The Diocese of Guildford is linked in partnership with the Church of Nigeria in what is the longest standing partnership link in the Anglican Communion. Born out of the Anglican Conference in Toronto in 1963, formal resolutions were made in December 1964 in Guildford, and January 1965 in Onitsha with the Church of the Province of West Africa.
Today, Nigeria is one of the new centres of Christianity; the Anglican Church of Nigeria alone has over 18 million members. It is a vibrant and fast growing church increasing by 70 dioceses between 2002 and 2013.
Andy Wheeler, Diocesan World Mission Advisor describes the link as exciting but not always comfortable: "We are committed as Church and diocese to mutual prayer and learning between Guildford and Nigeria. However, there is opposition in the Church of Nigeria to what it considers concessions made in the Church of England to same-sex relationships and the ordination of women to the Episcopate.
"Nevertheless we have much to learn from one another. Our mission and prayer is enriched by our linking and by the deeper understanding it enables between sisters and brothers from such diverse cultural contexts."
Why should your Parish link with Nigeria?
A link can help our parishes to:
- Break down our insularity and parochialism; challenge preoccupation with our own concerns.
- Take a fresh look at the way we've always done things.
- See that the Holy Spirit is working in new and different ways all around the world.
- Challenge us to take a fresh look at our own priorities.
- Thy put a human face on the world-wide church
- Remind us that we to receive as well as to give.
To find out how your parish can develop a link with the church of Nigeria, contact Andy Wheeler for guidance, support and encouragement.