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Hope Church

Old Hope Congregational Church - Somerset East, Eastern Cape  © Photo via Suzi-k @ Wikimedia Commons

Hope Church

The Congregational Church of Somerset East, also known as the Hope Church, has an interesting history. Shortly after the death of Reverend John Evans of Cradock, his wife, Dorothy Evans settled in the newly established town of Somerset, which would later become Somerset East. She died in 1842, and was buried in the old graveyard behind the Somerset East Museum. In her will, the house in Paulet Street was bequeathed to the London Missionary Society.

Towards the end on 1842, the London Missionary Society in South Africa requested an allowance of twenty pounds per annum from Sir George Napier who was the Governor of the Cape at the time. The requested funding intended for payment of a teacher of coloured classes in Somerset. The funds were granted, and minister was sent to South Africa a short time later. Following the arrival of the new minister, a church for the Coloured Dutch community was erected in 1844 in Dorothy Evans' yard. The London Missionary Society later became part of the Congregational Church. The Hope Church has been declared a national monument.

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