Bishop Dag Heward-Mills
The Trustees and Secretariat of the National Cathedral project have issued a response to the widely publicised letter of the founder of the Lighthouse Chapel International, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills, over his resignation from the trusteeship.
In a statement issued yesterday and signed by Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Apostle Prof. Opoku Onyinah, the National Cathedral of Ghana (NCoG) said in as much as the board does not want to be drawn into a public contest on the publication in the media of the letter of resignation, it was important to inform the public about the issues.
“The Board would not want to engage in a public contest that would be detrimental to the unity of the church that the National Cathedral seeks to promote,” the statement emphasised.
According to the board, a number of the issues raised in the letter have already been clarified during a visit to the office of Bishop Dag Heward-Mills by a delegation led by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees on August 23, 2022.
The statement noted that similar clarifications were made in a letter dated October 15, 2022 acknowledging the letter of resignation from Bishop Heward-Mills as well as a board meeting held on October 10, 2022.
Making the issues known, the statement pointed out that the National Cathedral is a partnership between the state and church, and the roles of the state have been clearly specified in the partnership appointment of the architect, land, secretariat and seed money for the preparatory phase of the work.
“The architect and the land—the site for the National Cathedral — had already been selected by the President before the appointment of the Trustees by the President. All Trustees were aware of this,” the statement noted further.
It said the selection of the contractors – RIBADE – for the project, was through a rigorous international procurement process supervised by the lead consultant, whose contract included the selection of a contractor for approval by the Board of Trustees.
“The costing for the project, and the selection of the contractors for the project were led by the Project’s Lead Consultants, as well as a technical committee officially commissioned by the Board of Trustees, and including seasoned Ghanaian professionals in the building and construction industry,” the statement intimated.
The statement indicated that this technical group included Senior Architect and Project Manager, Tony Yeboah Asare; Deputy CEO of PPA, Kwame Prempeh; Senior Architect, Becky Yakpo; Senior Quantity Surveyor, Dr. Joseph Buertey, who has been seconded to the project by the Church of Pentecost; George Lomotey, Chief Procurement and Supply Chain Manager at Office of the President; and Cary Summers, Founding President, Museum of the Bible, USA.
“This Technical Committee reviewed all the proposals by the lead consultant, before recommending these for approval to the board.
“The integration of the Bible Museum and Biblical Gardens into the National Cathedral project and the selection of the US consultant — Cary Summers – for the two projects, was approved by the Board of Trustees on December 10, 2019,” the statement said.
It revealed that the extensive preparatory work done, including work on the construction site, are all documented and available.
The statement said one of the key strengths of the National Cathedral project is that the Board of Trustees is made up of some of the key, pioneering leaders of the church in Ghana, and whose work on the project is contributing to improved inter-church relations in the country.
“These church leaders, the Board of Trustees, have pioneered and/or led vibrant churches with global reach and impact. These churches and their leaders not only have deep-seated theological differences, but also different understanding and approaches to the development of the National Cathedral,” it posited.
The statement added that the challenge of such a group is that individual leaders, with a history of implementing their own organisational/denominational programmes and vision, have to be part of a collective decision-making process where their preferences might not always prevail.
“Specifically, this means that no one leader can have all their preferences, methods, approaches accepted in this changed and unfamiliar context, and some would prefer to leave the Trusteeship.
“This notwithstanding, we are grateful that all the Trustees -including Bishop Dag Heward-Mills who voluntarily left the Trusteeship – still remain committed to the vision of the National Cathedral and want to see it completed to God’s glory,” the statement concluded.
By Ernest Kofi Adu