Report from Day 1, by Chris Sugden

This conference (see website), the first of its kind in the Church of Nigeria is being held in the National Christian Centre in Abuja. It was opened on Monday night by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh and is being attended by 5000 members of the Church of Nigeria.

Archbishop Okoh said that the conference is neither an Episcopal Synod, Clergy Conference, nor a gathering only of Anglicans or Nigerians – “it is the Body of Christ, the new humanity, the ecclesia of God, which is the divine commonwealth of God. ..It is a call apart for our spiritual rejuvenation and mutual edification, in an atmosphere of deep spirituality and learning.”

All the sessions take place in the magnificent National Christian Centre. The day begins with bible studies in 20 groups of around 200 followed by a talk and lecture with discussion and questions. On the first morning the Rev Miles Toulmin of Holy Trinity Brompton and Alpha spoke on The Church as the Divine Commonwealth, and Professor Gerry Gana, who held various Cabinet Posts over many years spoke of moral issues facing Nigeria in the fields of politics, business and social relationships between various groups in society.

The afternoon is devoted to specialist seminars with well –informed speakers. There were very good reports of the seminar given on the Challenges of Violence by Bishop Timothy Yahaya Bishop of Jalingo in Northern Nigeria where the violence is specially experienced.

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