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A Summary of the History of the Building of
St Margaret of Scotland, Bedfordview
Compiled by Beth Roberts

The building of the beautiful, traditional stone Anglican Church in ‘random stone-walling’ style, started in 1981 and was completed in 1986. The ‘koppie-klip’ stone was chosen by architect Thurston Raats.
The first baptisms took place in 1983 in the small, intimate Chapel with the beautiful antique wrought iron Altar gates.

At the entrance to the nave is the baptismal font, a traditional African grinding-stone as the basin. The font at the entrance to the Church is symbolic of baptism being our entrance into Christianity.
The building of St. Margaret of Scotland started with the sum of R7,500.00 in the bank. With the teamwork of the community, many miracles took place while the Church began to rise. A few of the miracles which were witnessed are:
-The ‘koppie-klip’ stone from the Germiston Civic Centre was delivered free of charge.
-The property on which our Church stands was made available for purchase by the Bedfordview Council.
-For 5 years, cement arrived as a gift from a parishioner year after year, to build the main Church.
-Cranes and riggers were lent for the erecting of the steel and scaffolding.
-A parishioner, Iona Sleep, went to the Isle of Iona, where St. Margaret had lived, and brought back a special piece of stone which was built into the existing walls.
– Bishop Simeon Nkwane gave us the Foundation Stone, gathered from the building of St. Mary’s Cathedral.
-A miracle indeed that a well-built Zulu artisan, named Bethuel, joined the construction team working on the Bell Tower. While work was in progress, William, a stone mason, tripped and fell out of the archway at the top of the tower. Bethuel moved like lightening to catch William by his ankle and held him until he was rescued by the Fire Department.

There are many anecdotes which may be found in the leaflet ‘A Walk around St Margaret’s’. The miracles of St Margaret’s were an inspiration to all those who worked on the building of the Church, and will be an inspiration to all those who worship here.

St Margaret of Scotland (1046 – 1093)
Summarized by Beth Roberts

During the rule of the Danish Kings of England, Margaret and her family, last members of the Anglo-Saxon royal family, went into exile in Europe. Well educated, mainly in Hungary, Margaret was still in danger after the Norman Conquest and took refuge in the court of Malcolm 111, King of Scotland. Intelligent, beautiful and devout, Margaret married King Malcolm in 1069. Initially rough in character, Malcolm, through love for his Queen, came to value what she valued and loved what she loved too. In her short life (she died at the age of 47) she achieved a great deal. Margaret was mainly responsible for the reform of the Church of Scotland. She cared for the sick and poor, helped with the foundations of the monasteries, churches and pilgrims’ hostels.

The royal couple had eight children of whom David became King of Scotland in 1124 and later was honoured as a Saint. Their daughter, Matilda, married Henry 1 of England.

When William the Conqueror died, his son William Rufus was crowned King of England. Hostilities rose again between Scotland and England. Margaret was ill when Malcolm and Edward went into battle. Both were killed in battle and Margaret died four days after the devastating news.

Queen Margaret was declared a Saint in 1250, mainly for her works of charity and encouragement of education and religion. In addition, Queen Margaret restored the great monastery at Iona and built the Holy Trinity Abbey at Dunfermline to be like a Scottish Westminster Abbey. She was named Patron of Scotland in 1673.