Father Rowan Smith in ConFab at CN&CO

Retired Dean of Cape Town, Rowan Smith, was the guest speaker at CN&CO’s ConFab session on 3 May 2016. His talk outlined his ministry and career from the time he decided to become a priest, through his time at university, his years as a monk in the Community of the Resurrection, chaplain and teacher at St Martin’s School, chaplain of UCT, chaplain and chief provincial officer on the staff of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, his 14-year tenure as Dean of Cape Town, his involvement in the LGBT community and thoughts on his retirement.

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ConFab sessions are very casual, allowing guests and speakers to have in-depth conversations about important issues. This photo, for example, was taken during a discussion on musical theatre

Rowan spoke with passion about the lessons he’s learnt and people he’s encountered on his journey. (You can listen to Rowan’s ConFab talk on the CN&CO Soundcloud feed.)

“As a priest you are there from birth to death in people’s lives. I can think of no vocation that is more enriching than to walk beside people both in birth and in death – and everything that goes in between,” he said at the end of his talk.

“ConFabs are about bringing people together from a variety of professions, walks of life and with differing points of view to discuss whatever our guest speaker wants to talk about – or anything that tickles their fancy,” explains Carel. “The aim is to stimulate thinking, spark conversations and put people in touch with each other who otherwise may not have met.”

The sessions celebrate the power of relationships, and their ability to transcend history, geography and generations.

Rowan came to us via our chief word nerd Colin Ford, who attended St Martin’s School while Rowan was the chaplain there.

“On paper, Rowan and I shouldn’t be friends,” he says. “We live in different cities, come from different backgrounds and generations. Yet we have been good friends for more than 30 years. That’s the power of relationships. They transcend all that other stuff and find a way to work.”

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Michele Sparkes and Rowan Smith share a joke

Guests at the ConFab session included:

Plus family and friends of Team CN&CO.

Have a listen to Rowan’s ConFab talk on the CN&CO Soundcloud feed.

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What would a good gathering be without a group selfie? Brekers at the back (Rob, Kurt and Dagan), brains and beauty in the front (Christelle, Colin and Gabbi)

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Anne Vicente from the Riversands Incubation Hub, Andre Brooks of Insurance Apprentice fame, with CN&CO’s Gianluca Tucci and Colin Ford

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CN&CO’s Rikus Kok with Jenny Retief of Incubation Hub and Stewart Barret of Navan Consulting