By Nick Chibunna
History was made penultimate Saturday in Owerri when the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL) Owerri, was dedicated by the Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion) the Most Revd Nicholas D. Okoh, who described the Church as a movement and not a stagnant water that is easily polluted.
In his sermon at the dedicated where he was assisted by more than 150 other Archbishops and bishops, Archbishop Okoh pointed out that magnificent edifice would not be a place of worship without its formal dedication.
He described the structure as God’s Holy Temple and thanked all who laboured to see that the dreams of the founding fathers were actualized and enjoined those who would worship in the new Cathedral to adorn themselves with the garment of humility and holiness.
The Primate also advised the Laity not to instigate crisis in the Church while he told the Clergy to always obey their bishops and the bishops to be careful of what they do.
According to him, the new edifice is a tower of refuge for the oppressed, the disappointed and those who need one thing or the other, including those who are being persecuted by those he referred to as “Ndi iwe na onuma” (Angry and heartless men).
He warned that no vain activities should take place inside the Cathedral so as not to defile it, adding that the house is the house of God and no one should claim its ownership, that it is neither the house of bishops nor that of the clergy.
The Old Testament Reading taken from 11Chr. 7:1-3, 12-16 was read by Dr. Mrs. Eunice I. Okorocha, President Women’s Ministries, Anglican Diocese of Owerri, while Sir Baldwin Onozie, Lay coordinator of the Anglican Christian Fathers’ Relloship (ACFF), in Anglican Diocese of Owerri, took the Epistle from 1Cor. 3:10-16.
The CATOL Choir, Band and members of Boys and Girls Brigade added fan-fare to the auspicious event.
Many people, including bishops and other dignitaries expressed their joy at the dedication.
Fielding questions from journalists, the Bishop Anglican Diocese of Ikeduru, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel C. Maduwike, said that it was a dream come true for all the stakeholders in the Old Owerri Diocese.
The colourful ceremony which attracted dignitaries from all walks of life and which preceded the consecration of four new bishops has been described as the first of its kind in recent times.