The Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC) in collaboration with the Western Regional Network of Ministers, Churches and Councils have launched a regional fundraising campaign to mobilise funds to support the construction of the National Cathedral (NC).
The event which brought together the clergy, traditional leaders, business executives, Moslem representation, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), members of the WRCC, Christians and the general public was also graced by Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle and Rev Dr Joyce Aryee, both Members of the Board of Trustees of NC and Chaired by the Western Regional Minister, Mr Okyere Darko-Mensah.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Okyere Darko-Mensah in a welcome address recounted that the vision of the construction of the NC was born out of President Akufo-Addo’s campaign promise in honor of God and therefore cut the sod in 2017 for its construction for the country to provide space for national events of religious nature.
He said notwithstanding how personal the pledge was at that time, it is very refreshing to see how the vision has transformed to reflect a national agenda and therefore commended the national leadership of the Christian fraternity for buying into the vision and shaping it to reflect its current national status.
He said the NC with the first ever Bible Museum, Bible Documentation Center and Biblical Garden would offer blessing to the Church and the nation as it would serve as a national interdenominational facility for prayer and worship, a centre of learning, and a national point of convergence.
Mr Darko-Mensah pointed out that considering the compliments of the Cathedral one can only envisage its enormous economic benefits done to consider it only as a spiritual place and pledged an amount of GHc 10,000 towards the project.
He opined that the Western Region shares the country’s determination to embark on projects for national development, adding that it shares the aspirations of patriotism in putting our nation high in terms of socio-economic development.
“Thus, it will be an honor for us not just to contribute to the construction of the National Cathedral but also to be counted prominently as a region among those who gave cheerfully towards this worthy course”, he emphasized.
Rev Dr Joyce Aryee, a Member of the Board of Trustees of NC in a short exhortation said as a nation and Christians, the NC provided a historic opportunity to put God at the centre of the affairs of the nation and as a symbol of eternal and continuing gratitude to God for his favours.
She recounted the interventions and redemptions of God upon the country from peaceful elections, Ebola disease and the now coronavirus disease which God has sheltered us through it all from its devastating effects as compared to other countries globally.
“Ghana boasts of 71% of its population being Christian, but there’s no one symbol of the presence of Christians. So the National cathedral will be that one significant symbol of Christianity in Ghana. The time has therefore come for the country to attract the glory of God as we put up this edifice which is the first around the globe”, she stated.
Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle, a Member of the Board of Trustees of NC giving an update on the project said the President has proposed a framework of the partnership between the state and the Ghanaian Christian community both at home and in the Diaspora to raise funds for the construction of the National Cathedral.
According to him, one of the blessings the country is blessed with is the blessing of peace and cohesion and commended the National Chief Imam, Dr Usman Nuhu Sharabutu who personally made a donation towards the construction of the Cathedral.
He stated that just as the people in Bible time brought their stones for the construction of the temple for God, so are the Christians in the country called to contribute towards the construction of the cathedral and expressed the hope that Christians in the country will contribute to see the dream fulfilled in a shortest possible time.
Bishop Emmanuel Botwey, Coordinator of the Network of Churches who launched the Fundraising mentioned that though the President and the Government of Ghana have contributed immensely towards the construction of the Cathedral it was time Christians and the Church gave their support.
He expressed the optimism that the project will surely become a reality with the overwhelming support of the Church and Christians in the country in particular and the diaspora and pledged an amount of GHc 20,000 on behalf of the Network towards the project.
The Dean of the MMDCEs, Mr Kojo Acquah pledged an amount of GHc 70,000 on behalf of the project with Mr Justice Amoh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JUSTMOH Construction Limited pledging GHc 20,000 while others pledged with various amounts toward the project.
The edifice has a sitting capacity of 5,000 and could be expanded for other national activities and is expected to be completed before March, 2024.
It is estimated to cost 250 Million US Dollars, out of which the government provides 10 percent as seed money and provision of land, while the rest to be provided by the Church and Ghanaians.
The facility is designed to include among other things Chapels, Baptistery, National crypt where key leaders of the country are buried, a specialised library on African Christianity, conference centres, Board rooms, Banquet Halls, Prayer Rooms and serve as a tourist attraction centre to Ghana while providing space for churches to organize and host big conferences, public lectures, symposia, workshops, seminars and Gospel concerts.
It will offer opportunity to African historians and interpreters of Christianity in non-Western contexts to retell and symbolise the Christian faith in ways that will feature the African contribution to the history of Christianity in Africa and feature contributions made by African and Ghanaian Christian scholars, youth gospel music groups, ecumenists, Church leaders and Charismatic figures.
It will also feature African Diaspora contributions and a hall of fame to be set up that will have statues of key contributors to Christianity including missionaries, Bible translators, pastors, evangelists, theologians, musicians and divine healers.
Their stories will be featured in both audio and video forms and the sermons of contemporary Ghanaian Christian leaders will be played in the cathedral.