KAMPALA: Namirembe Cathedral has overturned Church of Uganda’s common practice of returning all condolences collected in church to the bereaved families by issuing its own new guidelines in which they will take the biggest percent of the money collected as condolences during funeral services.
In a letter addressed to the different dignitaries in Namirembe Diocese, Rev Canon Nelson Kaweesa, the Secretary of Namirembe diocese has said that 75% of the condolences will be retained by the church and the bereaved family will take 25%.
He said the decision was taken by the Diocesan Council.
He said collecting condolences will be conducted before the sermon to enable the ushers to count the money and divide it accordingly before the end of each service.
“75% of the condolence will be retained by the church to enable it pay for the items that were used in the service,” reads the letter in part.
He added that this arrangement includes funeral services held at home.
He noted that “we shall be happy when this arrangement is followed.”
This has elicited a flurry of reactions from the disgruntled public, a cross-section of which commented as follows in regard to this touchy subject.
People’s reactions to the arrangement
Ms. Sarah Biryomumaisho an anchor at Radio4 took to her twitter page and tweeted,
“Praying for the dead has become expensive, how is this even supposed to make sense? In my opinion, the church should instead take 25% and leave 75% to the grieved family.”
Mr Arthur Nuwagaba Mirama tweeted, “75% is not reasonable at all. The church should at least take 10% a tithe from that money not 75%. Are we turning churches into business?”
Praying for the dead has also become expensive! How is this even supposed to make sense?
In my opinion, the Church should instead take 25% and leave 75% to the grieved family.
Mr Robert Tumusiime responded as follows, “I am Anglican but I do not support this. I thought the church of Uganda is supposed to sanction this and there should be uniformity across all dioceses.”
The Church of Uganda is sub-divided into 35 Dioceses. Each Diocese is administered by a Bishop and includes a Diocesan Office to oversee the priests and deacons and to encourage and support ministries of the parishes and congregations.
The Rt Rev Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira heads Namirembe diocese that is comprised of 342 local churches.