According to Col C.P. Nel’s notes, the following information was supplied by Archdeacon Thornley-Jones and Miss Florrie Morris, daughter of the Rev. Alfred Morris.

For ten years, from 1850 to 1860 Oudtshoorn was part of the Schoonberg Anglican parish in the Langkloof. The Rev. Herman Hirsch, of Schoonberg parish, realised that Oudtshoorn – then a little village of about 30 houses – would become an important town, destined for rapid expansion and came here to work among the English speaking people for six months – apparently in 1857. In that time he decided to build a church here.

The foundation stone of the church was laid in January 1860 by Mr W. Walters, who became the first chairman of the Oudtshoorn Village Management Board in 1863 – in effect the first mayor of Oudtshoorn.

The Rev. Alfred Morris was appointed Rector in July 1860. When he came here the church was still being built – by four Scottish stone masons who had to be paid every fortnight. It was quite often hard to find the money to pay them. Once one of the warders, Mr Cahill, sold his gold watch to Dr O’Hare for £10 so that the masons could be paid. The building was finished by the end of 1861. It is interesting to note that the heirs of C.P. Rademeyer donated two plots (erven) to the new English church. They were thankfully accepted and sold for the building fund.

The St Jude’s Anglican Church is the oldest existing church building, built of stone in Oudtshoorn. Various additions were made to the building in the early years: the chancel in 1880, a new wing in 1887 (for which the Edmeades family donated the stained glass windows), an extension to the back and a new vestry in 1897. Florrie Morris, the daughter of Rev. Alfred Morris, served as organist at St Jude’s for seventy years.

Surnames the crop up in the baptism and marriage records of that time are the following: Edmeades, Ross, Hayward, Penton, Smuts, Johnson, Middleton, Brand, Davies, Lee, Burn, Tullis, Wilson, Cahill, Essenhigh and Stretch.

Sover ek kon vasstel was die eerste gebou wat van sandsteen gebou is, die St Jude’s kerkgebou, waarvan die hoeksteen in 1860 gelê is. Die kerk is deur vier Skotse klipkappers gebou. ‘n Jaar later word die hoeksteen van die N.G. Moederkerk – ook ‘n klipkerk – gelê.

Van die klipkappers wat hierdie kerk gebou het, weet ons so ‘n ietsie meer. John Thomas Cooper is deur die boukomitee van die kerk aangestel as die voorman van die klipkappers. Hy het net ‘n jaar tevore uit Skotland in Kaapstad aangekom.

Soos ons nou al weet het die werk aan die kerk vir verskeie redes lank stilgestaan. Sestien jaar nadat die werk begin is, stel Cooper voor dat nog klipkappers uit Skotland laat kom word om die werk aan die kerk te bespoedig. So kom nog vyf klipkappers en ‘n saager (die woordeboek se dit is iemand wat hout saag) na Oudtshoorn om aan die kerk te werk. Drie van hulle was Ellis, Hammort en Bennet genoem en van hulle nasate is waarskynllk nog in Oudtshoorn.

John Thomas Cooper word spesiaal op die inwyding-seremonie deur die boukomitee uitgesonder vir sy goeie werk. Na voltooiing van die kerk bly hy aan in Oudtshoorn en begin sy eie bou- en monumentefirma. Hy tree ook as argitek op aangesien daar op daardie stadium geen argitek in Oudtshoorn was nie.