Coronavirus: Anglican Church suspends dinner for retiring Primate

Aglican Bishops, Nigeria

The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, has postponed indefinitely a dinner it initially planned to hold in honour of its retiring Primate, Nicholas Okoh, on Tuesday.

It has also reduced the number of worshippers to be present at Okoh’s valedictory church service and presentation of his successor, Henry Ndukuba, to only 50 persons.

The decisions were taken at the emergency meeting of the church’s archbishops and bishops held on Saturday in Abuja.

The church’s General Secretary, Gershinen Dajur, disclosed these in a statement made available at the end of the meeting.

Dajur attributed the decisions to what he called “circumstances of force majeure, the specific directives of the Federal Government, Federal Capital Territory Administration and Christian Association of Nigeria.”

He also announced the indefinite postponement of the church’s Standing Committee Meeting scheduled to hold between March 21 and March 25, 2020.

The statement read, “The retirement dinner in honour of Primate Nicholas D. Okoh scheduled for Tuesday, March 24, 2020, is equally postponed till further notice.

“The retirement thanksgiving service for Primate Nicholas D. Okoh scheduled for Sunday, March 22, 2020, will go on as planned. However, the number of persons to attend has been reduced to 50. Each of the 14 ecclesiastical provinces of the church will be represented by two persons.

“Similarly, the valedictory church Service for Primate Nicholas D. Okoh and presentation of the Most Rev’d Henry C. Ndukuba as the 5th Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) will still hold on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

“Accordingly, each of the 14 ecclesiastical provinces of the church will be represented by two persons.

“The following services –the retirement thanksgiving scheduled for March 22, 2020; and the valedictory and presentation scheduled for March 25, 2020, will each hold at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp, Gwarinpa, Abuja at 10am, respectively.”

Dajur also announced that the Global Anglican Future Conference Bishops Conference scheduled for June 2020 at Kigali, Rwanda, has been postponed.

“The Church of Nigeria regrets all the inconveniences that these changes have caused our members, other Christian churches, government officials and other invited guests. The decision is in compliance with the directives of the Federal Government on the need to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

“While the Church continues in prayers to God for the stoppage of this COVID-19 pandemic; congregations are encouraged to comply with the directives of government on congregational worship and continue to maintain good hygiene.

“May God Almighty deliver us from all evil. Amen,” he added.


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