The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion is not only the first Church in Nigeria, it is the strongest Church in terms of structure. It has a strong tradition that has survived many years and still going.
But development in the recent past is giving a lot of concern in certain quarters in the Church. Since Church Times Nigeria’s last publication on the election of The Most Rev Bamisebi Olumakaiye as the Archbishop of Lagos Province, several other issues are being unearthed by certain aggrieved parishioners and priests
While they agree that Archbishop Olumakaiye deserves the new position because of his pedigree, they are not comfortable with the idea that many of the bishops who voted for him are not from the South West.
A concerned priest said, “If South West is the operational base of the Archbishop, it stands logic on its head that the person who is the head of that province does not have home support. The implication is that many of the priests and bishops will be doing eye service in his jurisdiction.”
The challenge, however, is that nothing can be done about the development. It is a constitutional provision and until the constitution of the church is tampered with, it will be difficult to change the way Bishops and Archbishops are elected. Beyond this are other issues of preferment and deployment of priests.
Should the church maintain the status quo? How best can the church be positioned for the end-time revival of souls? Should the priest of a parish be at the mercy of Bishop always? How best do we explain a situation where the House of Bishops determines the faith of the laity by appointing Bishops they deem fit over them?
Another worrisome trend is the allegation of money changing hands. So far, nobody has been able to come out with any evidence that bishops are being bribed to influence votes whenever there is a need to elect a new bishop or archbishop. But this allegation is rife in the background. Some of the priests who spoke to Church Times are so sure that money is changing hands and they feel this must stop.
Giving the foregoing, Church Times will begin a series to set agenda for the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion. The idea is to look at these issues dispassionately and proffer workable solutions. No matter what anybody says, the Anglican Church is strategic to the survival of the Church in Nigeria. We, therefore, need to collectively join hands to help create a workable template that will address some of these knotty issues.
We, therefore, ask well-meaning Christians especially those who belong to the Anglican Denomination to be bold to help give their perspectives on some of these issues. Responses from individuals will be published on the Church Times Nigeria platform. Individuals who have information but do not want to be mentioned should also feel free to write. It is hoped that this material will in the long run be of value for the Church of Nigeria authority.
Kindly send your responses to email@example.com