For the Christian community, the cross is a beacon of hope and strength. For years, the cross on Signal Hill has shone brightly, lighting up Newcastle’s night skies and reminding people of the importance of faith during trying times.
However, over recent month’s the cross’s light has not shone as brightly as before after the massive hailstorm in 2019, damaged a number of the cross’s light fixtures.
But the darkness which was left by the hailstorm has yet again been replaced by the shining light of the cross. This follows Emmanuel Church, together with Aletheia Christian College, supplying new weatherproof fittings and LED globes for the cross, and Lethugukhanua Electrical Contractors doing the repair work.
What brought the repair about?
Reverend Frans van Rensburg explains, “We all noticed the cross not looking lekker, but were too busy with our daily lives that we did not pay much attention to it. We also thought that someone else will sort it out. And then it happened, we were brought to a halt…”
The feared COVID-19 hit South Africa, the number of confirmed cases increasing almost daily. Then the announcement of the nationwide lockdown was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Steps were then immediately taken to repair the cross.
“We feel that the Cross is the beacon of light and hope in our country and in the world,” Rev Frans emphasises.
The necessary lights were bought on Wednesday afternoon, March 25, with Glen Moore and his team from Lethugukhanua Electrical Contractors doing the necessary repair work on Thursday, March 26, before the lockdown came into effect.
“At some point, it was minus 18 degrees up the 20-meter tower. We couldn’t add the outer 4ft fittings on the two sides, as we needed a cherry picker and all companies were already closed. We will look into this after the shutdown,” Rev Frans explains.
But why does Rev Frans, the Emmanuel Church, together with Aletheia Christian College, feel it is so important to have the cross’s light shine over Newcastle?
“For most people, the cross has always been a beacon of hope. Samuel Smiles said, “Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us… Hope sweetens the memory of experiences well-loved. It tempers our troubles to our growth and our strength. Furthermore, it befriends us in the dark hours, excites us in bright ones. It lends promise to the future and purpose to the past. It turns discouragement to determination.” And hope, more than anything else, is what we all need right now,” Rev Frans emphasises.
Rev Frans says their prayer is that the Cross will do just this, bring hope and remind our people that God is still in control, and still on the throne.
With the cross now shedding light over Newcastle, Rev Frans shares a heartfelt message with the community.
“Please stay safe and stay indoors. Now is the time to stand together and make a difference like never before. This is also the time to sharpen your saw and to learn a new skill that could benefit you when this is all behind us. When you need hope, look up to Cross,” he concludes.