-Natal has now been identified as that of the São João’s sinking, it has traditionally been associated with Pondoland and specifically the mouth of the Mzimvubu at Port St Johns.
Lusikisiki is some 25 km inland from Port St Johns on high ground overlooking the valleys of the Mzimvubu and the neighbouring Matafufu and Madede rivers.
The first Bishop of St John’s was Henry Callaway. He was succeeded in 1886 by B L Key. After him came J W Williams (consecrated 1901), E H Etheridge (1903), T S Gibson (1942) and H St J T Evans (1952). Bishop Evans was in office when the diocese was granted arms by the College of Arms in 1954.
Die wapen mag soos volg geblasoeneer word:
In blou, Sint Johannes die Evangelis in silwer, met ’n goue miskelk in die hand.
 Heraldry of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, 1847-2000, by F G Brownell, published by Heraldsholme CC, Pretoria 2002.
The paragraphing is mine.
Source of image: Line drawing in Brownell’s book, coloured by the webmaster using MS Picture It!
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Comments, queries: Mike Oettle