[ACNS source: Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)] We, Bishops, clergy and members of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) drawn from all the ten ecclesiastical Provinces across the country, met in Abuja from 10 to 14 November 2003 to draw up a strategic plan of how our church will respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Nigeria.
We would like to record our sincere appreciation to the Action Aid (Nigeria), Christian Aid and the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) who have funded this workshop to develop the Church of Nigeria Strategic Plan and Policy Development document.
We believe that as a church, following the footsteps and example of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are well suited to give hope to a hurting world in the face of HIV/AIDS. Our theme hence was: “A caring church in a hurting world.”
Our four-day meeting was officially opened by His Grace the Archbishop and Primate of All Nigeria, the Most Revd Peter Akinola, who challenged us to uphold Biblical teaching as the surest way of stemming new HIV infections.
We have during our workshop focused on the six-fold response to AIDS, which has been developed and adopted by the Anglican Communion through the All Africa AIDS Planning Framework. The six core areas of our response include: prevention, counselling, pastoral care, care and support, death and dying and leadership.
We have together developed our HIV/AIDS vision which is “a caring church committed to preservation of life by preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and caring for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.”
As a caring church living by the example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ our mission is to prevent and control the spread of HIV/AIDS and to offer support to people living with and affected by HIV and strive towards having a future generation that will be born and live in a world free from AIDS.
To achieve our vision and mission we have set out the following policy guidelines that will guide our response as a church in addressing HIV/AIDS.
Care and Support:
Death and Dying:
The above policies will be implemented systematically and in a concerted way throughout the Anglican Communion in Nigeria and we believe will receive the support of all the members of our Church.
The participants have undertaken to carry out activities in their dioceses with the existing human and material resources to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in their parishes and communities. Immediate actions will include pulpit ministry, peer education, skills building workshops and seminars for youth, women groups, fathers associations and pastors.