Establishment and Implications of Missionary Dioceses in Enugu Province, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion 1990-2014

Author: Chukwuka Felix Chibuzor
Department: Religion and Human Relation
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

A “Missionary Diocese” is a diocese created without going through the cumbersome and rigorous procedures of creating a “Full Fledged Diocese”. In 1990, the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion came up with the policy of creating “Missionary Diocese”. These were to be created in the places or parts of Nigeria where there are obvious needs for diocese. The policy was aimed at enhancing the missionary enterprise of the Church by taking the gospel message of salvation to all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria through the Anglican Church. This policy was made as a response to the Lambeth Conference Resulution 44 of 1988 which declared the year 1990 to 2000 as “the Decade of Evangelism”. So the policy of “Missionary Diocese” was mean to be a tool for mission and evangelism. How did the phenomenon of
“Missionary Dioceses” evolve and what are its implications? More than twenty-years after, how vigorously or otherwise has the Church of Nigeria pursued this policy? These and other questions make the need for a critical evaluation of the issue of “Missionary Dioceses” in the Church of Nigeria, particularly in Enugu Ecclesiastical Province of the Church very inevitable, hence this study. A qualitative research design was adopted ion this investigation. Data for study were collated using questionnaires and interview as primary instruments, while library materials, other documents and internet materials were also used as secondary sources. The historical method of data analysis was used. It was found out in the course of the study that the phenomenon of data analysis was used. It was found out in the course of the study that the phenomenon of “Missionary Dioceses” in the Church of Nigeria, Anglican
Communion evolved from the conceptual stage, through the experimentation stage, to the present stage of full acceptance as a veritable tool for mission and evangelism. The findings of the study will help the leadership of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion to evaluate this policy with a view to taking corrective measures in the areas of shortcomings and to intensify the areas of success in the onerous divine missionary mandate of making all nations disciples of Jesus Christ.

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