CANA no longer a Nigeria mission, says Archbishop Okoh

News Feb 23, 2011

The Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion),  says the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), is no longer under the jurisdiction of Nigeria.

Speaking during his recent visit to London , Okoh said: “CANA is now part of the Anglican Province of North America (ACNA).

ACNA is a breakaway province from the Episcopal Church headed by Archbishop Robert Duncan.

“We are not interested in territorial ambition; our main reason for going to America was to provide for those who were no longer finding it possible to worship in the Episcopal church.

“A new structure has been put up in the U.S. which is ACNA.

“CANA now belongs to ACNA even though they still relate to us;but essentially it now belongs to Anglican province of North America,” he said.

CANA was established in 2005 to provide a platform for Anglicans who were alienated by the actions and decisions of The Episcopal Church in the U.S.

CANA was to enable them to practice their faith, without compromising their core convictions.

NAN recalls that Rev. Martyn Minns, the former Rector of Truro Church, one of the leading parishes in the U.S. that formed CANA, was consecrated bishop in 2006 in Abuja by Okoh’s predecessor, Archbishop Peter Akinola.

In 2007, Minns reported to the Nigeria House of Bishops that CANA currently consisted of approximately 60 congregations and 80 clergy in 20 states in America.

This represents about a quarter of the congregations, primarily Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Until Akinola’s retirement in March 2010, Minns was an active member of the House of bishops of the Church of Nigeria, attending their meetings and voting in the election of new bishops for the Nigeria province.

In 2007, Akinola led the Nigeria House of bishops to elect four assistant bishops and appointed them to serve in CANA under Minns. (NAN)


“Speaking during his recent visit to London , Okoh said: “CANA is now part of the Anglican Province of North America (ACNA). ACNA is a breakaway province from the Episcopal Church” – T.A. Release –

This news item from the Anglican Church of Nigeria could be taken to be a statement of the ‘de facto’ incorporation of ACNA (of which CANA is a constituent part) into the Family of the Anglican Communion. Of course, those who understand these matters are aware that, in their surrender of responsibility for their ‘Mission’ into the territory of TEC, the Nigerian Province is anxious to hand over to the schismatic ACNA faux-‘Province’ the future of its bid to resume relationship with the world-wide Anglican Communion. Here is  Archbishop Okoh’s excuse for the original incursion into TEC territory:

“We are not interested in territorial ambition; our main reason for going to America was to provide for those who were no longer finding it possible to worship in the Episcopal church.” – Archbishop Okoh –

This bid to lend authenticity to ACNA’s bid to replace TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada as the official Anglican Provinces in North Anerica must be seen for what it really is  – a blatant attempt to legitimise CANA’s and ACNA’s plea for recognition as a legitimate Province within the Anglican Communion.

It will be interesting to see how many more of the GAFCON Provinces (which have sought to destabilise TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, by acts of piracy within their borders) will seek to divest themselves of their ‘missionary’ churches in North America. This belated attempt to excuse their acts of piracy ought to be met with the  contempt they deserve as the Communion seeks to stabilise itself,

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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  1. Hermano David|Brother Dah•veed says:

    Padre, there seems to be conflicting reports about what was or was not said, or perhaps just the true meaning of what was said.

    From the Lead;

    CANA’s Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns (who is currently in Singapore en route to Nigeria for the Church of Nigeria’s House of Bishops’ meeting, which is to be followed by a meeting of the Church of Nigeria’s Standing Committee) has asked me to pass along this information to you:

    Earlier this morning Bishop Minns heard from both Archbishop Nicholas Okoh and Registrar Abraham Yisa who were surprised to see a recent statement in the media that suggests that CANA is no longer part of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

    Both Archbishop Okoh as well as Registrar Yisa told Bishop Minns that such reports are erroneous. They assured him that there has been no change in the status that exists between CANA and the Church of Nigeria, that Bishop Minns and CANA’s suffragan bishops continue to serve as members of the House of Bishops in the Church of Nigeria, and that the Church of Nigeria at the same time continues to promote the full recognition of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as a province in the Anglican Communion.

    Information regarding the relationship that exists between CANA, the Church of Nigeria, and the ACNA can be found on the CANA website.

    • Yes, David,

      I agree that there is still a lot of obfuscation about Nigeria’s true intentions. Perhaps this may be filed under the title ‘equivocation’ – that degree of dexterity that allows people to say one thing and do another. Don’t let us underestimate Nigeria’s desire to seem ‘kosher’ on the subject of evading the discipline of the Moratorium against Border Crossings.

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