ARUA. Bishop Charles Collins Andaku of Madi and West Nile diocese together with a group dubbed the “friends of the Bishop” have purchased a brand new Fuso lorry for use in the diocese.

The 285 million-shillings lorry was commissioned on Sunday at Emmanuel cathedral, Mvara in the presence of hundreds of jubilant Christians. The commissioning also coincided with the Christian event of the Palm Sunday, a day to remember the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

“My prayer is that the lorry will serve its purpose of the fulfilment of the mission of the Church in promoting holistic transformation for communities, nurture and equip Christians to maturity, win souls for Christ and make disciples of all nations” The Bishop stated in his brief speech.

The prelate during his consecration on the 26th February 2017 decried the poor working conditions of the clergy despite their instrumental service thus emphasizing the need to venture into various income-generating activities.

Bishop Andaku expressed happiness that the archdeaconries and parishes were following suit to improve the welfare of the clergy by buying vehicles for the archdeacons and motorcycles for priests.

The chairman of the “Friends of the Bishop” project Eng. William Tiyo Odaa said the lorry would be used for business purposes as well as the transfer of clergy.

He noted that the diocese had been spending between 12-15 million shillings annually on clergy transfers alone, a figure that was likely to drop to less than five million.

Mr Godfrey Nasser, the diocesan secretary said the diocese wants to show exemplary leadership to the rest of the 36 dioceses in the province of the church of Uganda.

“We are tired of buying second-hand vehicles that can only take one or two years and the eventual cost of maintaining it becomes too much, that’s why we went for a brand new truck but we also need to show a good example for others” Nasser replied when asked about the high cost of the Lorry.

He said the next phase of the friends of the Bishop project would involve purchasing a double cabin pick up to beef up the current ageing fleet of vehicles at the diocese secretariat.

Nasser confirmed that the fencing of the diocesan offices was nearing completion and soon works on the proposed office complex would begin.

The friends of the Bishop team was initiated in April 2018 with their meetings held at the Bishop’s residence at Mvara.

Madi and West Nile diocese is the largest single diocese in the province of the Church of Uganda consisting of 12 archdeaconries, 169 parishes and over 700 churches and 240 active and retired clergy having been carved out of Northern Uganda diocese in 1969.

The diocese covers six local government districts of Arua, Maracha, Yumbe, Koboko, Moyo and Adjumani and celebrated the centenary of existence of the Gospel on June 24th 2018.