The School Motto
“Ante Deum Asto” : I stand before God
St Michael’s is a school rich in tradition, with roots going back more than a century and a quarter. From this it draws much of its strength and sense of identity. In accordance with its mission statement, SMS is committed to remaining at the forefront of education.
The Community of St Michael and All Angels
Was founded on 6 January 1874 by Allan Becher Webb, the second Bishop of Bloemfontein, who wanted Sisters to work in his vast diocese in pioneer teaching, nursing and missions. It included the Free State, Basutoland, Northern Cape and outreach into the Transvaal. The first Superior, Mother Emma, was sent out from St Thomas’s Convent in Oxford. The first Anglican religious community in South Africa, CSM&AA pioneered new works.
St Michael’s School, the first girls’ school north of the Orange River in South Africa, was opened by the Bishop and the first Sisters on the day of their own foundation. They withdrew in the centenary year, 1974, and moved off the campus in 1993. Today the School maintains its tradition of high academic standards and Christian witness as an independent Anglican School. Through the years other schools were founded by them such as St Michael’s School, Harrismith and St Michael’s School, Kimberley. In the Bloemfontein area other schools were started for Coloured and Black children. These have passed.
The State Registration of Nurses was achieved in South Africa in 1891 (before any other country) through the efforts of Sister Henrietta (Stockdale) of CSM&AA. During the Anglo-Boer War 1899 – 1902, the Sisters nursed the wounded and sick from both sides at St George’s Hospital and St Michael’s Home in Bloemfontein. The nursing tradition continues in St Michael’s Relief Work, a service established by the late Sister Enid CSM&AA, to provide help for needy people in the Bloemfontein townships and settlements.
The community served the Bloemfontein Cathedral parish for 120 years, 1874 – 1994, worked at St Patrick’s Mangaung, at Modderpoort and Harrismith in the Free State, as well as in parishes and missions in the Western Cape, Kimberley and Lesotho.
Almighty God, you call your people to worship and serve you; we give you thanks for all that has been achieved in your name by the Sisters of the Community of St Michael and All Angels. Inspire us by your Holy Spirit, that, following in their example, we may live each day for your glory and in the service of humankind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.