The founder and presiding Bishop of the Lighthouse Group of Churches, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills believes questions being asked by Ghanaians about the National Cathedral project are legitimate.
He said this in a letter he wrote to the Chairman of the Board and Trustees, the Executive Directive Director of the Cathedral, and all members of the Board of Trustees in June 2022 and sighted by the media.
In the letter, Bishop Heward-Mills raised concerns about the structure of the leadership of the Cathedral, the cost of the project, design, review of the mode of fund-raising, re-strategising among others.
With regard to the fund-raisers, he lamented that the methods used over the years had not yielded much hence the need to review their strategy.
“I do believe that the fund-raising methods we have attempted have not yielded much. Indeed, some of the programmes we have held have cost more than the monies we have raised from them. I suggest another form of fund-raising where we would be guaranteed more donations from denominations, churches, individuals, businessmen and corporate bodies. I would be happy to discuss these if the committee is interested in that.”
He also called for a downward review of the $400 million estimated budget for the project.
“I am a firm believer in the President’s vision. I believe that the public can see and is questioning the fact that we have spent almost six years since the sod-cutting of this project as well as over $30m (thirty million dollars) of public funds, to excavate a massive pit in the centre of the city. I do believe that many of the questions that are being asked and hurled at the National Cathedral Project are reasonable and legitimate questions by objective citizens who just want answers to their questions.”
He suggested that the right response to some of the questions being asked would be “an adjustment in strategy so that we can achieve our goal of building a National Cathedral even in these difficult times.”
“Continuing to pay contractors $40,000 (forty thousand dollars) a month as we wait to procure a huge loan in this hostile atmosphere sounds dicey to me. I do believe that almost six years down the line, we need to look at a different approach to achieve our goal of building God’s house in Ghana.”
The revered Bishop resigned from the National Cathedral Board of Trustees in August 2022.
In his resignation letter addressed to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral and copied to about 14 people including the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Bishop Heward-Mills expressed disappointment at the leadership of the National Cathedral for ignoring concerns he raised in several letters he wrote to them.