The Spiritual Side of Pinelands (Part 2)

The small Catholic community in Pinelands became an independent parish in 1946 but had no church building. While Holy Mass took place at the Civic Hall, baptisms, funerals and weddings took place at St Patricks in Mowbray. The parish priest lived at Vincent Pallotti as the chaplain to the sister’s congregation. The church was originally to be built at Central Square where the NG Kerk now stands. A plot in Scouts Place was offered but instead a plot in Kingsway was agreed upon. However later it was not seen to be suitable and exchanged for the present site where the church was built in 1949. In 1972 the building was expanded and included a hall designed by Pineland’s resident Mr Miszewski. The hall enabled a private school to be established.

Pinelands Baptist church started when, in 1949, residents gathered at the home of Dr Turner in Spring Gardens before moving their meetings the Guide Hall. In 1952 a hall was built with the sanctuary being built at a later stage.

In 1952 St Andrews had its beginnings in the home of Gus Gain who became the headmaster at Simonstown High with the assistance of John Goss who became the principal at Pinelands High. St Andrews was built in what was then the new section of Pinelands built for ex-servicemen returning from the war in 1947. As numbers grew, the Pinelands Development Company agreed to build the church and in October 1952 the building was formally dedicated.

The most recent main line church is the Congregational Church which had its first meeting in 1960 at the home of Pat Leonard before moving to the Guide Hall until the church was built in Nerine Ave in 1966. More recently the hall is being used by the neighbouring Grace School for classrooms.

The land off Ringwood Drive next to Kindroggen Flats was owned by a succession of churches who were unable to raise the necessary finances. However, in 1997 the Alpha and Omega Ministries purchased the land and were able to build. The church caters mainly for the Greek community in Cape Town and houses the administrative offices of the International Outreach to the Greek community.

In 2000 the Society of St Pius X, a Roman Catholic religious order, purchased the Pinelands Post Office building on Central Avenue and converted it into the Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament. In 2021 the church expanded by purchasing the Presbyterian Church property on the other side of Central Square.

In 2001 50 Pinelands Muslim families met in the Pinelands High School Hall to begin the process to build a Madrassa in Pinelands. By 2005 the 400 Pinelands residents  adhering to the Muslim faith were needing their own place of worship. The abandoned Municipal Nursery at the end of Nursery Way become available. It was being subdivided with one portion being sold to the adjoining Nightingale Close flats for garages. In 2006, the Pinelands Muslim Society successfully put in a bid for the second portion to build a Madrassa. However, on-going administrative and zoning interpretation issues kept delaying the process. This lack of progress on the side of Council pushed it into the political arena. Finally in 2010 when The Pinelands Muslim Association approached the High Court, the city agreed to settle, and the land was transferred. In 2015 the media carried a front-page story about a Pinelands resident complaining about the call to prayer, but this had no support from other residents. In a similar vein, the Sunday morning bell tolling of St Stephens Church by a single unhappy resident had no community support. During the height of the COVID pandemic there was an interfaith food relief response for Pinelands residents who needed assistance.