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Unveiling new look of Anglican site

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A visitor tours the Uganda Martyrs Anglican site in Namugongo, Wakiso District, on May 8, 2024. PHOTO/FRANK BAGUMA

The Namugongo Anglican Church has undergone a significant transformation, which has given it a facelift ahead of the forthcoming annual Martyrs’ Day celebrations in June.

Pilgrims attending this year’s event will utilise modern toilets constructed by the Church of Uganda leaders, which has improved the area’s hygiene.

Unlike previous celebrations where pilgrims struggled with inadequate facilities, the Church of Uganda provincial spokesperson Adams Sadiiki  noted that the situation has significantly improved this year.

“We have been facing a challenge of health facilities like toilets, which were not up to standard. This was a concern for us, so we earmarked some funds and installed modern toilets to accommodate our pilgrims,” Mr Sadiiki said.

The Chairperson of the Organising Committee for this year’s celebrations, Bishop Reuben Kisembo, said the Church expects to host more than one million pilgrims.

The Church has successfully roofed the arena, which was open during the previous celebrations. This arena, adjacent to the amphitheatre, was commissioned last year and can accommodate more than 1,000 pilgrims.

With the amphitheatre’s capacity of more than 20,000, the newly roofed arena provides additional space, offering pilgrims protection from the scorching sunshine and rain.

A newly constructed souvenir project has also been put in place, providing a more comfortable and enriching experience. This, according to Bishop Kisembo, can accommodate more than 1,000 pilgrims.

Left to right: Bishop of South Rwenzori Diocese Nason Baluku; Bishop Emeritus Jackson Matovu of Central Buganda Diocese; Bishop Reuben Kisembo of Rwenzori Diocese, the chairperson of the Organising Committee for Martyrs Day celebrations, and Bishop of Masindi Kitara Diocese George William Asiimwe Kasangaki, address journalists at the Anglican site in Namugongo on May 8, 2024. PHOTO/FRANK BAGUMA

Each cluster that organises the Martyrs’ Day on behalf of the church is expected to construct a souvenir project for remembrance.

Mid-Western cluster, which is handling this year’s celebrations, has constructed the new souvenir project, which cost Shs450m.

The cluster has six dioceses. These are Rwenzori, East Rwenzori, West Rwenzori, South Rwenzori, Bunyoro-Kitara and Masindi.

Apart from the major works, the site has also been beautified with newly planted flowers, and pavers, which have added a good touch to the venue. The streetlights have also been installed at the site.

The lighting, according to Mr Sadiiki  has provided security not only to the properties of the Church but to pilgrims who are expected at the venue.

As of yesterday, the pilgrims had started arriving at the venue. 
When this reporter visited the venue, the whole place was lit up, with numerous cleaners visible on the ground, tidying up the area to enhance its beauty for the arriving pilgrims.

The annual event pays homage to 45 martyrs (22 Catholics and 23 Anglicans), who were killed between 1885 and 1887 on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga because of their faith.