The Diocese stretches from the Atlantic coast of the southern Cape Peninsula in the west to the Overberg region of the Western Cape in the east, and from Cape Agulhas – the southern-most tip of Africa – in the south to the edge of the Koue Bokkeveld in the north.
It incorporates communities ranging from the densely-populated suburbs of Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain on the Cape Flats to the seaside towns of False Bay and the southern Cape coast. Its people work in every kind of undertaking from the factories of Cape Town to the wheat farms of the Overberg and the fishing industry on the coast. Parishes offer services in three languages – Afrikaans, English and IsiXhosa.
The Diocese of False Bay was carved from the eastern part of the old Diocese of Cape Town, mother diocese of the Anglican Church in southern Africa. Established in 1847, the Diocese of Cape Town initially encompassed vast tracts of land in the south-eastern corner of Africa. Its 20th century boundaries were delineated where it bordered the diocese of George to the east, Kimberley and Kuruman to the north-west and Namibia to the north.
However, as early as the 1960s it became clear that the Diocese of Cape Town, which traversed an area up to the Namibian border in the north and halfway to the town of George in the east, was becoming unmanageable. Nearly 40 years and seven commissions of inquiry later, the old diocese resolved to “multiply” and become three.
The inauguration of the Diocese of False Bay was the first step in this process. The Diocese comprises 50 parishes in six archdeaconries, with diocesan headquarters centred on the town of Somerset West. Fifty stipendiary clergy and 35 non-stipendiary (self-supporting) clergy serve the Diocese, 10 of them women.