Our Rector Rev’d Canon Cameron Martin was privileged to share in ministry with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the following is his response to and article /video on the Archbishops own calling to ministry .
The ‘Arch’, an outstanding, inspiring and outspoken Christen leader that I was privileged to share in ministry with as a priest in Johannesburg in his role as Bishop of the Diocese of Johannesburg and again in cape Town at his invitation as a priest in his role as Archbishop of Cape Town.
May God continue to inspire him and his wife ‘Mama’ Leah as he continues to be a beacon of hope for God’s inclusiveness reflected in God’s unconditional love for all Humanity and the Renewal of Creation.
Asked by the BBC to identify the defining moment in his life, Desmond Tutu spoke of the day he and his mother were walking down the street. Tutu was nine years old, A tall white man dressed in a black suit came towards them. In the days of apartheid in South Africa, when a black person and a white person met while walking on a footpath, the black person was expected to step into the gutter to allow the white person to pass and nod their head as a gesture of respect. But this day, before young Tutu and his mother could step off the sidewalk the white man stepped off the side walk as they passed and tipped his hat in a gesture of respect to her!
The white man was Trevor Huddleston, an Anglican priest who was bitterly opposed to apartheid. it changed Tutu’s life. When his Mother told him that Trevor Huddleston had stepped of the sidewalk because he was ” a man of God” Tutu found his calling. ” When she told me he was an Anglican priest I decided there and then that I wanted to be an Anglican priest too. And what’s more I wanted to be a man of God” said Tutu.
Huddleston later became a mentor to Desmond Tutu and his commitment to the equality of all human beings due to their creation in God’s image a key driver in Tutu’s opposition to apartheid.
My prayer on this Tuesday is that we can all strive to be ” people of God” who are willing to ” step off the sidewalk” and ” tip our hat” to our sisters and brothers, particularly those on the margins. May it be so….