Rector Terry Lester has borne witness to death and loss for many years, both in his time as a priest and in his personal capacity. He has learned that loss cannot be compartmentalised. Instead, he views it as a journey filled with hills and valleys.
Christ Church Constantia is over 120 years old. Made of rough stone, it sits wisely on the corner of Constantia Main Road and Parish Road, like an old oracle in her favourite chair, bearing witness to the intersection’s bustling passing parade.
Squirrels scatter up the grove of pine trees sheltering the church as rector Terry Lester double-times to his office to meet me after enjoying his morning toast.
A priest for over 30 years, Terry Lester has spent a lot of time in grief’s trenches fathoming the harsh injustices of the world which stretch down his lineage.
Lester’s paternal grandmother, Christine, was born in Genadendal in 1896 of Khoi slave origin. When Christine’s first husband died – she married when she was just 17 years old in the Moravian Hill community in District 6 – she became one of the few single women to own property, which she bid on with success in Constantia Valley,…