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West Buganda Diocese Moves to Eliminate Unqualified Lay Readers :: Uganda Radionetwork
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West Buganda Diocese Moves to Eliminate Unqualified Lay Readers

A decision was taken during a sitting of the diocesan synod, which was chaired by Bishop Henry Katumba Tamale, at St Paul’s Cathedral Kako, in Nyendo-Mukungwe division, Masaka City.
West Buganda Anglican Bishop Henry Katumba Tamale, Making his submission to the Diocesean Synod on Wednesday

Audio 2

West Buganda Diocese has set the ordinary-level education certificate as a minimum academic qualification for its lay readers seeking to serve in its jurisdiction. 

A decision was taken during a sitting of the diocesan synod, which was chaired by Bishop Henry Katumba Tamale, at St Paul’s Cathedral Kako, in Nyendo-Mukungwe division, Masaka City.

The synod, which is the highest decision-making organ of the diocese resolved to establish mandatory minimum academic qualifications for persons before they train, and commissioned to become lay church readers in the area. 

Bishop Katumba says the decision was necessitated by the need to improve the standards of persons serving in the Church ministry, to ensure that they have the competence and required levels of credibility to appropriately perform their spiritual duties. 

The lay church readers; commonly referred to as; “ababulizi” in Luganda, are first-line priests who serve in sub-parish Churches, and sometimes deployed alongside fully ordained priests to support them in preaching and leading Church services.  

Currently, candidates for lay readers are selected from the most committed Christians in local churches; whose qualifications are proven abilities of reading and writing, before they are taken into a two-year training in Church ministry.  

However, Bishop Katumba indicates that the modern-day demands of evangelization require that these lay readers also have some level of competence to make appropriate reflections and interpretations of the gospel, to try to measure up to the quality and literacy levels of their congregations.

   (Luganda Audio)

//Cue in: “ekiroowo si kyange…. 

Cue out: …..obuwereza mu kanisa.”//  However, the decision has come at a time when the Church of Uganda in the West Buganda diocese is faced with a sharp shortage of lay readers to be deployed. Records in the diocese registry indicate that West Buganda currently has 263 lay church readers against 670 churches in its jurisdiction, leaving a deficit of 407 personnel.

To bridge the current gap, Bishop Katumba indicates that the synod has also made it mandatory for all Archdeacons in the diocese to identify and sponsor training of at least two suitable candidates from their respective areas of jurisdictions every two years.

  //Cue in: “kati olw’okuba nti….. Cue out: ….kulaga walala.”//  

Besides, the synod also approved amendments to the Diocese’s constitution, in which it expunged centers from its administrative structures and instead transferred semi-autonomous powers to levels of Archdeacon. It also reinforced the decree on the establishment of income-generating projects at each of the parishes, with specific emphasis put on coffee and banana plantations.