The following passage comes from Archbishop Okoh’s opening address to the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria held on 3 March 2011. (It has only just come to my attention.)
Visit to the UK: In our meeting in Lagos, we were mandated to visit the UK to ascertain the condition of Nigerian Anglicans, and how to help them. Our first attempt was on 17th December 2010, which failed because excessive snow fall, led to the closure of Heathrow airport. We rescheduled for 16th February, 2011. Thank God we were able to go. It was a full delegation. The Group was made up of:
The Most Revd Nicholas D. Okoh – Primate
The Most Revd Joseph Akinfenwa – Ibadan
The Most Revd Michael Akinyemi – Kwara
The Most Revd Bennet Okoro Owerri
The Most Revd Ignatius Kattey Niger Delta
The Most Revd Emmanuel Egbunu – Lokoja
The Rt. Revd David Onuoha – Secretary
Barr. Abraham Yisa – Registrar
The delegation was well received by the Nigerian High Commission in London. There was a brief meeting and an interactive section. The group also visited the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace. Our message:
The need to allow Nigerians to worship “the Nigeria way” in abandoned Church buildings or allow them a scheduled time in parish Churches where they could express themselves unreservedly in worship, to save us from the unceasing and intense bleeding of our young executive Anglicans moving over to the New Generation Churches due to what they describe as “cold” worship style. Our request was viewed positively by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England. We also visited the Lord Bishop of London and the Bishop of Southwark. Other places visited include Manchester and Birmingham. In summary the Archbishop requested us to put our proposal into writing. He assured us that it is a practical proposal. We addressed a group of Nigerians of different age brackets in London, Manchester and Birmingham and had a special session with representatives of Nigerian Clergy in the UK. Our visit was said to be timely. But a few had their reservations.
Another issue which has emerged in this visit is the status, sponsorship and future of the Nigerian Chaplaincy in the UK. At the moment they are enjoying the last part of the generosity of the CMS, and the grace and benevolence of St. Marylebone. These are issues requiring urgent attention.