Archbishop of York to give service in Luganda language at Durham Cathedral

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.
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THE Archbishop of York will read in his native tongue at a special memorial service in Durham Cathedral.

Next month’s service will mark the centenary of the death of Bishop Alfred Tucker, former Bishop of Uganda and Canon of Durham Cathedral, after whom Archbishop John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu is named.

Bishop Tucker was made Bishop of Uganda in 1897 and was renowned for trying to work with the local culture and customs in Uganda rather than trying to replace them with European attitudes.

He is credited with helping to increase the number of Christians in the country from 200 on his arrival to 83,000 by the time he left and would possibly have preached to the ancestors of the current, Ugandan-born, Archbishop Sentamu.

The Archbishop of York said: “The Centenary of Bishop Alfred Tucker’s death is of great significance.

“I say this not only because my parents chose to name me after him, but because I believe his missionary spirit is exactly what the Church in England must rediscover today.

“It was when he was curate at St Nicholas’s here in Durham that Tucker first said he heard ‘the watchword Africa for Christ ringing in my ears’.

“As Bishop in Uganda, he strove to work with all the tribes of Uganda and not to replace their cultures.”

Bishop Tucker served 20 years in Uganda before returning in 1911 to Durham.

He was offered a canonry by Durham Cathedral, where he served until his death in 1914 and where he is now buried.

The memorial service on Sunday, October 5, will begin at 3.30pm, during which the Cathedral Choir will sing African music and Archbishop Sentamu will read in Luganda and preach to the congregation.