Anglicans in Egbu Diocese are in festive mood as their multi-million Naira expanded and modernised Cathedral will be rededicated tomorrow (Easter Monday).
Tomorrow’s rededication service will be officiated by the Anglican Bishop of Egbu, Rt Rev Prof Emmanuel Iheagwam accompanied by the Archbishop of the Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, the Most Rev. B.C.I. Okoro, PhD and other bishops, tomorrow, Monday, April 9, 2012 at Egbu..
Prior to the creation and inauguration of the Diocese of Egbu, the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Egbu was the headquarters of the Diocese of Owerri,ChurchofNigeria(Anglican Communion) and the residence of the Bishop from 1959. When in 1996 the Diocese of Egbu was created the Cathedral Church of All Saints, still remained the headquarters of the Diocese of Egbu. The numerical strength of the Diocese of Egbu has grown tremendously within the brief period of the missionary activities of the pioneer Bishop of Egbu, Rt Rev Prof Emmanuel Uchechukwu Iheagwam with the attendant overflow of worshippers during Diocesan services in the Cathedral.
In a release, the publicity Sub-Committee recalls how on the 25th December, 2000 the Church committee members and other parishioners, in an interaetive session with the Bishop, in the bishopscourt, Mr Godfrey Justin Amadi, raised the issue of expanding the Cathedral which the bishop accepted with a promise to set up a committee to brainstorm further on the issue.
An adhoc Committee headed by Hon Justice B.A. Njemanze, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Egbu was subsequently set up by the Bishop to produce the work plan. Other members of that committee included: Mr G.J. Amadi, Architect Emmanuel Kemakolam, Surveyor Theo Ajoku and late Sir Godfrey N. Maduagwu. The Committee mandated Arc. Emmanuel Kemakolam KSC to produce a design for the new look Cathedral.
With the adoption of the architectural design and building drawings produced by supervising architect, Emmanuel Kemakolam KSC, the release states, a 19-member Committee of the Cathedral Expansion was appointed by the Bishop with Sir Dr S.S. Oleru as chairman while the following were appointed co-ordinators: Canon M.C.K. Ibe, the Administrator, as co-ordinator, Cathedral Church of All Saints; Mr Stephen O. Aribeana – Port Harcourt, Barr Obinna Igwe-Ajoku – Abuja, Mr Victor Osuji-Aba, Prof Chedo Akueshi- Jos, Rev Dr Noel Amadi and Mr Kingsley Uchegbu-Co-ordinators for USA while Mr G.J. Amadi stood as the Chief co-ordinator.
Recognizing that the Cathedral Church of All Saints serves dual purpose as Parish Church of Ebgu and the Cathedral of the Diocese, the Bishop, appointed some members from the wider Diocese to serve on the committee. This idea was highly welcomed by the committee composed mainly of members of theCathedralChurchcongregation. With the foundation stone of the expanded and modernized Cathedral laid on Christmas Day Sunday, December 25, 2001 by the Bishop, Rt Rev Prof Emmanuel Uchechukwu Iheagwam, the Cathedral Expansion and Modernization Committee swung into action and 11 years after the Expanded/Modernized Cathedral is now completed to meet with the 21st century standard, the release explained.
It continued: “History seems to have been repeated in the mode of raising funds for this project. As was done in 1948 and the following years to raise money to build the parish church that later became a Cathedral, so it was for the present project. For, it was during Easter and Christmas, that Egbu sons and daughters made donations voluntarily in cash and/or in kind which have helped to actualize the Cathedral project.
:By this selfless effort and sacrifice by Egbu sons and daughters a significant shift has been introduced in the funding and development of Cathedral projects, which is not only a challenge to other Cathedral congregation in theOwerriEcclesiasticalProvincebut in the entireChurchofNigeria, Anglican Communion. To further mobilize for finances, a Cathedral fund launch Committee was set up ion 2006 by the Diocesan Board with Okenze Ubochi Osuigwe as Chairman. The fund launch was held on 26th December, same year, with the Lord Chancellor Hon Justice B.A. Njemanze as Chairman.