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Church Leader

Revd Jacque Williams started as the Rector of St Monnica’s in Halfway Gardens in January 2018, after having served as Rector of St Peter’s in Auckland Park since 2013.

Jacque is originally from Port Elizabeth. She came to Johannesburg in the early 1980-ies when she worked as the Youth Director for the South African Council of Churches. After an (initially involuntary) stay in the USA and The Netherlands, she returned to Johannesburg to head the Church Community Leadership Trust (CCLT). One of our previous priests, Revd Vicentia Kgabe who is currently the Rector of the Anglican Seminary in Grahamstown, worked with Jacque at CCLT on women’s integrity and youth development programmes.

Revd Williams has been involved in the Anglican Church since she was very young, first in the choir and later as a youth worker in the Diocese of Port Elizabeth after she participated in the NOMADs youth leadership programme of the Anglican Church. She attended the Anglican Seminary in Grahamstown long before women’s ordination was accepted in our church. In PE she was active as a parish worker, in Johannesburg as a researcher for the Institute for Contextual Theology and as Youth Director for the SACC, in New York as a director of Christian Education and in Amsterdam as an education and development worker for the city churches. Back in Johannesburg she first served at Christ the King Sophiatown as a lay minister, then as a deacon at our neighbour parish St Timothy’s The Reeds (diocese of Pretoria) and St John the Divine in Belgravia and finally as priest at St Margaret’s in Bedfordview and rector of St Peter’s in Auckland Park.

Jacque has a deep passion for justice, especially with regard to women. People who know her describe her as an initiator, consistent, hard-working, honest, a do-er with a natural curiosity for people. You may have seen her on TV in “listen for a moment”, the SABC2 programme on short religious reflections or heard her on SAfm with the Sunday service or in “Otherwise” promoting her publication “Women’s Pearls” on quotations and sayings of South African women.

Revd Williams studied theology at the Union Theological Seminary which was attached to Columbia University in New York and at the University of Amsterdam. She is engaged in a PhD process on economic justice for women from an Old Testament perspective and hopes to finally finish that when serving St Monnica’s. Jacque was part of the Word & Worship team annually publishing sample sermons and liturgies for a range of churches, including the Anglican Church. She serves on the Prayer Book Revision subcommittee of the Provincial Liturgical Committee.

In her sparse free time Jacque enjoys wild life photography and making jams and preserves from her garden in Observatory. She is married to Dutch lawyer Rob Calmer with whom she worked as a management consultant until she took up full-time ministry in the church.

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