The Church House was built with a loan from Equity Bank and the fundraising drive followed threats of auctioning the 16-storey building located along Kampala Road.
Under the leadership of former Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, the Church of Uganda borrowed US Dollars 17 million (62 billion Shillings) from Equity Bank to construct the structure. In the project budget, the Church contributed 30 percent, while Equity Bank provided for 70 percent of the building costs.
The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda the Most Rev. Stephen
Kaziimba Mugalu, says that the Church House building debt now stands at 15
Kaziimba made the report while delivering his Christmas
message at Namirembe.
‘We launched a campaign and this campaign has helped us a
lot. The big debt which we had…it was in 60 billion, kept on reducing and now,
we are remaining with only 15 billion,” said the Archbishop.
On 6th June last year, Kaziimba launched a
fundraising drive under the theme “Yes, We Can!” to clear the Church debt with
Equity bank and fulfill the building's original purpose of raising funds for the church’s
ministry and clergy pensions.
He then asked Christians to each contribute at least 60,000
Shillings towards the Church House.
//Cue in: “and so 15billion…//
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The Church House was built with a loan from Equity Bank and the
fundraising drive followed threats of auctioning the 16-storey building located
along Kampala Road.
Under the leadership of former Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi,
the Church of Uganda borrowed US Dollars 17 million (62 billion Shillings) from
Equity Bank to construct the structure. In
the project budget, the Church contributed 30 percent, while Equity Bank provided
for 70 percent of the building costs.
In 2017, Equity Bank threatened to take over the structure
which was valued at 58.8 Billion Shillings upon completion. In 2018, the Bank
again threatened to auction the building after the Church failed to service its
loan and accumulated arrears.
To construct the building, Christians and well-wishers
contributed about 10.8 billion Shillings through fundraising but since the
money was inadequate, the Church acquired a loan from Equity Bank through its
business arm, the Church Commissioners Holding Company Limited in 2010.Church House was built in fulfillment of late
Archbishop Janani Luwum's vision in 1977.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Kaziimba encouraged the 37 dioceses of
the Church of Uganda to put in place more income-generating projects to achieve
self-sustenance. Since the year started, Kaziimba has been carrying out
pastoral visits in different dioceses and he has so far visited 22.
//Cue in: “what we have…//
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He announced that the Church theme for 2023 will be “United
for service and growth,” derived from Ephesians 4:11-16.
“We have a number of bishops who will be retiring in 2023," said Kaziimba. "These are men who have worked diligently and who have faithfully proclaimed
Christ to the nations. As I have visited dioceses this year, I have seen the
fruit of their servant leadership; sustainability projects are coming up and
evangelistic outreaches are bringing people to Christ. I urge all dioceses to
stay focused on unity so that you can maintain this momentum. So you can build
on the foundations laid in the past and continue to grow. It takes hard work to
preserve unity, and I call on all leaders in dioceses to give yourselves to the
vision of being united for service and growth.”
Some of the Church of Uganda Bishops scheduled to retire next
year are the Bishop of Namirembe Diocese, Rt. Rev. Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira, Bishop
of Mukono Diocese William Ssebaggala, and Bishop of Luwero Diocese Eridard
Ssebaggala will retire in February, followed by Nsubuga in
July and Luwalira in December 2023. Processes to replace them have already
started in the respective dioceses.
In particular, the Namirembe Diocesan Synod meeting on 13th
May elected the Bishop’s nomination team that will nominate two names of
eligible priests to the House of Bishops, from whom the House of Bishops will
deliver the sixth Bishop of Namirembe. Bishop Luwalira has been at the helm of
Namirembe Diocese for the last 15 years after his consecration in May 2009.
The Church of Uganda Constitution requires Bishops to retire
at the age of 65 years.