By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Diocese of Igbomina West Anglican Communion in Irepodun local government area of Kwara state has adopted over 20 university, secondary and primary school students in its adopt-a-child programme.
The Diocese, which said that several millions of naira had been spent on the scheme, added that beneficiaries of the scheme are in public and private institutions.
Addressing a press conference on the 10th Anniversary of the Diocese at the Cathedral of St James, Iludun Oro, over the weekend, the Diocesan Bishop, Right Reverend Jide Adebayo, said the programme, launched in 2016, had enabled the mission partners to adopt a child and train him or her without knowing the child.
Reverend Adebayo said that the Diocese has been able to provide affordable education as well as offer scholarships to indigent but brilliant students at all levels.
The cleric, who reiterated that the Diocese was committed to missionary outreaches, discipleship and evangelism, added that, “together with the women’s and girls’ organisations, we embark on medical outreaches in markets throughout the Diocese as a means of evangelism.”
He said the Diocese has recorded landmark achievements in the last 10 years, adding that 10 additional churches were planted and population of priests increased to 23, with nine lay evangelists, while 13 churches are at different stages of completion.
“Similarly, a 500-capacity multi purpose hall is being undertaken by the women organisation, while a multi million naira hostel project is going on in Ilorin, the state capital. We also established a post primary institution, named Anglican Unique College. In conjunction with the women organisation, we established a piggery, cassava plantation and processing mill, palm kernel cracker and a women-charity shop”, he disclosed, adding that the proceeds from the charity shop is channeled towards providing scholarships to university students, as well as secondary and primary school pupils.
Reverend Adebayo identified funding as the major challenge of the Diocese, adding that the Diocese is also facing challenge of accommodation for priests because of inadequate Vicarages.
“The priests and pastors are working under difficult conditions due to inadequate income. This situation scares new workers away as they rush to richer Dioceses. Our structure is such that most of the people who reside in the Diocese are elderly and the youth who need our support”, he said.
Urging Christians not to sit on the fence or fold their arms, but to actively participate in politics, the Bishop appealed to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to be mindful of balance in the appointment of state functionaries so that the Christians do not feel marginalised and “to help us with the construction of roads linking Agbamu to Ila Orangun, which will greatly boost economic activities in our Diocese.”