ST. MARY’S ANGLICAN CHURCH, CHIRAPATRE
On 14th December, 1980, on the grounds of the Local Authority Middle School at Chirapatre, a modest seed was planted as the first Diocesan Bishop; the Rt. Rev. J. B. Arthur inaugurated the Church. Before this memorable occasion a small group of Anglican Women, mostly civil servants residing at the new Chirapatre Estate, appealed to the Bishop to open a Church there as members there were finding problems attending services at the Cathedral because of distance and transportation. His immediate response was the appointment of the late Rev. Fr. William Addai boating to prepare and bring them together. The occasion was graced in full by the Guild of St. Mary at St. Cyprian’s Cathedral, who felt most honored at the selected of the name of their revered patroness, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Laymen were put in charge of the Church with periodical visits by the Clergy at the Cathedral on Sunday. In September, 1983 Rev. Edmund Dawson-Ahmoah, Suffragan Bishop of Dunkwa his stay with us the founding members were able to acquire the present site through the instrumentality of the late Nana Kwaku Duah, and Mr. Nii Sai Awuletey, both members of the congregation. The site of the present Mission House was cleared to put up a Day Care Center and on 25th November, 1984 the first Annual Harvest was held. The Guild of the Good Shepherd, St. Mary’s Guild, the Women Fellowship and the Sunday school were introduced during this period. Then also a block of four classrooms with an office and store was started. By the time he was transferred to St. Paul’s North Suntreso, in October, 1986, two classrooms with office and store had been develop. Membership had also increased as members of the Anglican Church around, as well as members from the Methodist Church, namely; Mr. Spio Garb rah, Mr. E.T. Addai, and Madam Agnes Donkor joined in.
In November 1986, Rev. Fr. Prah Arthur (now Archdeacon of Obuasi) was appointed Priest- in -charge. He instituted a group known as ‘Friends of the Church’ which was inaugurated on 8th March 1988 by Rt. Rev. Edmund Kojo Yeboah, then Lord Bishop of Kumasi. The ‘Friends’ showed keen interest in our young Church and by their presence, prayers, donations and encouragement moved us on. Work on the building was completed and we moved into it on February 14th,1988, while on the Mission House continued. The foundation stoned was laid by Nana Afua Kobi Ampem, Asantehemaa.
Rev. Fr. Prah Arthur was interested in drama and formed a drama group to stage ‘the Passport to Heaven’ in 1989 at the Methodist Church at Atonsu, St. Cyprian’s Cathedral and Prempeh Assewmbly Hall, the Lord Bishop of Kumasi, Rt. Rev. Edmund Kojo Yeboah held the first confirmation in 1990, the same year the Nursery School was opened. Rev. Fr. Garnet Prah Arthur also drew into our fold two brothers, Messrs Herbert and James Nuamah, who later entered the seminary to train as Priests. In June 1991, he transferred to Obuasi.
He was succeeded by Rev. Fr. Sarkodie who continued to build the remaining two classrooms up to lintel level. He established the Church Choir on 30th September 1992 and presented the Choir with Robes which were dedicated by rt. Rev. Edmund Kodjoe Yeboah. The Nursery was then not functioning well so he handed it over to the Anglican Education Unit in 1992. He was transferred from Chirapatre in 1993 and Rev. Fr. Harbert Nuamah (Decon) was sent to take care of the Church.
His achievements were as follows: he took the school, then Nursery and Primary, from the Anglican Education Unit, made it private school under the headship of Mr. B. K. Mensah a retired senior superintendent. He was assisted by Madam Wilhelmina Thompson who took charge of the Nursery. He completed the two classrooms for the school. Rev. Fr. Nuamah introduced Bible Classes every Wednesday with prayer sessions on Friday as well as ‘Songs of Praise’ on Sundays before the Main Service. Through his regular and prayerful pastoral visits he came in contact with Mr. Sam K. Riley-Poku, an Anglican, who later joined our small Church and impacted the congregation through many philanthropic gestures. Rev. Fr. Nuamah, completed the Mission House which was then furnished by Rev. Riley-Poku. He was constantly with his brother Rev. Fr. James Nuamah, working on our church projects especially on the Mission House, and visited member of the congregation regularly. After his ordination in 1994, he was made the Priest-In-Charge. The poor and needy were his priority and he always presented them with gifts. He celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Guild of the Good Shepherd and rounded it with a visit to Kumasi Children’s Home. He also prepared the second group confirmed by Rt. Rev. Yeboah. With all these and other uncountable qualities, he never lived to see the fruits of his good works as the Good Lord called him to Glory on 12th may 1996.
Some month’s later Rev. Fr. Micheal Opoku Twumasi (Deacon) was posted to Church. He continued where his predecessors left off and through the initiative of Mr. Sam Riley-Poku the second projects were undertaken. More classroom were built, a Kitchen, Toilet and Urinal facilities and other apartments were also started. The two former classroom with the office were joined together to serve the church. A fence wall was constructed around the plot. The Welfare FUND initiated during his time had risen to 8millon (GH¢ 800.00) by the time he was transferred to Nkawie on 15th April 2000.
He was replaced by Rev. Fr. Osei Asante Ababio (then Deacon). There was low morale within the congregation and the two worked hard through prayers and evangelism to up-lift the situation. The Priests and Wardens, Mr. Samuel K. Aggrey and Madam Wilhelmina Thompson, People’s and Priest’s Wardens respectively, encouraged the congregation to be more responsible to their tithe obligations and this help the Church greatly in finances,
Day-Born activities were introduced and have now brought a healthy competition into the Church e.g. during Harvest etc. The formation of the ‘Communion of Communities’ and Outreach programmes were revived to help with Church growth. With the strong determination of the Priest- In-Charge,Rev.Fr Osei Asante Ababio, wardens and the congregation the Church building was given a new look and was dedicated to the Glory of God as a Parish by Rt. Rev. Daniel Yinkah Sarfo, Bishop of Kumasi on 26th July 2001. The Church continued to grow and in 2005 Rev. Fr. Osei Asante Ababio was transferred to Christ the King, Boukrom.
Rev. Canon Dr. Festus Yeboah Asumah (now Bishop Elect-Sunyani Diocese) took over and the Church increased in membership activities. The A.Y.P.A (Youth Group) became stronger than ever. Assisting the Church by way of membership drives, church planting, provision of musical items for service among others. The choral group has greatly improved and the church is always filled with inspirational music. The Evangelism/Prayer Group meet regularly during the week with monthly ‘All Nights’ there is now a Men’s Fellowship in its formative stage. The Women’s Fellowship which went dormant at the formative stage has now been inaugurated and the Mothers’ Union has also been inaugurated. The servants of the Altar have increased in numerical strength and include younger ones and even younger females. The Welfare Fund is now all-embracing and flourishing. Members are up to their tithe-paying responsibilities and other levies. Two major or outstanding achievements to his credits are the construction of the Parish Office Block including a shop dedicated to Mr. Samuel K.
Riley-Poku, Chair-Man, top bell integrated (GH) Ltd, Kumasi Formerly our Church member, in recognition of his numerous contributions to St. Mary’s Parish; on 18th November 2007, and the beginnings of a Church at Adagya village near Esreso. The group now worships with us regularly on Sundays and meets locally during the week. A classroom has been secured for services and an out-dooring/crusade is being planned for the near future.
The Church is in its 29th year has been growing steadily, we pay glowing tribute to all living and those who have gone to eternal rest, for contributions.
Madam Beatrice Osei
Madam Christiana Asante
Madam Beatrice Tetteh
Madam Florence Quarcoopome
Madam Alberta Appaih
Madam Jane Jane Brown
Madam Theresah Fynn
PRIESTS WHO HAVE SERVED THE CHURCH
Late Rev. Fr. Williams Addai Boating -Visiting Priest 1980
Rev. Fr. Edmund Dawson Ahmoah -Visiting Priest (Now Suffrogan (Bishop) 1983-2986)
Rev. Fr. Garnet Prah Arthur -Visiting Priest (Now Archdeacon of Obuasi 1986-1991)
Rev. Fr. Sarkodie - Visiting Priest (1991-1993)
Late Rev. Fr. Herbert Nuamah -Visiting Priest (1993-1996)
Rev. Fr. Micheal Opoku Twumasi - Resident Priest (1996-2000)
Rev. Canon Robert K. Koomson -Visiting Priest(2000-2001)
Rev. Fr. Osei Asante Ababio -Resident Priest (2000-2005)
Rev. Canon Dr. Festus Yeboah Asuamah- Resident Priest 2005 (Now Bishop-Elect, Sunyani Diocese)
Mr. T. B. Abban (1983-1986)
Mr. David Babafoe (1986-1991)
Mrs. Christiana Asante (1991-1993)
Opanin Wilhelmina Thompson (1993-2000)
Madam Alice Mensah (2001-2002)
Mr. George Owusu Boating (2003....)
Mr. B. K. Mensah
Lay Leader 1982-1983
Ag. People’s Warden1983-1984
People’s Warden 1984-1990
Madam Beatrice Osei (1990-1991)
Mrs. Jane Addai (1991-1992)
Mrs. Mosomah Adom Tumtuo (1993-1995)
Mr. Richard Adu (1995-1998)
Opanin Gladys Boafo (1998-2000)
Mr. Samuel Kow Aggrey (2000-2002)
Opanin Oti Asare Hayford (2002-2004)
Mr. Richard Adu (2004-2005)
Madam Dorcas Appaiah (2005-2008)
Madam Grace Mintah (2008---)
Date Inaugurated; 24th November 1984
Initiator: Madam Beatrice Tetteh
Date Inaugurated; January 1985
Initiator; Opanin Beatrice Osei
Formed; First June 1986
Date Inaugurated; 18th January 2009
Initiator: Madam Christiana Asante
Date Inaugurated; September 1992
Initiator: Rev. Fr. Sarkodie
Date formed 1983
Initiator: madam maude evelyn assan
In Formative Stage
Date Formed; 2001
Initiator: Rev. Fr. Asante Ababio
Date Inaugurated; 24th May 2009
Initiator(S) Mrs. Bosomah Adom Tumtuo
Opanin Wilhelmina Thompson
We are grateful to the following for their pioneering effort
Mr. B. K. Mensah
Opanin Wilhelmina Thompson
Mrs. Kate Kootin Sanwu
Mr. Charles Nsaih
The Faithful Departed
Rt. Rev. J.B. Arthur
Rev. Fr. William Addai Boating
Rev. Fr. Opoku
Rev. Fr. Herbert Nuamah
Madam Agnes Akuamoah
Madam Agnes Adomah
Mr. Samuel Anninyie
Ms. Gladys Acheampong
Opanin Theresa Fynn
Mr. George Eshun
May they Rest in Perfect Peace
Entire Congregation- 1980