The brick red St Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe with an impressive doom stands on top of Namirembe Hill impressing upon the faithful the significance of prayer. The cathedral is visible from much of Kampala City. The Cathedral which was constructed in 1890 is the biggest protestant church in Uganda. The modesty of the cathedral is meant to command respect and grace.
The difficult time (1890-1910)
Tragedy befell the first four cathedral buildings and the story is as follows:
- The first church building was constructed in 1890 with capacity of 800 people. It was abandoned because it was located in a swampy area and a bigger church was required to accommodate the growing numbers.
- The second church was constructed between July 1891 and July 1892 with the seating capacity of more than 3,000. In October 1894 a strong wind blew the roof off the church in process ruining the church.
- The third church building was built between 1894 and 1895 with a seating capacity of about 4,000 worshippers. That building, constructed with traditional local materials, was abandoned in the early 1900s due to fear that the termites would destroy the building,
- The fourth church building was constructed with earthen brick walls and a thatched roof, between 1900 and 1904. The church was opened on Tuesday 21 June 1904 with an estimated 10,000 people in attendance. The congregation included Kabaka Daudi Chwa II, then aged seven. On the afternoon of Friday 23 September 1910, the roof was gutted by a fire which started when lightning struck the building. Within less than thirty minutes, the entire roof was destroyed and the church was ruined.
- The current St. Paul’s Cathedral was constructed between 1915 and 1919 using earthen bricks and earthen roof tiles
The Organ in St Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe
The Organ was built in 1931 by The Positive Organ Co. (1922) Ltd. It was overhauled in 1952 by E, Davis of Northampton and the organ today operates to a specification drawn up in 1999 with Michael Sozi, Chairman of the Organ Committee. Due to limited funds, it was decided to stagger the work of restoration. The first phase commenced after Easter 1999 when Peter & Ann Wells travelled to Uganda to install new manual keyboards and action to the manual soundboards. The full scheme was realised in 2006/7 with the installation of the Great Mixture and Pedal Trombone.
Bishop Hannington and the Cooks
The remains of Bishop Hannington who was murdered in1885 and the Cooks who established the Mengo Hospital were made to rest in the compound of the cathedral.
Sunday Service in English is at 7.00 a.m. and Luganda Service at 10.30a.m
Bishop of Namirembe Diocese
Bishop: The Rt. Rev. Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira
+256 712 942 161