Care, Education, Community

“I have come that you may have life: life in all its fullness.” John 10:10

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Frequently asked questions

What will the focus of the Denis Hurley Centre be?

The Centre will provide facilities for three complementary activities:

Promoting Care –

*Refugee Pastoral Care which helps many refugees on their arrival in Durban with food and accommodation as well as school fees and uniforms.

*The Usizo L'wethu Clinic which supports people living with HIV and AIDS.

*The Nkosinathi Project which feeds and gives assistance to homeless and unemployed people.

*Job Linx Project which provides job-related training to unemployed people as well as giving paralegal assistance.

Providing Education –

Through religious education for children, as well as workshops and formation for adults, including life skills for the homeless and workshops to combat xenophobia. A resource centre and library will specialize in all aspects of the Cathedral’s work and outreach. The Centre will have exhibition and display space, and an interpretive centre giving information about the Liberation Heritage Route in this part of Durban.

Building Community –
Through multi-purpose facilities for meetings, social events and celebrations, linked to a simple café and catering service with a shop selling books, craftwork and religious objects. All these activities will encourage greater unity in the highly diverse Cathedral congregation as well as interaction with people of other churches, congregations and faiths, with the local community and the many visitors who come to this part of the city. There will be an inter-faith prayer room on the top floor of the new building.

How long will the whole project take and when will the Denis Hurley Centre be ready for use?
The Denis Hurley Centre is under construction and is scheduled to be completed by 31 August 2014. It will have one extra floor to help us serve the needs of a flourishing parish and its growing social outreach projects more effectively. The overall design will harmonise with and complement the Cathedral architecture.

What will be the functional qualities of the new building?
The Denis Hurley Centre will be better able to serve the needs of its diverse users by providing a building that is safe, accessible and functional, in which all areas are designed to ensure maximum utilisation and which support the work of the large number of groups using the facilities. The finishes will be durable to accommodate the high usage and to limit maintenance costs.

What will the new building cost?
The new building will cost R31.4M. Of this we have raised 83% and still must raise over R5.2M. This represents a considerable saving in comparison with the cost of restoring the old Parish Centre. The new building will be more eco-friendly, economical and easier to maintain.

Is it appropriate to spend on a building project when so many people are out of work and struggling to survive?
The now demolished Parish Centre already had a strong focus on the needs of people at risk as outlined above, and the Surat Building where we are temporarily accommodated has seen a doubling in the number of people we are assisting to more than 6,000 needy people per month. We believe that the new building, with custom-built facilities for care, education & training and community-building, will give a tremendous boost to helping the poor. Such a building will serve the needs of the parish, the archdiocese, people of all denominations and faiths and the local community for decades to come.

Will it be possible to raise the funds needed in such a difficult economic climate?
Well, we have already raised 83% of the construction costs and we are working hard to raise the remaining funds needed.The project is such an essential and worthwhile initiative that we believe it will be fully supported but we will have to work hard to achieve this and your support is needed. God’s blessing has been clear from the many people who have contributed to this project.  The poor economic climate has already resulted in an increase in the number of people seeking help from the Denis Hurley Centre. This highlights the need for the project to be completed as a matter of urgency so that these suffering people can experience that God is with them and loves them.

Where will the funds come from?
We have established teams to raise funds from the Cathedral parish, from the other 74 parishes of the Archdiocese of Durban, from municipal and provincial government as well as from the corporate sector, trusts and foundations both here and overseas. We have also had support from people of other Christian churches and of other faiths and will continue to make approaches to them as well.

Can I help the project other than by giving a donation?
Financial donations are just one of many ways of ensuring that the dream of the Denis Hurley Centre is realised. We invite you to consider becoming a Friend of the Denis Hurley Centre. If you are unable to donate now you may be in a position to do so later in the life of the project so you can at least make that commitment for the future. Even if you cannot make a financial contribution you may be able to encourage a colleague, a child, a parent to help. Beyond finances there are other practical ways you can help:

  • as the owner of a building supply company, you could donate material
  • as a professional you may be able to donate your time to provide technical or professional skills
  • you could participate in the many forthcoming fundraising events
  • you could become a prayer partner
  • you could become an active member of one of the project teams (see CONTACTS)
  • you could use your network of family and friends to promote the project
  • you could speak positively about the project to your contacts – this will greatly help fundraising efforts – we would be happy to keep you briefed about developments.
How will we be able to afford the ongoing maintenance of the new Denis Hurley Centre?
The old Centre was under-utilised because it was in a poor state of repair, with inadequate services and many health and safety limitations. It was not an attractive or viable venue for conferences and major social events. One of the central objectives of the new building will be to provide a range of facilities that will be extensively used and help to make the project financially sound. Finishes and surfaces will be selected to ensure the lowest maintenance costs. Special lighting systems and natural lighting combinations will prevent wasteful use of electricity while conservation technology efforts will enable the building to harvest rain water and utilise solar power for heating water and generating electricity for the perimeter and security lights. In addition, users and tenants will be levied to cover the costs of running the Centre.


Phone: Paddy Kearney 031-2013832/072-8064417 pkearney@saol.com

Jean-Marie Ntamubano 031-3012240/072-5490338 admin@denishurleycentre.org

Denis Hurley Centre Fund, Account No. 62204261002, FNB, Durban Branch, Code:221426. Swift Code: FIRN ZAJJ

Please inform us if you make a deposit, so that we can acknowledge your contribution and keep you informed about the project.

"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it.” Psalm 127:1