Blessed are the Peacemakers GFS 2019

Diakonia Council of Churches, whose legacy of working towards a just society for more than four decades, once again calls people of faith to our annual ecumenical Good Friday service at dawn on Friday 19 April.

The event which is a highlight of Durban’s Easter weekend activities begins at dawn at the Durban Exhibition Centre (DEC) before processing – in silence – through the streets of the city, to the Durban City Hall.

The well-established tradition of the ecumenical Good Friday Service has become not only the flagship of Diakonia but also a major event in the Durban calendar, attended by thousands of people who gather together at the most auspicious time for Christians, to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and his death on Calvary.

Each year, the service highlights a particular aspect of national suffering or injustice. At this crucial time in our country’s history, the service this year will focus on the theme Blessed are the Peacemakers.

“We will be reflecting on whether we as people of faith are truly instruments of peace. How we can use our faith to bring peace to our homes, our communities, our country and the world? Our country is going through a turbulent period especially with the upcoming general elections we pray for peace and need to ask ourselves if we are doing what God wants us to do in our land,” says Nomabelu Mvambo-Dandala: Executive Director of Diakonia Council of Churches.

The sermon will be delivered by Revd Thato Tsautse. Revd Thato represents the Anglican Church and has recently relocated from the Diocese of Natal to the Diocese of Pretoria where she serves as the assistant priest at St Francis Waterkloof. She became one of the first girl-servers in the early 1980’s at St Barnabas Anglican Church and later served as youth leader before serving in many structures of the church.

“Jesus Christ was a social activist so we as the church and people of faith must address issues affecting our society,” GFS preacher Revd Thato Tsautse.

She responded to her calling in 2008 started her Fellowship of Vocation (FOV) in 2009 and was ordained into Priesthood in 2015. Revd Thato has a very impressive background in the business and legal arena specialising in corporate shipping. In 2011, Tsautse was the first female to be appointed as President  in the history of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Her passion for social justice has made her a close and long-standing friend of Diakonia.

Meditative singing will start at 5.15am in the Durban Exhibition Centre, where-after the first part of the service will take place at 5.45am.

The congregation will proceed through the streets of Durban in silent public witness.

The service will conclude at approximately 8.15am at the Durban City Hall with the flowering of the Cross as a show of commitment by all present to act for a just society and take up God’s call.

Limited parking and street parking is available at the DEC with additional off street parking around the City Hall. Transport back to the DEC from the City Hall will be arranged for the elderly and the infirm.

Entry to the Good Friday service is free and all are welcome, with a collection being taken up during the service to support the burgeoning costs of this event. All are welcome to participate in this significant, multi-lingual Christian Easter service.

For more info, contact the Diakonia Council of Churches on 031 310 3500 or visit


  • Diakonia needs volunteers to participate in the smooth running of the service. Please contact their offices if you can help.