- Commencement. The construction of the Shs8.8 billion new catholic church structure is expected to start on November 1 and will be done in phases.
Kampala. Christ The King, the catholic parish church in the city centre, is due for comprehensive re-modelling to more than double its seating capacity from 600 to about 1,500.
Msgr Gerald Kalumba, the parish priest, told Sunday Monitor on Friday that the extensive rehabilitation works which will start by November 1, and is expected to take one year and five months, will cost an estimated Shs8.8 billion.
Accordingly, sections of the current 86-year-old church structure will be pulled down and re-modelled, both internally and externally, with three galleries created on the sides and back of the church.
MS Seyani Brothers are the contractors that have been selected for the job while MS Ssentoogo and Partners are the consultants.
The prayer activities at the church will remain uninterrupted, Msgr Kalumba said, as the contractor will phase rebuilding of the structure from side to side.
The presbytery and the priest’s offices will be knocked down. Worshipers will then occupy the half-finished side.
The Mother Mary grotto and the statue of Jesus Christ in the church’s foreground will not be removed, but they will be remodelled together with the building’s front elevation view.
“When I came here eight years ago, we were speaking about Christ The King having developed and grown in terms of numbers of the community and we thought we needed to develop the church because the main activity here is prayer and worship,” Msgr Kalumba said yesterday.
He said the church had mobilised up to 78 per cent of the Shs8.8 billion required for the works, and is requesting the community to help in raising the balance. That is about Shs970 million.
“Many members of our community use this church in times of joy and sorrow and we expect that they will be motivated to help us raise the 22 per cent that we require to finish this job on time,” Msgr Kalumba said.
On October 6, Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala is expected to launch the project in which a major fundraising drive to be kicked off by Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of Kampala will also start.
“We shall have a second collection in masses on Sunday October 2, and on October 6, particularly for this project,” Msgr Kalumba said.
Christ The King Church started in 1930, with the current structure built by Asians of the Goan Community.
However, their numbers in the church dramatically went down when President Idi Amin expelled Asians from Uganda in 1972, and the Ugandan community took over care of the church.
In 1977, some expansions on the sides of the church were made to bring it to its current 600 seating capacity. The latest redevelopment of the church will see its capacity increased to a 1500-seater, and is intended to eliminate the current practice of worshippers praying from outside the church, standing in tents.