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Sermon by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

 Single Item
MSS. Afr. s. 2283

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Transcript of a sermon preached by Archbishop Desmond Tutu at Westminster Abbey, 20th July 1994, at the service to welcome South Africa back to the Commonwealth after the end of apartheid.


  • 1994-1995


2 ff.

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Afr. s. 2283].
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.


MSS. Afr. s. 2283

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 4655

Biographical / Historical

Desmond Mpilo Tutu was born in Klerksdorp, Transvaal in 1931, was educated at Johannesburg Bantu High School, trained as a teacher at Pretoria Bantu Normal College and graduated from the University of South Africa in 1954. After three years spent as a high school teacher, he began studying theology and was ordained as a deacon in 1960, serving in Benoni Location, then as a priest in 1961. Further theological study in England led to a Masters degree in Theology, [1966].

On his return to South Africa, from 1967-1972, he lectured at the Federal Theological Seminary at the Cape and at the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. He then spent three years back in England as Assistant Director of a theological institute in London, as well as working for the World Council of Churches. He was appointed Dean of St. Mary's Cathedral, Johannesburg in 1975, was Bishop of Lesotho, 1976-1978, and in 1978 became General secretary of the South African Council of Churches. Meanwhile, he campaigned actively and internationally against apartheid, especially regarding sanctions, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. He was made Bishop of Johannesburg the following year, and Archbishop of Cape Town and Head of the Anglican Church in South Africa in 1986.

He retired in 1996 and became Chairman of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. By 2003 he was Visiting Professor at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, United States. An honorary doctor of various universities in the United States, Great Britain and Germany, his publications include Crying in the Wilderness. The Struggle for Justice in South Africa, edited by John Webster (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Eerdmans; 1982), Hope and Suffering: Sermons and Speeches, edited by John Webster (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Eerdmans; 1984), and The Rainbow People of God: The Making of a Peaceful Revolution, edited by John Allen (New York; Doubleday; 1994).

In 1955 he married Leah Nomaliso, with whom he had four children.

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The sermon was donated to the library by Archbishop Tutu in September 1994.

Related Materials

Two audio cassette tapes of two seminars on Politics and Wealth held at Rhodes House, 3rd and 8th February 1995, during Archbishop Desmond Tutu's mission to Oxford, were donated by one of the mission's organisers (anonymous) in March 1995.
Sermon by Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Paul Davidson
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom