Uganda promotes faith-based tourism
27 October 2014, 16:04
Kampala - Authorities in Uganda, through Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) have started promoting faith-based tourism and have invited Christians from Mumias Kenya to attend some of the functions.
It has started by organising celebrations to commemorate Uganda martyrs and also the life of Anglican Bishop Hannington who was butchered by locals at the order of Buganda King Mwanga. Hannigton was killed at Kyando, in eastern Uganda and that is where the celebrations are going to be held starting from Monday until Wednesday.
Christians from Mumias have been invited because Bishop Hannington's body was first buried there and a church constructed in his honor.
Uganda Tourism Board and Busoga Diocese where the bishop was killed, have partnered to organise the celebrations at the very spot where the bishop was murdered.
A statement issued Monday by UTB said, ''Over 5 000 faithful pilgrims are expected to grace Bishop Hannington’s Celebrations hosted by Busoga Diocese at Kyando from 27th to 29th October 2014. The Chief Celebrant will be the Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.''
According to UTB, the purpose of this event is to further commemorate Uganda martyrs and in particular to celebrate the life of Bishop Hannington. Over 5 000 pilgrims from all over Uganda are expected to gather at Kyando to celebrate Uganda’s first saint.
Among the events to be held are a bicycle race on Monday, a cooking competition on Tuesday and the main celebration on Wednesday. Free medical services are to be provided at the venue during this period.
UTB has invested nearly UGX 10 million to support the event by providing chairs, tents, public address system and sanitation among other things.
UTB statement added, ''We are committed to enriching the Uganda martyrs experience and inviting persons that value Bishop Hannington in Mumias where he was first buried and in Sussex where he was born.''
On October 29, 1885 after days in captivity at Kyando, Bishop James Hannington [Born in Sussex, United Kingdom] the 1st Anglican Archbishop of the Eastern Equatorial Africa was speared to death. As he died, his last words were: “Go tell Mwanga I have purchased the road to Uganda with my blood.”
Following his death, Bishop Hannington’s porters accessed his corpse, preserved it with smoke and smuggled it out of Uganda, making a stop-over at Budimo in Samia Bugwe where a church was later built in the bishop’s memory. The porters crossed over to Mumias in Kenya where another church was built in his memory.
Two years after his appointment as new bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, Bishop Alfred Tucker located some of his predecessor’s remains at Mumias and sent them to Namirembe where they are buried. In 1938, a dedication stone was erected in his memory at Bishop Hannington Memorial Church, Hove, England.
Bishop Hannington was declared a martyr and saint in the Church of England by Resolution 79 of the Lambert conference of 1958 before the Namugongo martyrs were declared saints in 1964. Every year, October 29 is marked as Bishop Hannington’s Feast Day in the Church of England.
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