The chill in relations between the Church of Nigeria and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is over following a meeting of the churches’ archbishops in London, senior ACNA leaders tell The Church of England Newspaper. A breakdown in communications was blamed for the frost in relations between Nigeria and the conservative province-in-waiting in the US, which complained it had not been consulted about the creation of a new Nigerian outreach in America. Last month the head of CANA, the Church of Nigeria’s missionary jurisdiction in the US, Bishop Martyn Minns announced the formation of the Diocese of the Trinity, to be headed up by CANA suffragan Bishop Amos Fagbamiye. On 12 Oct 2011 Bishop Minns said Trinity had been formed “in order to strengthen our missionary focus and provide enhanced support for local clergy and congregations, especially for Nigerian Anglicans living in North America.” While the new diocese received warm public words of welcome, its creation had come as a surprise when it was proposed earlier this year, as it had been initiated by the Church of Nigeria and not by CANA. However, CANA suffragan Bishop Julian Dobbs denied there was any discord between the ACNA and Nigerian House of Bishops. CANA had been successful, he argued because its “members reflect a broad and complex spectrum of complimentary ethnic and racial identities and maintain a healthy equilibrium between the historic spiritual streams of Anglicanism: Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical and Charismatic.” “As a missionary outreach of the Church of Nigeria, CANA maintains our unimpeachable connection with authentic Anglicanism in the Anglican Communion; with our partners in the Anglican Church in North America we are building a future for faithful Christians,” Bishop Dobbs wrote. “Therefore, we are appalled by the suggestion that we have created a conflict,” he added. A spokesman for the ACNA was distressed by characterizations of the Diocese of the Trinity as race-based, telling CEN the new diocese was centered-round culture and worship styles. On 31 Oct 2011 Archbishop Duncan stated there had been a “desire among many Nigerian nationals, some of whom have been part of CANA and some who have been waiting for a development like the Missionary Diocese of the Trinity, to come together as a Nigerian diocese in North America.” The “provision for affinity dioceses” within the ACNA structure made possible the formation of the Trinity Diocese, he said. A spokesman for Archbishop Duncan stated that Archbishops Okoh and Duncan met in London during the week of Oct 24-28 adding that relations were amicable and there was no tension between the churches.
Nigerian winter over, ACNA says