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On the matter of having a National Cathedral, methinks people are getting issues mixed up, and it’s crucial that we set records straight. As a Country, we ought to appreciate that we are a religious country. Christians & Muslims have co-existed and contributed immensely in shaping our society. Our religious groupings wield so much influence on society that they can even change the political arrangement in our country.
That said, we must be prepared to do what pleases the beliefs that have held us together. America has a National Cathedral. The Washington National Cathedral has served as the National House of Prayer for the US. The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in UAE serves as a National mosque. Successive Governments support for religious activities is worth mentioning. We have sponsored persons to Mecca and Israel to partake in pilgrimage, and it underpins the importance government attaches to religion.
The decision to construct a National Cathedral will not only serve as a place of worship but also host critical National events. The state has held funeral services for past leaders at the International Conference Centre, which seats only about 1400 persons. The National Cathedral is designed to seat 5000 with the capacity to open it up to almost 20,000. State functions and other activities may be held at this facility. We are about to host the world on the 13th of September, and the ICC will be too small a place for such a function. The Cathedral will include conference centres, museums, bookshops, restaurants and Music schools et al.
Having it in the centre of town is very important. It will be a national monument that seeks to create a sacred space for the governance of the nation and has to be accessible and positioned strategically. All over the world, National Cathedrals are sited close to the centres of power and also in the Centre of town for economic reasons. There’s a relocation plan by the judiciary which starts this year, and the National Cathedral will start somewhere next year so it cannot be the case that it is because of the National Cathedral that our judges are relocating.
Let’s all support the trustees and government to bring to light this laudable initiative. Ghana will be the winner! President Akufo-Addo has shown that he thinks of not only the present but also the future. In 100 Years to come, our grandchildren will be happy that their forebears took this bold decision to serve them.
By: Davis Opoku Ansah (OPK)