By Nick Chibunna
Work on the completion phase of the multi-billion naira new Cathedral building project of the Anglican Diocese of Ikeduru will commence this week with initial N1 billion take-off grant. The project is expected to be completed in three years time.
This disclosure was made at the weekend by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, KSC, CFR during the official hand-over of the building project to him for completion as part of activities marking the 6th anniversary celebration of the young Diocese at the Cathedral Church of st. Mathew, Atta Ikeduru.
The week-long event which kicked off with a prayer convocation penultimate Tuesday was well attended by dignitaries and parishioners within and in the diaspora.
Other activities included the service of rededication and issuance of certificates to Knights of Ikeduru Council, the final football competition of the diocesan Anglican Youth-Fellowship (AYF), the presentation of awards to distinguished parishioners and friends of the Diocese, the collation of Rev. Canon Sydney Akuwudike as Archdeacon, the cutting of anniversary cake and others.
Addressing thousands of Christian faithful who gathered for the rededication service of the Ikeduru Knights, the Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Emmanuel C. Maduwike, JP called on believers to be truly committed to the things of God.
Expounding on the theme of the 6th anniversary celebration- “The Called Out People: (1 Peter 2:9), the prelate said that as people called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light, Christians ought to appreciate this great love by availing themselves of the true worship of God.
Bishop Maduwike who described God as an astute business man said that God expects profits from His investments, adding that as God’s investments, we are expected to yield profits. He expressed his profound appreciation unto God for His numerous goodness, mercy and loving kindness unto the young Diocese.
The Bishop urged the people to see their call as divine, adding that as God blessed Abraham, so will He bless those who obey Him.
He condemned Christians and ministers of God who pay more attention to their personal affairs than the affairs of God, warning them to change.
Also at the thanksgiving service, the Archdeacon of Umudim Archdeaconry, Ven. John Akahara, recalled the challenges the diocese passed through and praised the bishop and wife for meeting the challenges.
He told award recipients and title holders in the church to live up to their status or lose the titles.
In his address, after receiving the documents for the cathedral building, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu thanked God for His mercy and said that he was motivated to contribute to the work of God by his late mother who wanted him to be a pastor.
He said that although that vision has not been fully realized but its accomplishment in other areas of life, is a source of internal joy hence he wants to serve God with all it pleases Him to bless him with.
An astute politician and accomplished business mogul, Chief Iwuanyanwu said that God has made him first in every area of human endeavour, adding that God being his helper, he would finish the building of the Cathedral with its components within three years.
Eight persons were presented with various awards. They include Sir Gideon Ezeji and Barr. Dan Nwanyanwu – Nehemiah Award; Barr. Angus Anuna, Sir Richard Ibe and Sir Moses Amaechi – Worthy Ambassador Award; Diocesan Merit Award went to Sir Ephraim Oguzie, Mr Chukwuma Njoku and Mrs Juliet Ekeanynwu, while Mr Nnamdi Iwuji of Amaraku in the Isi Mbano council area of Imo State was presented with Friend of the Diocese Award.
Other highlights of the auspicious event included the cutting of anniversary cake and presentation of the golden trophy to the winners of the Diocesan A.Y.F football competition – the Akabo Archdeaconry.
The cup was donated in memory of late Rev. Paul Njoku of St. John’s Anglican Church, Amaimo in Ikeduru LGA.
The Sunday thanksgiving service was presided by the Diocesan and assisted by Ven. Innocent Iwuji. High Chief Dan Anyanwu, a chieftain of Labour Party and Lady Dorathy Nwaiwu read the 1st and 2nd lessons respectfully.
The Diocesan Chair and Resonance Singers led by Uzoma Maduwike made beautiful renditions.