This church has been around for years, yet it still manages to hold on to its unique qualities.
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) is one of the oldest Christian denominations in this country.
It got into the country in the 15th century. Eventually, the first mission of the Church of England was established in Badagry by Henry Townsend in 1842.
Later on, the church elected Samuel Ajayi Crowther, a Yoruba man and former slave in 1864. This made him the first black Bishop of the Anglican Communion.
This goes to show how long this church has been around. Their extensive history is not the only thing that differentiates them from others.
The following are two major reasons why this denomination stands apart from others.
It’s not a one-man business.
Unlike others that look up to one person for spiritual guidance, the Anglican church has a structure. This is headed by the Primate of All Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh. This followed by the remaining archbishops of the 14 ecclesiastical provinces, bishops The church’s administrative headquarter is located in Abuja.
The Church also has councils in every chapel called Parish Provincial Council (PCC). Members of this council have the authority over all matters of general interest and the well-being of the Church. They also go for the General Synod meeting, where they contribute to making decisions for the whole church.
This kind of structure prevents people from misbehaving and getting drunk on their power.
Priests can be fired.
In 2010, the church made the news for dismissing three priests. They were dismissed by the Bishop of the Diocese of Egbu, Anglican Communion, Professor Emmanuel U. Iheagwam.
Speaking at the diocese’s third session of the 5th Synod, he said, “As my chaplain and the priest-in-charge of the Diocesan Farm, the priest defrauded the diocese of huge sums of money, part of which was recovered from him.
“As priest-in-charge of Saint Matthew’s Church, Obokwe, he was accused of mismanagement of human and material resources and was consequently suspended from office for six months.
“He was recalled in January 2009. Within the period of his reinstatement, he perfected his plans to abscond and has absconded. He is, therefore, dismissed as a priest in and of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion”.
This is something that all church should have in their constitution. Knowing that you can be dismissed has a way of putting the fear of God in people.
On another note, Anglican priests can get married, unlike Roman Catholic priests.
We reached out to a member to see what it is like to be a member of this interesting church.
He said, “I love the Anglican communion. Probably because I was born into an Anglican family. I feel worshipping God should be done solemnly. This, you would get in any Anglican church. I love the hymn singing, the mode of prayer. Personally shouting during prayers distracts me and doesn’t make me focused.”
The Anglican Church is seen as a middle way between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. This is reflected in the things that they adopted from both churches.
Three orders of bishop, priest and deacon, organization by diocese and parish are some of the things taken from Catholicism.
From Pentecostalism, the church has the King James Bible and married clergy.
There are at least sixty to seventy million Anglicans worldwide.