About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Jones, Colin Vivian

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Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Colin Jones read theology at The Federal Theological Seminary, Alice, South Africa and graduated as an Associate of the seminary in 1975.

He was ordained to the Anglican priesthood in June, 1976 and served in a number of parishes in the Diocese of Cape Town until 1983 when he was appointed as chaplain to the University of the Western Cape from 1983 to 1986. At this time he served on the boards of two Anglican Children's Homes, Leliebloem Home and St. Francis Home in Cape Town. He was also one of the co-founders of the Homestead Project, an agency for street children which, in 2003, celebrated its 21st year of existence and is the foremost project of its kind in Cape Town.

During this time he was made a canon of St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town and served as advisor to the Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu. In 1987, Tutu sent Jones to Oregon, USA, where he was appointed to the staff of the Cathedral of St. John, Baptist in Portland, Oregon. In September, 1988 Tutu recalled Jones to South Africa to take up appointment as Dean of Cape Town and Vicar-General of the Diocese of Cape Town in which positions he served as senior cleric and advisor to the Archbishop.

While at the cathedral, Jones initiated the first commemoration service for World AIDS Day to be held in a South African church and began a number of AIDS projects including a hospice and helped establish an AIDS support organisation, 'Wola Nani' which has since grown into a nationally recognised agency. The cathedral was also the home of the first AIDS Commemoration Quilt Project and set the pace for AIDS ministries in other churches throughout South Africa.

As dean, Jones was Chairman of St. George's Children Home for Girls.

In 1996, Jones resigned as Dean of Cape Town and spent the next seven years working in the field of socio-economic development in South Africa with the Independent Development Trust, (then the largest development agency in South Africa) and the Equal Opportunity Foundation, working amongst South Africa's rural poor. He also served on several national commissions including the Commission for Remuneration of Public Office Bearers in the Republic of South Africa (appointed by President Mandela) and as Chair for the Restructuring of South African Museums (appointed by the Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology) which successfully managed the amalgamation and restructuring of South African Heritage institutions.

Jones has travelled extensively throughout South Africa as well as internationally, engaged as a public speaker. His travels took him to the USA, UK and Europe as well as Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Cuba.

In 2002, Jones was commissioned by the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (Anglican) to write a series of narratives on people living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa and was invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to address the meeting of Anglican Primates meeting at Canterbury in April that year. Jones assisted the Primates in formulating the World-wide Anglican Communion's position on HIV and AIDS as articulated in the Primates Statement on AIDS.

In February, 2003, he was appointed by Archbishop of Cape Town, Njongonkulu Ndungane, as Executive Officer of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa and as senior advisor to the Archbishop on socio-political affairs as well as on HIV and AIDS.

In April, 2003, Jones was redeployed by Archbishop Ndungane to direct the Anglican Church's AIDS ministry in Southern Africa, covering South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique and Angola as well as the mid-Atlantic islands of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

Jones was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Divinity by Adrian College, Michigan, USA in 1987 for his Anti-Apartheid activist work in South Africa.

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