Thinking Anglicans

Director of Communications becomes bishop

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) issued this announcement:

21st May, 2008.

For Release to all Media Houses:


The Episcopal Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), met at the Cathedral Church of Saint James the Great, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Wednesday, May 14, 2008, and elected the Venerable Akintunde Popoola of All Saints Church, Wuse, Abuja to the See of Offa, Kwara State, where the incumbent was recently translated. Also, the Venerable Geoffrey N. Chukwunenye of All Saints Church, Surulere, Lagos, was elected to the newly created See of Oru in Imo State.

The date and venue for their consecration will be announced later.

Venerable AkinTunde Popoola
Director of Communications

N.B : In Anglican ecclesiastical terminology a See is the area of jurisdiction of a diocesan bishop while Translation, as applied to a serving bishop, means transfer to another diocese

24, Douala Street, Wuse P. O. Box 212, ADCP, Abuja, Nigeria.
Tel: +234-9-523-6950, 523-0987/9,
Fax: 523-1527, 523-0986.


  • But bishops in Nigeria as well as elsewhere in the (former) Anglican Communion are not elected, are they?

    But appointed instead?

  • John Omani says:

    From the evidence so far, this could be one of the worst ecclesiastical appointments since Caligula made Incitatus a priest and a consul.

    A troubling development on a day of further disturbing news about homophobia in West Africa:

  • I think “election” is the right word. Where things differ is in who votes in the election. In some provinces, all clergy and laity vote in a diocesan convention. It sounds like in Nigeria the Synod for the whole church votes (and I simply don’t know whether that does or doesn’t include laity and clergy who aren’t bishops). And then there’s Mother England, where clergy and laity are consulted, but it’s the Governor of the Church of England who appoints; and I can’t say I’m sure that she’s the one who actually decides….

  • Malcolm+ says:

    Curious to know the process of episcopal election / appointment in Nigeria. Is it by the Provincial House of Bishops or by a Provincial Synod which includes clerical and lay delegates as part of the process? Either way, it is fairly clear that the clergy and people of the diocese are largely left out of the process.

    Either way, good for Tunde. Hopefully he will be a more effective bishop than he was a Communications Director.

  • Robert ian Williams says:

    You know the Anglican Church in Nigeria is growing so fast that I estimate there will be more Anglicans than Nigerians by 2020!

    The GAFCONITES are very like the Communists when it comes to statistics.

  • Once again Marshall Scott, I draw attention to the process that the Church of England actually uses to select its bishops, see

    It is not perfect and it is not American, but it does involve voting by a committee that includes members of the diocese in question, who have in turn been elected themselves…

  • JCF says:

    The “Peter Principle” is alive and well, and is standard operating procedure in the Nigerian Church (“everyone rises to their own level of incompetence”).

    Lord have mercy!

  • Ford Elms says:

    Tunde is a bishop! Well, congratulations are in order. All the same, given his behaviour here, I have to wonder what the Spirit was thinking. Still, who am I to question the Almighty?

  • Davis Mac-Iyalla says:

    Congratulations from Changing Attitude Nigeria (CAN) to the two new bishops who have been elected – Venerable Akintunde Popoola to the See of Offa, Kwara State and the Venerable Geoffrey N. Chukwunenye to the newly created See of Oru in Imo State. Changing Attitude hopes both bishops will be more faithful to the Anglican Communion and the listening process to which they are committed by the Windsor Report.

    As Director of CAN I hope and pray that Tunde will conduct himself with more Christian understanding than he has as Director of Communications for the Church of Nigeria , inventing lies against me to try and destroy my reputation. I will be at the Lambeth Conference, representing with other Nigerians the concerns and pains of LGBT Anglicans in Nigeria .

    Sadly, I doubt Tunde will be there. He wouldn’t have been elected bishop unless he was prepared to avoid Lambeth and attend GAFCON. So we will miss an opportunity to meet each other and for Tunde to hear the truth from me.

  • Andrew Brown says:

    I am reminded of Sydney Smith’s defence of the Apostolic Succession: how else is one to explain the Bishop of Winchester’s descent from Judas Iscariot?

  • drdanfee says:

    Wow Jammeh and Tunde can pull together on the same penal ropes, cast round the offending homosexuals. Along with any suspected ones, along with any friends or suspected friends of ones, along with any family or suspected family of ones. Ah the lovely widening circles of penal-traditional discernment.

    Surely this must, alas, be the conservative future of the worldwide Anglican Communion?

  • Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) says:

    Andrew – I thought it was +Exeter who was so described? Have I been targeting the wrong diocesan all these years?

  • I think David is right, Andrew.
    Now for bonus points, who was the Bishop of Exeter to whom Sydney Smith was referring?

  • Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) says:


    (‘Points mean prizes’ RIP Humph)

  • Correct, Henry of Exeter was the man.

    Read about him here:

  • Walsingham says:

    In spite of our major differences — though I have never conversed with Tunde+ myself — I would like to extend my congratulations to him.

  • Ren Aguila says:

    My congratulations too to the two bishops-elect, regardless of how they were elected. After all, I have a sneaking suspicion that God sometimes works through supposedly “non-democratic” processes. 😉

  • cryptogram says:

    Henry Phillpotts wrote of J B Sumner, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, that he was “a favourer and supporter” of heresy, and added “I cannot, without sin – and by God’s grace I will not – hold communion with him, be he who he may, who shall so abuse the high commission which he bears”.

    Better English was written in Exeter in 1851 than in Abuja in 2008, but plus ça change…

  • Ford Elms says:

    “So we will miss an opportunity to meet each other and for Tunde to hear the truth from me.”

    Davis, Tunde can’t hear the truth from you. First, it would not be politically expedient. Second, your situation is a part of a much bigger selfdeception on his part. The Church of Nigeria is the holy Church defending the Gospel against the post colonialist heathen. I don’t know how much of it is postcolonialist racism, maybe I only think that because if I was Nigerian, I’d be bloody well angry at the smug post colonialist Europeans and Americans. This has been the image from the beginning. It is supported by the delicate politics of Muslim/Christian relations in Nigeria. The idea of being some great crusader defending the TRUTH against “the man” is a very attractive one. We can all fall prey to it. Tunde is vested in preserving that image. He’s also been a part of it for so long, he may even believe it is true. Were he to acknowledge what you have been saying, it would bring the whole edifice crashing down. Most of the vocal supporters of the Right are in the same boat. It isn’t about the Gospel, or they wouldn’t need to lie and revile. It’s about the attractiveness of appearing to be valiantly fighting the good fight, and the more overwhelming the enemy, the better that image appears. That’s why they can’t admit the rest of us are Christians, or that gay people are actually human beings. That’s why you always hear about the impending demise of the Gospel unless the heathen Americans are brought to heel, as if even God cannot preserve His Gospel without their help, so great is their righteousness. The edifice is all of a piece, and if one part of it is seen to be false, it all falls down. So, don’t expect for any understanding from Tunde this side of the parousia. When he, like all of us, knows as he is known, things’ll be different. Till then, there’s an old blessing our former rector used to use:

    “Go forth into the world in peace, be of good courage, render to no man evil for evil, strengthen the faint hearted, support the weak, help the afflicted, honour all men, love and serve the Lord rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
    (Me not being clergy, I’ll leave out the Trinitarian blessing part). Hard to do at times, but good advice, I think.

  • L Roberts says:

    Wow ! Includes ‘voting by a committee’ !

    Well, that’s just fine then. ….

  • Lois Keen says:

    I’ve copied what Ford Elms wrote into a Word document, so I can refer to it every time I get angry – I think it is a good piece of advice and an excellent corrective when I don’t understand why Tunde and others like him just “don’t get” what we’re saying and refuse to admit we’re Christians just like them.

    And I think I’ll use the blessing at the end for the season of Pentecost. Thank you, Ford.

  • Ford Elms says:


    *blush* Don’t thank me, thank Stweart Payne, former bishop of Western Newfoundland, and our rector for many years at home. A very saintly man.

  • Walsingham says:

    @Ford Elms:

    I quite agree, with the added remark that the more you bash someone over the head (either literally or verbally), the less likely you are to convince them of much of anything, aside from your own ill will.

    The temperature of the “dialog” (such as it is) has only served to make people close their minds that much more. And that goes for both sides, though Tunde+ (soon to be +Tunde) is a good example of the kind of reaction one can expect.

  • Ford Elms says:

    What I am about to say will no doubt be taken as racism by some, but it isn’t. I think culture plays an important role in all this, though not the one usually cited. Where I come from, we are a verbose, opinionated, sometimes grandiose crowd. We believe governments are supposed to be big and intrusive, rather like the Russians. Not all of us are, of course, but it is a cultural trait. Look at Saddam’s ridiculous defiance, he had to know he had no chance, but his culture demanded that he save face. Australian natives thought it polite to ask to be given things, since it meant you had enough esteem for the other you were willing to take on the obligation of paying them back. Europeans thought it rude to ask a stranger for his coat. I think the denials and overblown rhetoric coming from Nigeria are much the same. Many Newfoundlanders would identify with the sneering condemnatory tone used by Tunde et al as a good rhetorical form. It’s the way one argues. We have this idea that to identify cultural traits like this is racism because it implies some sort of racial uniformity. That’s nonsense. Just because some Newfoundlanders aren’t grandiose and verbose when it comes to politics doesn’t mean it ISN’T a cultural trait for us to be that way. Same with any other group of humans. A culture is one of the things that make us human. To deny its influence on our behaviour seems silly to me. Put the conservative persecution myth into that mix, and well, you see the point.

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