Churches Should Take Charge Of Members’ Pilgrimage – NCPC
A call has gone out to on pastors and the church to take charge of pilgrimage in Nigeria.
Rev. Tor Uja, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), made the call during the Special Convocation Programme organised by NCPC for over 1,000 pastors on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that it was high time for the church to take over pilgrimage, adding that the Federal Government had done enough in sponsoring pilgrimage.
“Over the years the government has done enough in sponsoring pilgrimage but now is the time to take responsibility for the development of Nigeria and the building of frameworks.
“The take over includes financing pilgrimage, helping in its programme designs, helping in the development of policy and also participating in the spiritual ministries of pilgrimage and supporting pilgrims and pilgrim institutions.
“We want the church to develop a framework, which is normal for the people to be on pilgrimage and it is the reason we have broken pilgrimage into relevant church groups.
“The groups includes Women, youth, pastors, family and the general pilgrimage. The general pilgrimage will take off this year from Oct. 15 to Dec. 15,’’ he said.
Uja had directed the commission to commence the sales of forms so that there would be no issues of delay with preparations and arrangements of financial commitments.
“I have directed that forms should be sold now. We want early preparations, we want early arrangements; we want all financial commitments concluded by September.
“We want to remove all the stumbling blocks of delay in all the processes and we will do everything on time and we will get it done.
“If churches take it up, it will make Nigeria the nation of our dreams and the nation that will propagate the gospel all over the world,’’ Uja said.
In his remark, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Primate, Church of Nigeria, (Anglican Communion), said taking charge of pilgrimage was in the interest of the church itself.
According to Okoh, people who have spiritual power to understand spiritual pilgrimage will go on pilgrimage.
“There have been instances of people who actually have no background to understand what they are seeing but they just go about to do a lot of shopping because they have a lot of money.
“They create a lot of indiscipline for the group and most of the negative reports about pilgrimage generated from this type of people.
“With this kind of move that is on now only people who are spiritually buoyant need to go and be able to come back, use it and bless other people,” he said.
The cleric called on the church to put heads together and agree to teach pilgrimage, adding that it needs to be properly coordinated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Pastor Sheyi Malomo, Aso Rock Villa Chaplain and Pastor Funsho Odesola, Assistant General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) were at the event among others.
The event had over 1000 pastors from different denominations in attendance.