The first General Meeting of the Changing Attitude Network in Nigeria is being held November 25 to 27. Over 1,000 delegates are expected to gather at the National Art Council in Abuja including 100 lesbian and 900 gay members of Anglican churches from every part of Nigeria. This will be the largest gathering of lesbian and gay people ever held in Nigeria and the first gathering of Anglican LGBT members. Accommodation and food will be provided free by the network.
The Meeting will include presentations from Davis Mac-Iyalla, convenor of the national network, Paddy, convenor of the Lagos group, and the Revd Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude England. The meeting will begin with prayer and worship and there will be time for group discussion and testimonies and members will join in singing and dancing. The delegates will worship together at a service of Holy Communion on Sunday morning. During prayer time, prayers will be offered for gay and lesbian people all over the world, for Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and for Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire in the USA.
This first General Meeting will provide an opportunity to encourage new members who will be coming from every part of Nigeria. The meeting will establish links across the country, building on the experience of the first three groups in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt. The Meeting will prepare the way forward in 2006 and make plans become an effective influence in our various dioceses.
The General Meeting will also begin to plan how the group can make an input to the process of listening to lesbian and gay people to which the Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Revd Peter Akinola, committed himself with the other Primates in February 2005 and in the Windsor Report. In the longer term, the Meeting will think about the Lambeth Conference 2008 and the need to advise the bishops of the Anglican Church in Nigeria about lesbian and gay Christian experience.
The theme of the meeting is ‘Coming out of our closet’. Davis MacIyalla, convenor of the CA network in Nigeria, said “We want to use the meeting to encourage our members to go back and begin to tell their families about their sexuality. If we let our families know about our sexuality our parents will begin to influence their local churches. We also want our message about the place of lesbian and gay people in the Anglican Church to be carried to our bishops and other church leaders. One of our goals is to encourage some of the delegates to start new groups in their own location after the meeting.”
Leaders of other lesbian and gay groups have been invited to attend the meeting, including the : leaders of SPIN , GLsouthsouth and Advocacy, all groups working with lesbian and gay Nigerians.
At least one national Nigerian newspaper will be covering the meeting.
Notes for editors:
Changing Attitude Network Nigeria was founded in August 2005 by Davis MacIyalla, aged 33. Davis was previously working with the late bishop the Rt. Rev. Prof I Ugede of Otukpo Diocese. He is a knight and lay reader and was principal of the diocesan school and the administrator for the office of the bishop.
Changing Attitude is pledged to work for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in every Province of the Anglican Communion.
Changing Attitude England is a national organisation of Bishops, Priests and Lay People in the Church of England calling for the full inclusion of lesbian and gay people in the Anglican Church. Changing Attitude England has a network of 20 groups in 22 dioceses working to support lesbian and gay clergy and lay people and for a radical change in church attitudes by witnessing to the local church through personal testimony, education and providing information.