New Province in Sudan?

Anglican Communion Office photo

Adapted from Adrian Butcher, ACNS

Members of the five-diocese Internal Province of Sudan may become the 39th province of the Anglican Communion after a team led by the secretary general visited the country on a fact-finding trip. The internal province is part of the Anglican Church of South Sudan and Sudan.

Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon said he was impressed during the team’s visit.

“The spirituality of the people is very infectious,” he said. “I was impressed by the determination of the people to survive and the commitment to their faith. We were very encouraged by what we saw.”

The other team members were:

  • Canon Margaret Swinson of the Anglican Consultative Council, who represented the Standing Committee
  • The Most Rev. Jeffrey Driver, Archbishop of Adelaide, who has considerable experience of Sudan and South Sudan
  • The Rt. Rev. Toby Howarth, Bishop of Bradford, whose diocese has longstanding links to the area

The team met several government officials, including the Minister for Federal Government. They also met the Most Rev. Ezekiel Kondo and bishops from the five dioceses and were briefed on their readiness to form a new province.

Subjects included staff numbers, financial viability, and mission focus, as well as the numbers of lay workers. The whole team visited the Diocese of Khartoum. Archbishops Idowu-Fearon and Drive also visited Port Sudan.

The secretary general said All Saints’ Cathedral in Khartoum was packed with more than 2,000 people for a service with an “unbelievable” atmosphere.

“They were so excited about the possibility of becoming a province,” he said. “And I’m encouraged by their attitude to their Muslim neighbors. They accept that they are the minority and they are working hard to be accepted and recognized as Sudanese.”

The team visited Sudan at the request of the Most Rev. Daniel Deng Bul Yak, Primate of South Sudan and Sudan. It will now produce a report for the ACC’s Standing Committee, which will decide whether to admit Sudan as a new province.

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