By Emma Onumah
The Anglican Faithful in the Diocese of Owerri, friends and well-wishers have been lauded for making the dedication of the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL), not only very successful but an outstanding ceremony in a million of its kind.
The Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Cyril Chukwunonyerem Okorocha PhD, noted that, by the colourful way and manner the Cathedral was dedicated, the people of God in the Diocese, their friends and well-wishers have made the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and in particular, Imo Christians, proud.
Bishop Okorocha, who made this eulogy at an emergency One Day Synod of
the Diocese, held at the Mega Hail in the Cathedral premises penultimate Friday, traced the success to the generosity, team spirit, and the oneness of purpose of all concerned, especially at a time when pensioners in the State were denied payment of their monthly pensions, and the civil servants being paid a percentage of their monthly salaries, contractors put out of job, businessmen and women suffering from the ongoing economic squeeze, yet many of them who are Anglicans willingly contributed towards the realization of the just-concluded dedication and consecration ceremonies.
According to him, CATOL is one of the few Cathedrals in the world, whose foundations were laid right from the first day, as a Cathedra! by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and which were completed in a relatively record time, adding that CATOL would continue to be a place of praise, worship, transformation, and a healing centre for all who believe.
The Prelate used the occasion to condemn political leaders who, he said, use the people’s money to build their own churches and chapels, leaving them with a serious warning that: “to obey is better than sacrifice”.
Earlier in an admonition, one of the Chaplains of the Owerri Council of Knights of St. Christopher, Rev. Canon Echi Nwogu, who also served as the Secretary of the Dedication Committee, praised God for the Cathedral which, he described as a beautiful edifice, saying that only the best is good for God.
He noted that, having dedicated the Cathedral, all who worship there should see it as a place, set apart for holiness, thanks and praise to God, and which should not be defiled by anyone, for whatever reason.
Presenting his report, the Dedication Committee Chairman, Sir Ndukwe Nnawuchi, SAN, who is also the Clerk/Registrar of the Anglican Diocese of Owerri, on behalf of himself and the entire Committee members, expressed gratitude to the Bishop and wife, for giving them the opportunity to serve in that capacity, and for the confidence bestowed on them, to handle such a huge assignment within such a short time, from the date of their inauguration in March, 2017.
He commended the team spirit and efforts of each of the subcommittee members to deliver, adding that it is hardly in anyone’s life time, that one gets such an opportunity to serve in such capacity.
The Clerk/Registrar, however, showered encomiums on the current Commissioner of Police for Imo State, Mr. Chris Okey Ezike, for the wonderful role he played by ensuring that adequate security was provided at the Cathedral premises before, during, and after the two-day event.
At the instance of the Dedication Chairman, many testimonies were given by both members of the Synod, and the Dedication Committee members about the goodness and the hand of God that gloriously manifested in the two events, as many who spoke also described the Diocesan Bishop as a master-builder, and a great man of vision, to the glory of God.