14/02/2012. Members of the Saint Albany Cathedral came out in numbers for the memorial service of the Dean Livingston Ngewu that was held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral. Picture: Masi Losi

The Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral on Tuesday night hosted a memorial service for the suspended Dean of St Alban’s Cathedral, the Very Rev Livingstone Ngewu, after Anglican Bishop Jo Seoka refused permission for it to be held in his cathedral.

Ngewu died last week after a long illness.

An Anglican parish representative said the family had wanted the service in the dean’s cathedral on Tuesday, but his bishop refused, saying he still had authority over Ngewu and that he wanted it held on Thursday.

After recent confrontations between dean and bishop, Ngewu was charged with, among others, undermining the authority of the bishop.

He was suspended from active duty and barred from services at his cathedral.

But his former congregants filled the Catholic cathedral to celebrate the life of the man they said stayed resilient in the face of persecution.

Speakers recalled how, after his return to the church after a four month suspension last year, he kept the congregation hopeful that he would not give up.

“He refused to change who he was, watching him being persecuted for what he loved was painful,” one speaker said.

Speaker after speaker spoke of his love for the church, his distinctive leadership skills and his ability to remember each parishioner individually and noticing if one was absent.

They remembered him for the lessons he taught and his ability to always have time to sit and talk to them and to give advice on their development. “He taught us love, ownership and responsibility,” Shirley Skenjana of the Anglican Women’s Fellowship said.

“He fulfilled his role as a priest very well and had a unique leadership style,” said Phyllis Kraft a member of the choir.

The Anglican bishop has scheduled a service in St Alban’s cathedral on Thursday. - Pretoria News