Bishop Hannington Celebrations – Authorities within Uganda, through the Uganda Tourism Board – UTB have began marketing faith-based tourism and also have invited several Christians from across the world including neighboring Kenya to participate in the various functions.
For several days they have organizing for this long awaited day as they commemorate life of the Anglican Bishop Hannington together with the Uganda martyrs who were butchered by the local on orders of the King of Buganda Kingdom Kabaka Mwanga. Bishop Hannigton was murdered at Kyando, found in eastern Uganda where these celebrations are to be held. The activities started on Monday and will end on Wednesday.
Christians from Kenya-Mumias have been invited to these because the body of Bishop Hannington was initially buried there and later a church was built in his honor.
These celebrations have been made possible through the partnership of the Uganda Tourism Board together with the Busoga Diocese where this bishop was murdered, and are to be held at the exact place where he was killed.
In A statement issued by UTB at the start of this week on Moday; it revealed that more than 5000 pilgrims were expected to take part in the Bishop Hannington’s Celebrations at Kyando that are hosted by the Busoga Diocese starting 27th – 29th October 2014, and that The guest of honor will be the Right Honorable Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.
In accordance with UTB, the objective of this event is to additionally honor the Uganda martyrs especially to celebrate Bishop Hannington’s life. More than 5000 pilgrims as well as travelers on a Uganda safari from different parts of the world as well as mother land Uganda are hoped to gather at Busoga at Kyando to commemorate Uganda’s first martyr.
Some of the events that have been held include a bicycle race which was conducted on Monday, and then yesterday Tuesday was a cooking competition while today Wednesday the 29th, the main celebrations have been held. Throughout the celebrations, they provided free medical services at the venue.
Almost Ten million Ugandan shillings has been invested by the Uganda Tourism Board – UTB to support this event through offering public address system, chairs, sanitation and tents among other things.
The statement by UTB added that they are devoted to enhancing the Uganda martyrs experience as well as inviting people that value the great works of Bishop Hannington back in Mumias where his body was initially buried and also in Sussex where the Bishop was born.
On 29th October 1885 following several days in captivity right in Kyando – Busoga region in Uganda, Bishop James Hannington (who was Born in Sussex – UK), and the very first Anglican Archbishop in Eastern Equatorial Africa was sadly speared to death under the instructions of kabaka Mwanga then king of Buganda. His last words as he breathed his last were that go inform Mwanga I have bought the road into Uganda with my blood.
After Bishop Hannington’s death, his porters found his body, preserved it using smoke and then smuggled it from Uganda, stopping over at Budimo found in Samia Bugwe where later on a church was constructed in memory of the bishop. The porters then crossed to Mumias found in Kenya where yet another church was constructed in his honor.
After 2 years of his appointment as the new Eastern Equatorial Africa’s bishop, Bishop Alfred Tucker found some of the remains of his predecessor at Mumias and then sent them to Namirembe Cathedral – Uganda where they are buried. A dedication stone in 1938 was constructed in his memory at the Bishop Hannington Memorial Church found in Hove, England.
Bishop Hannington was announced a martyr and also saint within the Church of England by the 79 Resolution of the Lambert conference held in 1958 a couple of years before the Namugongo martyrs were announced saints in 1964. On the 29th of October each year, the Church of England marked it as the Bishop Hannington Feast Day.
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