A Short History of Khartoum Cathedral

Khartoum CathedralAll Saints’ Cathedral, Khartoum belongs to the Diocese of Khartoum of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS). The present Cathedral is a new site which was given by the Sudan government to replace the old Cathedral near to the Republican palace. The foundation of the old Cathedral was laid in 1904 and was consecrated and opened in 1912.

The Old Cathedral

On the 31st of July 1971, the Cathedral was confiscated by the Sudan government with the allegation that, there was a tunnel from the cathedral to the palace, an allegation which was not true. The second argument was that the Cathedral was near the palace and therefore it was not convenient for the Christians to worship there. However, today there stands a magnificent Mosque just near to palace which was opened in 1995. Addition to that the Cathedral's tower was knocked down in October 1996 and the Cathedral was turn into a Museum which was opened in the year 2000. Beside the present site of the Cathedral, there are two other plots which were offered to replace the staff houses. The amount of Ls. 500,000 (five hundred thousand Sudanese Pounds) about 200 US Dollars (two hundred US Dollars) was offered toward the building of the new Cathedral and pastors houses. However the money was not enough to do the work which was required. The tower of the new Cathedral is yet to be built plus a community center which includes a library, offices, Cathedral Hall, children's class rooms, and staff houses. Bells are still in the old site, although we are no longer sure of this, since the tower was knocked down and the Cathedral was turned into a Museum.

The New Cathedral

The foundation stone of the new Cathedral was laid on the 27th of May 1979, by the Most Rev. Elinana J. Ngalamu, the first Archbishop of the Episcopal church of the Sudan. The consecration was done on the 18th of September 1983, at which Oliver Alison, the Last English Bishop to leave Sudan, was invited back to preach on the occasion.

The Cathedral was administered by chaplains appointed by the Bishop who use to reside in Cairo. Then Martin was the first to be appointed provost, followed by the Patrick was the second provost, both were from England. Late Ephraim A. Natana was the first Sudanese ever to be appointed as provost. Ephraim came just after the confiscation of the Cathedral 1972 and was the provost until 1988. He was elected, consecrated, and enthroned a Bishop for Lui Diocese. Ephraim and Bishop Butrus Shokai the first Bishop of Khartoum Diocese worked very hard until this new site was granted. Four copies of Holy Bible have been placed in each of the four corners of the Cathedral as the bases of the foundation as the living church.

During the ESC Leadership crises, the Cathedral was closed for four and half years. Thank God that the crises came to an end, and the Cathedral became alive again, with much more activities and ministry.

The Rev. Ezekiel J. Kondo was appointed second Sudanese provost in 1993, Succeeding Ephraim A. Natana, he was elected to become the provincial secretary for province of ECS in the 2000.

Rev. Canon Sylvester Thomas was appointed Acting provost by the Bishop of Khartoum Diocese, on the 25th December 2000, and was confirmed in the office, the following year to become the 3rd Sudanese provost For the Cathedral.

The present Bishop of Khartoum Diocese is the Rt. Rev. Ezekiel J. Kondo, who is the third Sudanese Bishop of Khartoum and former Provost of the Cathedral

At the northern side of the Cathedral is the Martins Chapel, which was consecrated in memory of the first provost. This chapel is used each week for Holy Communion, and indeed morning prayers on most days of the week.