Kampala. Namirembe Diocese under the Anglican Church of Uganda has issued new guidelines to direct the collection and distribution of condolence money collected during funeral services.
“25 per cent of the condolence money collected shall remain at the church to cater for expenses incurred in the arrangement of the service. 75 per cent of the money shall be given to the bereaved family members,” Namirembe Diocesan Secretary, Rev Can Nelson Kaweesa wrote in a June 7 letter.
He said he was communicating the decision of the Diocesan Council.
Rev Can Kaweesa said the Diocesan Council made the decision at its May 24 sitting directing that the said money shall be collected before the funeral service starts to allow the church wardens opportunity to count and declare it before the service ends.
The communication was sent to the Dean of the Diocese, Archdeaconries, all reverends and lay leaders and believers of Namirembe.
According to the letter, the same arrangement will also apply to funeral services held in the respective homes or any other place after death of a believer.
Rev Can Kaweesa wrote: “This communication surpasses an earlier one which had mistakes. We shall be grateful if you follow this arrangement.”
An earlier letter had indicated that the church shall take 75 per cent of the condolence money while 25 per cent shall go to the bereaved family.
Efforts to get a comment from Rev Can Kaweesa and Bishop Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira were futile as their known mobile telephone numbers could not be reached.
However, some of the believers who declined to be named described the church decision as a surprise move that ought to be reviewed.
The believers said if implemented, the decision will discourage many people from going to church where they have been seeking solace.
However, there is no indication that the decision will apply to other Anglican churches outside Namirembe Diocese.