By NBF News

PLANS by an Oshodi-based catholic church to achieve its dream of building a befitting edifice for its congregation may soon come to reality, following its launch of a N500 million fund to complete a cathedral in the heart of Oshodi in Lagos.

The project promoted by St John The Evangelist Catholic Church will be capped soon with a fund raising and new church foundation laying ceremony, scheduled for next month under the chairmanship of the Managing Director, Nigeria Machine Tools Limited, Mr. Didi Ndiomu. The Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie will perform the foundation laying ceremony within the church compound.

The facility, expected to cover a total land mass area of 1,600 square metres, is to have its contractual work handled by an indigenous firm, Messrs Jajo Nigeria Limited. The project situated at Wuraola Street, Ladipo, Oshodi, Lagos, had commenced in January and the projected date for completion is February 2012.

The building is expected to comprise of church hall with gallery and capacity to accommodate 2,500 worshippers at a sitting, a basement comprising of a bookshop, 200 capacity hall and two car parking lots.

Other facilities proposed include an altar, a sacristy, an adoration Chapel (for about 50 worshippers), six meeting rooms/offices of different sizes, bell tower, ramp for disabled, 14 conveniences and one each for disabled and infants, Mary Grotto and a parking lot for about 80 cars.

Specialists engaged for the construction, according to the church's organising committee, include, Brecon Architects as consultants, Soji Thomas and Partners as structural engineers, Geocyn Integrated Limited as services engineers, and Solmond Associates as quantity surveyors.

Also, strategies earmarked for fund raising include internal funds raising via Parishioners levies and donations (cash and kind) and public via fund raising, luncheon and special appeal to friends of the Parish and well meaning individuals.

The motivation to build, according to Host Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Francis Ike was borne out of the need to build a befitting place for the worship of God that will accommodate the increasing Parishioners and adequately address the problem of flood that threatened the existence of the old structure.

The project is anchored by the Church Building Committee made up of about 45 members that are professionals in their various fields of endeavour.