Church of Nigeria, Anglican communion, ends episcopal synod, elects new bishops
Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) from all the states of the country gathered on August 21, 2019, at Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State for the Episcopal Synod of the Church.
The Synod was presided over by the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, His Grace, the Most Revd. Nicholas D. Okoh, assisted by the Dean of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Revd. Buba Lamido, with the Rt. Revd. David O. C. Onuoha as the Episcopal Secretary. The Archbishop of Bendel Province, the Most Revd. Friday Imaekhai, the Bishop of Ughelli, the Rt. Revd. Cyril Odutemu, whose jurisdictions cover Agbarha-Otor were also present.
The Episcopal Synod, which is “a general meeting of the Bishops of the Church of Nigeria summoned independently of the General Synod to discuss Episcopal matters,” is convened by Primate of the Church of Nigeria, at a place and time, he determines, though three or more Diocesan Bishops may request the Primate to convene the Synod.
The Episcopal Synod has the responsibility and final authority in all the matters that are constitutionally, canonically and statutorily the exclusive preserves of the order of the Bishops in the church. The Synod also deliberates and resolves on any matter that the Primate may present before it.
This is the seventh time the Episcopal Synod is held in the year. The first, in January, was also held at the Ibru Centre. It was also held in February at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Warri; St David’s Cathedral, Akure in March; Chapel of the Resurrection Primate’s Residence Abuja in April; Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral, Ikeja in July; another one held in Abuja in July and now, the Ibru Centre is hosting it again.
The Synod started with a Holy Communion service at St. Peter’s Chapel, Ibru Centre. It was officiated by Rt. Revd. Dr Isaac Nwaobia; Rt Revd. Steven Akobe (Preacher); Rt Revd. Isaac Oluyamo and the Ibru Centre clergy – Ven. Princewill Ireoba (Intercessor); Ven. Leonard Nwajiobi (Epistoler) and Canon Gabriel Nwajiobi (Gospeller).
The synod elected six new Bishops and translated one to fill the existing and imminent bishopric vacancies in the Church. Those elected and their dioceses are: Ven. Ndubisi Obi – Nnewi; Very Revd. Benjamin C. Okeke – Orlu; Ven. Seyi Pirisola – On the Coast; Ven. Geoffery Ibeabuchi – Umuahia; Ven. Dr. F.O. Babatunji – Osun; Ven. Foluso Taiwo – Oke-Osun and Rt. Revd. Jacob Bada – Akoko.
Presently, there are 170 serving Bishops and Archbishops in the Anglican Church of Nigeria, manning 14 provinces, 161 dioceses, one Nomadic Mission, two foreign Missionary dioceses and some institutions of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), which membership is estimated at over twenty million, with more than 15, 000 clergy and parishes and congregations spread across all the states of the country.
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