Today, while on my way to Diepwalle Camping Decks in the heart of the Knysna Forest I made a quick stop in the centre of Knysna to take some pictures of another Sophy Gray church so I entered through the old wooden gates to explore some more.

Sophy’s stone churches stole my heart and now I am on a quest to tick them off one by one.  This quaint church with its tranquil garden is situated in the Main Road, but is easily missed when one is in a hurry.

sophy gray

John Rex., son of the legendary George Rex, laid the foundation stone in 1849 and soon after in 1850 construction started on plans adapted and provided by Sophy.  Her church, the first in Knysna, is standing in front of the newer, darker church building which was only constructed in 1926.

new church

The gardens are well kept and the green grass, edged with white flowers, provided a good back drop for pictures.  According to the notice board at the gate it states no sleeping on the church grounds, amongst others, but some vagrants enjoyed a New Years nap in the shade of the church garden.

Gamkaberg 019

We spent some time walking through the old graveyard and noticed some more Rex graves and also a grave of John Benn in the gardens.  Can this be the famous skipper that served Knysna in the early days?  I think I have some research to do ….

Gamkaberg 008

Unfortunately the church doors were locked so we could not take a peek inside.  Maybe next time when I pass by this way.

From the 40 churches where Sophy was involved I have managed to tick off 10 from the list. I think this may be a good enough excuse to take more trips in 2016 to find the others dotted all over South Africa.

My ticked list so far:  

  • St George, Knysna 1849
  • School Chapel, Beaufort West 1849
  • St Marks, George 1849
  • Holy Trinity, Belvidere, Knysna 1851
  • Christ Church, Beaufort West 1852
  • St Pauls, North End, Port Elizabeth 1854
  • St Judes, Oudtshoorn 1860
  • St Augustine, Frazerburg 1869
  • All Saints, Uniondale  1869
  • St Peters, Plettenberg Bay 1879
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