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Government and the Church partnership key says Father Derrick Muwina

Government and the Church partnership key says Father Derrick Muwina

March 22
18:55 2017

 Father Derrick Muwina

Father Derrick Muwina

By Derrick Sinjela
THE Anglican Church says that it would welcome Government support towards rehabilitating its 46-year old Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka, but it is also wary of the risk of compromising its prophetic voice.
In an interview with the author, Father Derrick Muwina said that while the church was ready to receive donations of any kind to help rehabilitate the cathedral it did not want a situation that gave the impression that Government was sponsoring its programmes.
Father Muwina an Assistant Priest to Dean, Canon Charley Thomas and Sub Dean, Father William Vwapu said that it was important for the church to maintain its indepedence from state control or influences to be able to continue to retain its free thought.
“WE welcome any kind of help but do not want a state sponsored programme that, with the passage of time, might make people feel that our allegiance is to the state. We exist as an independent b body that is free from all manner of influence; be it political or civic,” Fr Muwina observes.
He implored parishioners to offer whatever support they could to the work of rehabilitating the cathedral as their moral and spiritual obligation.
“My prayer is that God will steer our hearts and move us all to respond to His needs, so that we can together restore the grandeur of the cathedral as a monumental place of worship. It is grateful service to God for granting us the privilege of being skilled in a diversity of ways,” Fr Muwina adds.
He observed that while many individuals owned luxurious houses in plush residential areas country-wide the temple of God remained neglected and in dire need of refurbishment.
“The Church has members whose obligation is to platy a part in its maintenance of the cathedral as a House of God. It is our joint responsibility as members to pay particular concern to maintenance of this place of worship,” Fr Muwina said.
Since it was built in 1962, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross has attained historical significance by hosting major events.
The dedication of Zambia’s attainment of independence on 24th October 1964 was done at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, which is located just across the Supreme Court of Zambia buildings in Rhodes Park. “To us the Cathedral is not any more important than other churches in Zambia. It is not above either the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) Trinity or the Catholic Saint Ignatius. It is not just the question of size but also historical role played by the Cathedral. The only difference is that major national events are hosted here because of our historical centrality,” says Fr Muwina.
The envisaged rehabilitation will involve replacement of weakened window frames and broken glass panes.
Meanwhile, for some time a debate has been gpoing around among parishioners on the practice of placing ashes of departed members in the wals of the cathedral.
Fr Muwina said that the debate had been sparked by concerns that the tradition was weakening the structure as bricks have to be removed to make spavce for containers holding the ashes of departed members who chose to be cremated rather than buried.
He explained that for many years, the tradition in the Anglican Church was that adherents were buried in church grounds, but with the passage of time coupled with growing population, the privilege had now been restricted to church leaders.
He said some parishioners were suggesting the establishment of a Garden of Remembrance where ashes of departed Christians could be buried as opposed to placing them in the walls of the cathedral.
Buried in the grounds of the Cathedral of the holy Cross are the ashes of the late Bishop of Northern Zambia, Francis Oliver Green-Wilkinson, who died in 1970 and the remains Bishop of the Anglican diocese of Lusaka, the late Right Reverend Stephen Mumba, who died in 1997.
The foundation stone was laid by Her Margesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, on 11th July 1957 with the blessing of the Wooden Cross being conducted by Father Green-Wilkinson, them bishop of Northern Rhodesia, in 1953, four years earlier.
The Cathedral is to hold a Corporate Partnership Ball on Friday, 17th October 2008.
This desire to rehabilitate the Cathedral began in 2005, when a fundraising fete was held to raise money for the same under the chairpersonship of Brian Mabula involved 12 cell groups.
The fete was organized to raise K30 million with Manda Hill Shopping Complex, Intercontinental Hotel, Speciality Foods, National Airports Corporation, Inter Market Discount Banking Corporation donating advertising space and prizes for a number of lucky winners.
The first prize then was a deep freezer, with the second winner earning a 21-inch television set and the third lucky punter going home with a radio cassette player.
Raffle tickets had sold at K5, 000 while entry to the fete was K3, 000.
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