Sembabule district opens first orthodox consecrated church

Vice President Jessica Alupo with Orthodox Church leaders (PHOTO/UG STANDARD)

Vice President Jessica Alupo with Orthodox Church leaders (PHOTO/UG STANDARD)

SEMBABULE —The Orthodox Church has today consecrated and officially opened St. George and Andrew church in Lwemiyaga, Sembabule district in Central Uganda.

Consecration of a church is a service of sanctification and solemn dedication of a building for use as a church.

St. George and Apostle Andrew church which is now a fully-fledged Parish was started by the late Sam Mwagalwa, father to Theodore Ssekikuubo (MP Lwemiyaga)

The colourful ceremony attracted hundreds of faithful and was performed by Metropolitan Bishop of Kananga-Haliton Ilunga of Democratic Republic of Congo who represented Pope Theodoros II of Africa, assisted by the Archbishop of Kampala, Jeronymos Muzeeyi, Bishop Innocent Byakatonda (Burundi and Rwanda), Bishop Silverstros Kisitu (Jinja and Eastern Uganda), Bishop Nictarios Kabuye (Gulu-Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan) and Bishop Penelitos of Nyeri Diocese in Kenya.

President Yoweri Museveni in a speech read for him by Vice President Jessica Alupo thanked all the faithful of the Orthodox Church in Lwemiyaga, for their generous contributions towards the completion of Sts. George and Andrew Church.

He further congratulated them upon the completion of the Secondary School, which will extend educational services to the surrounding community.

He noted that the NRM government recognises the contribution of the Orthodox Church in extending social services to the people of Uganda, especially in the health and education sectors.

“The Church has continued to partner with Government in lifting the population’s standards of living through construction of schools and hospitals. This is a clear indication that the Church cares about the material needs of the believers,” President Museveni said.

He noted that spiritual nourishment is important; but, it is not the only aspect of the Christian Ministry,adding that a holistic and relevant ministry must express equal concern for the physical needs of the faithful.

“While here on earth, the believers too, have physical needs that must be satisfied. For example the need for food, clothes, shelter, medicine.I therefore call upon all religious leaders to join hands with Government in the wealth creation campaign to eliminate poverty”, he stressed.

The President encouraged the faithful to engage in other income generating activities, saying Poverty, in Uganda, arises from the fact that 39% of the households are still engaged in subsistence farming, still working only for food. “This is dangerous because in addition to food, there are other human wants required to live a happy and long life,” the President said.

He noted that it is no longer sustainable for one to live outside the money economy and expect to attain a happy life.

“Subsistence farming should be eliminated because it is a recipe for poverty and backwardness”, Museveni counselled.

The president said there are four sectors where wealth and jobs can be created and they include: commercial agriculture, industries, services and ICT. He further encouraged the masses to get involved in the Parish Development Model, which is aimed at increasing productivity and profitability of agricultural output. “This will eliminate spectators from the wealth and jobs creation campaign”, he said.

President Museveni commended Archbishop Jeronymos Muzeeyi for his able stewardship and spiritual guidance of Uganda Orthodox Church and thanked him for his efforts to unite and grow the Orthodox faith in Uganda. The President contributed Sh60m towards their activities.

In her words, Vice President Alupo congratulated the orthodox church in consecration of St. George and Andrews church, which she said,drew her closer because of the choice of the name “George”, like her father.

She underscored that many times she has witnessed Inter-religius cooperation and harmony everytime she has visited the orthodox church and asked them to continue to uphold those values.

She pledged her intended support to the Church.

Alupo told believers that President Museveni is very thankful for all the support from the people of Sembabule district and pledged that all issues that were raised by local leaders including roads, schools, hospitals would be addressed systematically. She contributed sh20m towards the construction and equipment of a science laboratory at St. Luke Secondary School.

The State Minister of Health for General Ditties Hanifa Kawooya (Woman MP) and Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikuubo pledged to continue working together for the development and transformation of the people of Sembabule.

Ssekikuubo paid tribute to his late father for constructing the church which has transformed into a fully-fledged parish.

Alupo asked the locals to continue voting NRM and president president Museveni even in 2026 and beyond.

The ceremony was attended by leaders from all political spheres including members of Parliament who contributed generously towards the establishment science laboratory.

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