The Archbishop of the Church of North America Foley Beach is set to grace the 2023 Anglican Martyrs’ day celebrations, Eagle Online has learnt. The revelation was made by the First Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga.
Martyrs’ Day is marked on 3rd June every year in commemoration of the 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic believers who were killed on orders of Kabaka Mwanga between 1885 and 1887.
Under the theme;United for sustainable services and growth (Ephesians 4:11-16), Martyrs’ Day celebrations will be organized by the 10 dioceses of Eastern Uganda.
The dioceses include; Mbale, Bukedi, Soroti, Karamoja, central Busoga, North Mbale, North Karamoja, Busoga, Sebei, and Kumi.
According to Kadaga, President Yoweri Museveni will be the chief guest, Archbishop Beach will be the chief preacher and Archbishop will be the main celebrant.
“As we celebrate the martyrs, we need to start with the real one and that is Bishop James Hannington. It is his death that led to the others. When Joseph Balikudembe complained to the King that we have killed a man innocently that is how he was also killed in 1885 and that is how the journey of martyrdom started,” Kadaga said.
Kadaga said the next martyr’s day celebrations will be a unique. We have given the responsibility to the 10 dioceses to look for Shs 2 billion to organize the celebrations and their efforts will be visible.
“The former organizers; Buganda cluster speak one language, Kigezi cluster speak one language, Ankole cluster also speak one language but this time round the organizing cluster comprises of various tribes speaking different languages and that is the uniqueness about next year’s celebrations,” she added.
Eagle Online has also established that government processes to recognize Bishop James Hannington as one of the martyrs in Uganda. The location of Hannington’s remains was divulged to Bishop Alfred Tucker in 1892 and on 31st December 1892, his remains were reburied at Namirembe. He is commemorated by the Hannington memorial chapel in Namirembe Cathedral, Kampala, Uganda.