The Kouga Catholic Communities of Sts Francis and Clare of Assisi are characterised by a number of factors which almost make the Parish unique:
- The Parish's geographic spread - parishioners are primarily drawn from three main population centres: Jeffrey's Bay (55%), Humansdorp (30%) and St Francis Bay/Cape St Francis (15%). Jefffreys Bay is 12km from Humansdorp, and St Francis Bay/Cape St Francis are 15-17km from Humansdorp.
- The lack of a resident Pastor.
- Relatively low overall membership numbers - just 150 families in total.
- High average age of Parishioners - Jeffreys Bay and the St Francis Bay area are well known as retirement centres, and a large proportion of the Parishioners are drawn from this more senior demographic.
Far from inhibiting the development of the Parish, these factors have combined to create a a vibrant, self-reliant and generous "family" in Christ.
This vibrancy and generosity is manifested in the existence of three highly active and well-supported Care groups - The Jeffreys Bay Care Group, St Vincent de Paul in Humansdorp and the Sea Vista Care Group in St Francis.
The Parish boasts two strong and well-attended Rosary Groups - one in Jeffreys Bay and one in St Francis. Sheer lack of concentrated numbers and the geographical spread of the Parish have however, inhibited the growth of other traditional SCC's and organisations.
In spite of these "inhibiting" factors, the Parish has managed to:
- Build and furnish a beautiful new Church from the ground up.
- Build comfortable overnight accommodation for our visiting Pastor
- Assemble sufficent funds to convert the Hall in Jeffreys Bay to a dedicated Place of Worship
- Complete the transformation of this Hall into the new Church of St Clare of Assisi.
The Parish serves the towns of Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, St. Francis Bay, Oyster Bay, Hankey, Kareedouw, Patensie, Thornhill, Loerie and Cape St. Francis, and includes the townships and informal settlements of Tokyo Sexwale, Ocean View and Pelsrus (Jeffreys Bay), Kruisfontein (Humansdorp), and Sea Vista (St Francis).
As with most seaside resort areas, numbers increase considerably at peak holiday times, with 500+ people sometimes attending Christmas and Easter services. This means facilities in the Parish have to be designed to accommodate these larger numbers – a not-inconsiderable strain on resources!