New Bishop in Luweero

Wilsons_2013 Posted by Rory Wilson on Sun, 17 May 2015 | 2 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

I confess to never having attended the making of a bishop before. Now off my bucket list, I really did enjoy the consecration and enthronement of Bishop Eridard Nsubuga as the 3rd Bishop of Luweero Diocese, which took place today (17th May).

Although as noted I haven’t actually been to such an occasion in Ireland, I suspect that there would certainly be some differences.

We were there by 8.30am and left the cathedral at 4pm. Most folk were just heading across the road at that stage for their lunch – catering for 2,000 on open fires would challenge most Mothers’ Union teams I suspect!

The first hymn was a challenge for us as the pews were too close together. I had to stand on the kneeler rack which made me taller than anyone in the building. By the next time we had to stand we had improved the situation. Most of the last hour was speeches from various officials. It is pre-election time here with parliamentary and presidential elections due in 2016. Thus we enjoyed the Prime Minister making a speech on behalf of the President.

The Kiwoko HIV team worked in a tent in the Cathedral grounds all day counselling and testing those interested – not so commonly done during Church of Ireland enthronements.

One of my favourite bits of the service was when most of the 35 Church of Uganda bishops tried to gather around the new bishop to pray for him. The view of this jovial scrum was somewhat obscured by the equivalent number of press squeezing in on everybody while trying to film the occasion (sadly meaning that I did not succeed in having a picture to upload with this).

The whole affair was good natured and carnival like. After each vow the crowd cheered. Each time our outgoing bishop spoke he was greeted with ululations from appreciative admirers. Even Bishop Eridard’s family were brought up, introduced and prayed for – the youngest son in P5 was referred to as the ‘baby of the family’ and one the visiting bishops acting as MC referred to him as the ‘acting last born.’ All the wives of bishops present gathered round and prayed for Jane Nsubuga before giving her a Bible.

The new bishop left the building twice to get progressively more dressed in Episcopal garments. Each return had him escorted by 20 ladies in Mothers’ Union traditional-wear, ululating up the isle after him.

Our new bishop’s charge to those present was on the theme ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel,’ from Romans chapter 1. It was great to hear such sensible priorities and heartfelt enthusiasm for us to engage with the world around us that needs to meet with Jesus. Who needs new fancy ideas when basic ones are what we need just now? CMS Ireland got a mention too with a welcome for Jenny Smith in her new role as Director of Mission and hopes for ongoing good partnership.

In his closing remarks, Archbishop Stanley noted that there were more people outside the cathedral building than the 1,000 that had fitted inside and suggested that next time a bishop is consecrated here we should plan to do it outside altogether. Shortly before however he needed to encourage the bishops who were distributing communion to venture out to those outside in the rain, noting that the rain was a measure of God’s blessing on the day. (Perhaps a dry season enthronement would be a better plan next time?)

So, exciting times in the Diocese of Luweero. Thanks to those who have been praying for what took place here today. Please continue to pray for Bishop Eridard and Mama Jane. Hope that your Sunday was as good as mine?

Rory

Comments

Gillian Maganda said Mon, 18 May 2015 03:22PM
Great to hear about Bishop Erirdard's enthronement ceremony yesterday - sounded fantastic and very long-lasting! A truly African celebration. Congratulations Bishop Erirdard and family.
Jenny Christie said Wed, 20 May 2015 08:05AM
Great update Rory - may God bless Eridard's work, ministry and family and u lot too!!

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