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Cave experience of Bishop James Hannington during his missionary work

L-R: Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, President Museveni, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and other officials at Bishop James Hannington Library in Kyando Village, Mayuge District, on October 29, 2018. (PHOTO/File)

By Mary Kisaakye

KAMPALA – Bishop James Hannington was a British bishop who was departed to Eastern Africa by the Anglican church in October 1885.

Bishop Hannington was sent to Africa to spread Christianity.

Africa, then was considered a dark continent.

Through his mission, he spent most of his time within the caves to hide from wild animals and other attackers. It is there that he read and wrote books and also grew an experience that helped him much in his pastoral work.

Bishop Hannington is believed to have lived in a cave in Kyando – Mayuge District in 1885.

Bp Hannington’s cave was located in a bushy and lonely area which was quite risky at the time. The story is told that it was not easy for one to discover or even harbour the slightest idea of the existence of any human there.

The cave was well centered, shielding him from rain and floods. The outside of the cave has a creative touch. A huge stone that the Bishop allegedly used for a pulpit stands on the entrance of the cave.

Within the cave he had strategic places where he would see through any intruders from either side.

The ambience must have provided an amazing view for the man of God.

His sitting position enabled him to write and read as well as enjoy the warm breeze of the cave.

Bishop James Hannington Memorial site. (PHOTO/NEW VISION)

Bishop Hannington was so knowledgeable and creative, that he transformed one of the stones into a book stand, where he centered his books while he read.

Along with him came a Kenyan man who served as his Kiswahili interpreter.

Bp Hannington thrived in his pastoral work and by so doing stepped on some toes.

His teachings did not sit well with the Buganda Katikiro (Prime Minister) and the Arabs because he preached against slave trade and convinced the people to convert to Christianity.

Eventually, the Bishop was martyred.

The legend says, the Arabs felt insecure in his wide popularity and acceptance by the African people and together with their Baganda allies convinced their ruler that with no time the Christian faith would take over the crown and this rather triggered the execution of the missionary in 1885.

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