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Gambian synod: "Extend reach and involvement of Mother's Union and Youth"

Posted on: February 16, 2012 11:46 AM
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By ACNS staff

This year's Diocesan Synod in Gambia has called for diocesan organisations to be established in all parishes and membership opened to anyone interested to join.

In a statement issues following the 9th Synod of the Diocese of Gambia at St Mary's Cathedral, Banjul, members resolved that: "That Diocesan Organisation such as Mothers’ Union and A. Y. P. A. [the Anglican Young People's Association]* should be established in all Parishes and membership be extended to all those interested. A special effort must be made to reach out to women at St Cuthbert's and Church of the African Martyrs."

The Synod went on to recommend that "the Youth Ministry be challenged to be more active in 2012 and subsequent years than they have been in 2011; moreover that special and concerted attention plus encouragement be given to their Ministry."

To that end all parishes have been asked to asked to allow the youths to participate in the Sunday Service at least once a month, in an attempt to encourage the youths to be more active.

A major theme of this year's Synod was the Millennium Development Goals in particular goals 3-5 (To promote gender equality and empower women; To reduce child mortality; To improve maternal health) which will be a focus during the coming synodal period.

Diocesan bishop the Rt Revd Dr Solomon Tilewa Johnson said in his charge to Synod: "Last year we reflected upon Millennium Development Goals 1 and 2. The common theme is that of social action in our Church. This is not at all divorced from our ministry in evangelism, and the nurture of believers. St. Francis used to say to his followers – “go and preach the Gospel, using words if necessary.” It is possible to reveal the Gospel through our actions – that is, the “incarnational” approach.


The full statements can be read below. (Previous Synod statements can be found on the Diocese of Gambia's website here)

Notes to Editors

  • The Diocese of Gambia is a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. THE DIOCESE OF GAMBIA comprises the Republics of The Gambia, Senegal and Cape Verde Islands. The area of jurisdiction is 211,431 square kilometers: Senegal 196,722 sq. Km; The Gambia 10,686 sq man Cape Verde Islands 4,023 sq km: with corresponding total populations of 7,000,000, 1,025,867 and 350,000 respectively. These figures were obtained from the latest Population and Housing Census report in the case of The Gambia, and the Conditions of Living reports prepared by the UNDP offices in Cape Verde and Senegal. The Gambia is English speaking; Senegal is French speaking; Cape Verde is Portuguese speaking.
  • *AYPA in the Church aims to bring young people together, empower them spiritually, emotionally, financially and physically. They hold weekly bible studies and take a leading role at the Youth Sunday Service conducted on the third Sunday of every month.The Diocesan AYPA meet twice a month whilst the Parish AYPA meet once a week. A workshop was organized recently, whereby the young people from the different christian denominations were sensitized on Drug Abuse and Teenage Pregnancy. They also hold a Leadership Training before our Annual Youth gathering. They hold a seven-day youth gathering annually and that brings young Christians together from within and outside the diocese.




delivered by
The Rt. Rev. Dr. S. Tilewa Johnson


Held at
The Parish of St. Mary, Banjul
8th – 12th February 2012


In the name of God – Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer – I welcome you all to this Second Session of the Triennial Period of the Ninth Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Gambia, Church of the Province of West Africa.

From the time of the inception of our Worshiping Community in 1855 we have had a tradition of trying to maintain an holistic approach to our mission and ministry as Church. In addition to our evangelical role, we have also sought interventions in social action. These were initially, and for a number of years, particularly in the sector of education, through our schools. The early years also witnessed the mobile clinic of the Anglican Mission. On 2nd February 1990, the present Bishop was particularly struck at his Consecration by the words of Archbishop George D. Brown, who challenged him to “aim to strike a reasonable balance between evangelism and social responsibility” in the way he administered the Church in this part of the Lord’s vineyard. So, in more recent times – since 1991 - our social action has developed and become formalised under the umbrella of a local non governmental organisation (NGO) – the Anglican Mission Development Ministries (AMDM). AMDM has operated under the governance of the Diocesan Development Board, with the Bishop involved at the deepest level as Executive Director. The Bishop’s input to the development arena has extended to regional, continental and global levels.

At last year’s Synod our theme challenged the Anglican Church in The Gambia with regard to our contribution to the attainment of Millennium Goals 1 and 2. This year we continue in the same vein. Our theme for the Synod of 2012 is:

“Streamlining the local Anglican input in the actualisation of the
Millennium Development Goals 3, 4 and 5 as the year 2015 fast approaches”

Before we reflect upon this theme, I call upon this Synod to extend warm and prayerful greetings to the President, government and people of The Gambia. Let us assure our Head of State, Sheikh Prof. Alhaji Dr. Yaya A. J. J. Jammeh, of our continued prayer for him, his family and all those who hold positions of authority in our land. We pray for our President, as he continues to seek God’s guidance in his task of leadership. We pray that he will be endowed with the gifts of wisdom and discernment as he seeks the way forward for our nation. We assure him of our continued commitment to good interfaith relations in our land. We remain committed to the peace and development of our country. We finally congratulate our Head of State on his recent inauguration for a fourth mandate as President (2012 – 2017). May God’s richest blessings be upon him throughout this time.

We also call upon Synod to send prayerful greetings to the Most Revd. Justice O. Y. Akrofi, Archbishop of the Church of the Province of West Africa. We assure him of our continued prayers for him and his family. We pray for God’s blessing of peace upon him. We pray that God will strengthen him and endow him with the gifts of wisdom and discernment as he undertakes the weighty role as Primate of our Province.

We extend fraternal greetings to our sister Churches in The Gambia. We give thanks to God for the good ecumenical relations we experience in this country. We ask for God’s blessing on the mission and ministry of each of our sister Churches, and on the Gambia Christian Council. At this time we particularly congratulate Bishop Hannah Faal-Heim, as newly consecrated and enthroned Methodist Bishop of The Gambia. We welcome her to the episcopate, as she joins me as the second Gambian national to be consecrated Bishop. Although the Christian Church is a minority faith in our nation, we give thanks for the opportunities afforded us as we strive under God to enable the Kingdom of God to become a reality. We pray for our Muslim brothers and sisters, and those of other faiths, as we work together for the peace and development of our nation.

As we now turn to the matters of this Synod, we begin by giving thanks to almighty God for His goodness to us over past years. As we reflect on the past, we pray for the humility to learn from this. As we plan for the future, we pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God’s Spirit. We commence by reflecting upon the theme for Synod 2012:

“Streamlining the local Anglican input in the actualisation of the
Millennium Development Goals 3, 4 and 5 as the year 2015 fast approaches”

As this year’s theme is, in some way, a continuation of the theme of last year’s Synod, we must necessarily hold on to the common thread that runs though our theological reflection. Last year we reflected upon Millennium Development Goals 1 and 2. The common theme is that of social action in our Church. This is not at all divorced from our ministry in evangelism, and the nurture of believers. St. Francis used to say to his followers – “go and preach the Gospel, using words if necessary.” It is possible to reveal the Gospel through our actions – that is, the “incarnational” approach.

When we consider “incarnation”, we immediately think of God coming to live among us in the form of a human being – Jesus. “God with us” – Emmanuel. Our mission as a people of God is also to be incarnational – to allow something of the nature of God to be revealed in our lives. God’s love for His creation can be expressed through us. What a responsibility! A large part of this responsibility is to our fellow human – to our neighbour. We follow the example of Jesus.

Jesus totally identified himself with the rest of humankind – particularly the marginalised, the poor and those who recognised their own powerlessness and need for God. In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, and not long before his death, Jesus is very clear about what our relationship should be to those in need. In fact, Jesus identifies himself so much with our humanity that he says – whatever is done for the least is done for him. Jesus says,

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
(Matthew 25: 35 and 36)

Likewise, Jesus will recognise the times when there was need and no response,

“For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
I was a stranger and you did not invite me in,
I needed clothes and you did not clothe me,
I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”
(Matthew 25: 42 and 43)

Jesus further clarifies his message:

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine,
you did for me.”
(Matthew 25: 40)
“I tell you the truth,, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these,
you did not do for me.”
(Matthew 25: 45)

This is some challenge to us, as followers of Jesus, is it not? We either minister to our fellow human being, and so minister to Jesus; or we do nothing, and so do not touch the body of Christ in this sacramental way.

As Church we can find many opportunities to respond to this challenge. As the Anglican Church in The Gambia we already have a history of social action, and at present we have a framework within which to work. Allow me to give a little background for our Synod theme.

As the new millennium was approaching the United Nations (UN) stated some development goals, to be attained by the year 2015. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight goals that the 191 member states of the UN agreed to and endorsed by signing the United Nations Millennium Declaration in 2002. These goals, together, aim to cut poverty in half by the year 2015, using 1990 as a bench mark. The eight MDGs aim to:

  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development

At this Synod, and during this synodal period, we intend to focus on MDGs 3, 4 and 5. These are:

  • To promote gender equality and empower women
  • To reduce child mortality
  • To improve maternal health

During the period since 2002, there have been intermittent progress reports and predictions with regard to the attainment of the MDGs by 2015. The UN notes that there has been progress globally with regard to poverty reduction, improved enrolment and gender parity in schools, reduced child and maternal mortality, and so on. However, this is not universal, and some areas (such as sub-Saharan Africa) have seen an increase in the number of poor. Also, rapid poverty reduction does not necessarily address gender inequality, and is possibly not matched by improvements in child and maternal mortality and / or environmental stability. The UN recognises the threat to MDG progress from high food prices and the impact of the financial and economic crises. A country’s agricultural productivity, and its ability to feed its people, is vulnerable to climate change.

In the same way, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) notes the continued progress of the MDGs in Africa, but also recognises that the crises in food, fuel and economy of the past few years, together with instability in North Africa, could influence advances. They particularly note declines in labour productivity, increased youth unemployment and a rising number of working poor. There is a need for employment that provides a decent living wage. There is some concern that a disproportionate number of the working poor are female, which indicates a need to address gender imbalance at all levels and in different skill areas. They note that political developments in North Africa and the Middle East could be seen as a wake up call to all regions for a more inclusive and equitable approach to growth and development.

The 2010 review placed The Gambia among the world’s top 20 MDG performers. Institutional capacity continues to be a challenge in many countries, particularly those also recovering from conflict. A couple of statistics in The Gambia can give us some encouragement to persevere. Between 1991 and 2008 child (under fives) mortality decreased from 153 to 103 per 1,000. Within the same period the proportion of children in education increased from 49.6 to 71.6 per cent.

As Church, we are challenged to play our part in the development of our nation and the wellbeing of the Gambian people in general.

As noted, the Diocese has long had interventions in areas of social action. Education has been a major sector of our development work. We examined this specifically under MDG 2 last year. However, education must also be a key to attaining gender parity. In short, the history of our interventions in education comprises initially the boarding school at Kristi Kunda and St. Mary’s Primary School in Banjul. These were later joined by the Anglican Training Centre at Farafenni, the Mothers’ Union Nursery School at Banjulnding, the Christ Church Nursery School and the Rev. J. C. Faye Nursery School. The two latter have developed into the Archdeacon Matthias George Memorial School, at Primary and Middle School level, and The Rev. J. C. Faye Memorial School from Nursery to High School level. We look forward to discussing gender parity in our present schools when relevant reports are presented; together with approaches in school that can empower the female portion of our young population in particular.

In the health sector, we had a mobile clinic at Kristi Kunda and a small clinic in Farafenni for a number of years. More recently AMDM established a programme of assistance to people with HIV / AIDS and long term illness. How can we revive our interventions in health?

With regard to agriculture, there has been an Anglican Mission Farm at Farafenni from the early days of the 1970s.

Since its inception in 1991, AMDM has offered assistance to refugees – particularly during the crises in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cassamance and Guinea Bissau during the 1990s and into the new millennium. For ten years AMDM was an implementing partner for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Assistance comprised food, provision for education, agriculture, health and income generating activities. Our work with refugees afforded us opportunity to provide support for the women, through a health service and income generating activities.

In any discussion about issues relating to women, we must refer to our Mothers’ Union. Their service to our Church and representation of women is invaluable. We challenge them to consider needs of women and children in relation to our theme.

Let us now turn to the business of Synod. Throughout our discussions, we are encouraged to hold in mind the three Millennium Development Goals of our theme:
• Promote gender equality and empower women
• Reduce child mortality
• Improve maternal health

Where is our part in this?

Let us, under God, discern our part in improving the lives of the people of our nation. We are guided by our theme for this Synod,

“Streamlining the local Anglican input in the actualisation of the
Millennium Development Goals 3, 4 and 5 as the year 2015 fast approaches”

We hold the theme before us as we reflect upon the year under review, and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God as we move forward into the next year.

We give thanks for the lives of some of our number who, during the last year, passed from labour to reward. These faithful servants who shared in the leadership of the Church of Christ are:
• Dr. R. O. W. Carrol, former Chair, Bishop’s Advisory Council
• Bro. Joe Richards, Organist
• Bro. Moses L. C. Johnson, Organist

Confirmations: Parish of St. Paul – 5
Parish of Christ Church – 2
Parish of Cathedral of St. Mary – 2

Dedication of new Cathedral Hall: – on the Feast of Pentecost 2011 the completed Cathedral Hall,
with a seating capacity of 300, was dedicated by us to the glory of God and for the use of all God’s people for social, cultural and religious activities. After the dedication and cutting of ribbon ceremonies, the Service of Holy Communion was celebrated as the first occasion held in the Cathedral Hall. The two newly confirmed youth – Emma Jones (daughter of Francis and Theresa Jones) and Sylvanus King (son of Solomon and Julia King) - received their First Communion. The Cathedral Hall was constructed as part of the package to lease the St. Mary’s Parsonage to the Guaranty Trust Bank for 25 years (2009 – 2034).

Provincial Synod in Conakry, Guinea:- A diocesan delegation, comprising the Venerable Archdeacon
Priscilla M. G. Johnson, Canon James Y. Odico, Sister H. Acy Peters and Sister Francess Belford, and led by the Diocesan Bishop, left for a long overdue Provincial Synod scheduled for 21st to 25th March 2011.

Africana Sunday:- Under the protection of almighty God, we presided over the Maiden Africana
Sunday Service, held for the first time ever in any of our parishes, on 31st July 2011. Christ Church Parish, the ‘Borklefasong’ congregation, was the venue. The atmosphere was not only unusual, but unique … almost every worshipper was attired in African costume. The Celebrant and the Revd. Gabriel Allen (the Guest Minister) also gave the Sanctuary an African look, as they too were clad in ‘Agbada’. Another highlight of the maiden African Sunday Service was the dedication and blessing of a new fibre glass lecturn cum pulpit, donated by Christ Church Choir.

Six Parish vehicles:- We give thanks to almighty God that we can report to this Synod that the
passionate plea from the House of Laity during Synod 2011 at Christ Church Parish has been implemented in full. Each parish in the Gambia side of our Diocese has been supplied with a brand new utility vehicle in the form of a double cabin 4 wheel drive pick-up. The six new vehicles, bought at D600,000 each from Espace Motors, were blessed during the Confirmation Service at Christ Church Parish, Serrekunda, on 3rd July 2011. GRTS – TV covered the ceremony. Now, as then, we pray fervently that God almighty will protect and guard the vehicles and all who drive and ride in them. PCCs and the CPC were urged to be good stewards of these God-given tools for pastoralia and evangelism.

Restoration of the Revd. Fr. Jacob Okiki Cole:- To the praise of God almighty, Fr. Okiki was
restored to active Priestly ministry under his Bishop on 23rd December 2011, after being out of active ministry for over three years. On Christmas morning 2011 the restored Presbyter voluntarily made a public apology to the Church and to the Ordinary. The apology was accepted by spontaneous acclamation, and so a formal reception back into the Cathedral sanctuary. Fr. Okiki has been appointed as a Non-Stipendiary Minister, charged with the responsibility of paying pastoral visits to the Church of the African Martyrs, Farafenni, two times each month. We thank God for all who participated in the process of the restoration of Fr. Okiki.

Amazingly, through Facebook, the popular social network, we negotiated the six week visit of Rev. Fr. Patrick Chrisp and his spouse, Mother Trusella, both from New Zealand. Fr. Paddy had visited the Diocesan website, and then got in touch with us, offering voluntary Priestly service in our Diocese. During this time Mother Trusella, originally from South Carolina, USA, traced her ancestral roots in The Gambia. Fr. Paddy served as Visiting Canon Missioner at the Cathedral, with a focus on Youth Work and Preaching. He was also asked to get the Old Bishop’s House converted into a functional Guest House. Another outstanding contribution of Fr. Paddy was his conduct of an intensive 10-day counselling programme, leading to the reinstatement of Fr. Okiki. The Chrisps returned to New Zealand, via the UK, on 12th January, having spent action packed days in the Cathedral Parish. We wish them every blessing at the new duty station in New Zealand.

The Revd. Canon Samuel and Mother Margaret Danquah returned to the Diocese of Koforidua, Ghana, after a three year tour of pastoral duty in the Diocese. On the special recommendation of Archbishop Justice Akrofi, Canon Danquah, one of the experienced retired priests of the Province of West Africa, was warmly received in December 2008. The good Canon served as Sub-Dean, Archdeacon and Assistant Provost in Banjul, Farafenni and Banjul respectively during his tenure. Mother Margaret served as the Manager of the Anglican Guest House, Farafenni. The Danquahs’ ministry among us, though challenging, was appreciated by many. We encourage Synod to send warm greetings and a word of appreciation to Fr. and Mthr Danquah.

We remind Synod of Resolution 23 of Synod 2010, which states:
“Whilst acknowledging the report of the Committee on the State of the Church, Synod urges that future reports should include an analysis of the prevailing environment in which the Church operates, and make recommendations in this direction. That each Parish in the Diocese should have mission and vision statements that briefly incorporate the purpose of the Parish. That the School of Evangelism be revived and accessible to all members and not only for lay readers.”

As we did last year, based on the first sentence of this Resolution, I again recommend that the Report of the Committee on the State of the Church be received on Day Two of Synod straight after “Major Decisions of the Diocesan Standing Committee”. We remind the House of the modus operandi of the Committee on the State of the Church - ‘to observe actively over the year and report at the next Synod’. We look forward to the findings and recommendations of the Committee on the State of the Church and that of the Resolutions Committee, as required by Resolution 7 of Synod 2010.

As we have done in times past, may we formally acknowledge the like minded Partners with whom our Diocese has laboured, to the glory of God, during the year under review. The USPG continue to be the most active of our traditional partners, for which we continue to thank God. The USPG have challenged us to develop ways and means of becoming more self sustaining, as they face tough challenges in fund raising. The Church Mission Society (CMS) attempted to decentralise, but have met with grave challenges, which have resulted in a situation that requires much prayer. We urge Synod to send CMS a message of encouragement.

Our long partnership in mission with the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG) continues to bear good fruit. Synod members will recall that, through the Experience Exchange Programme (EEP) of the USPG, self supporting volunteers have come to the Diocese to give hands on support in the work and ministry of our Diocese. The latest to arrive under the EEP Scheme are: Sis. Amanda, a qualified nurse, with much knowledge in quantity surveying; and Sis. Nada, an arts and crafts facilitator, who speaks French, Arabic, Hungarian and English with an Irish accent. Amanda and Nada will be based in Banjul.

The Diocese has been a member of Oikocredit for over twenty years. According to Wikipedia, Oikocredit (Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society) was an idea that came from a 1968 meeting of the World Council of Churches. This idea of forming a Development Cooperative Society, that offers loans or investment capital for micro finance institutions, cooperatives and small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries, was concretised in 1975. We became members the year after our Consecration. On 25th March 2010, Oikocredit announced that it had reached 1 billion Euro in cumulative loans and investments. During the Annual General Meeting of Oikocredit in Tanzania in 2011 we were able to initiate discussions with the West Africa Oikocredit Bureau staff, to explore possible development projects for our Diocese. A visit was fielded in July, and a project proposal for the redevelopment of old St. Mary’s School is well underway. This partnership could well be described as the most vibrant thus far. The Lord be praised!

WCC (World Council of Churches)
AACC (All Africa Conference of Churches)
FECCIWA (Fellowship of Christian Councils in West Africa)
We are privileged to be one of the very active partners of the WCC, the AACC and the FECCIWA. This pleasantly reveals that our Diocese is well and truly active in ecumenism at regional, continental and global levels. Almost on a fortnightly basis we receive from Geneva, Nairobi and Lome (the Headquarters of WCC, AACC and FECCIWA respectively) bulletins, statements, reports and communiqués relating to contemporary ecumenical issues, views, reflections and concerns.

During the year under review we have participated in the following ecumenical fora:
• The peace convocation held in Kingston, Jamaica in May
• The consultation on poverty, wealth and ecology held in Calgary, Canada in November
• An AACC / PROCMURA (Programme for Christian Muslim Relations in Africa) / Diocese of Gambia tripartite one-day conference held at Banjulnding, The Gambia.

We urge the Synod assembled to send appropriate greetings to our ecumenical partners.

For the last 22 years, at each and every Synod, we have honoured persons who, in the opinion of the President of Synod, have been worthy of mention for their known stewardship in the Lord’s vineyard. Almost all those honoured thus far have been Anglicans. However, this year we desire to present for honourable mention a non-Anglican. A non-Anglican who has given time and talent to the service of our Diocese – as much as, if not more than, any other non-Anglican we know during our watch!

Born over 65 year ago, educated at the Methodist Boys’ High School, Gambia High School, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, the University of Ibadan and London’s Middle Temple, the recipient of our Honourable Mention has achieved a number of firsts in his professional and religious life.

For the last seven years our 2012 Honourable Mention Awardee has represented our Diocese exceptionally well in a few civil court cases, dealing with the landed properties of the Diocese. In all the cases that our Awardee represented the Anglican Diocese of Gambia, not once did Bro. Sydney Riley, BA (Hons), BL, ever charge professional fees. In fact, in one instance when he was entitled to a commission after the sale of one of the Bright properties on Fitzgerald Street, Banjul, he generously gave the huge amount due to him back to the Diocese.

Bro. Sydney’s commitment to serving as the Diocesan Legal Adviser ad interim is phenomenal. Though a staunch Methodist, and until recently the Senior Legal Adviser to the Methodist Conference, The Gambia, he fulfilled all his legal responsibilities for our Diocese, both in public worship and in court work, with the utmost sincerity and humility, and (might I add) in sickness and in health.

Esteemed Members of Synod 2012, distinguished guests, I present to you the 2012 Honourable Mention Awardee, Sydney Winston Balogun Riley, B.A. (Hons), B.L., Barrister at Law of London’s Middle Temple, Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court, The Gambia. We thank God for Bro. Sydney, and the Methodist Conference for ‘loaning’ him to us. We pray for good health and long life for him!

In conclusion, I give sincere thanks to almighty God for all the labourers in this part of the Lord’s vineyard. We are where we are now thanks to your contribution, and God’s grace by which we live and move. We give thanks for those who have taken that extra commitment by becoming Parish or Diocesan Lay Readers. We give thanks for those who have taken another step to receive Holy Orders. We are deeply thankful for the restoration of Rev. Fr. Jacob Francis Okiki Cole. We commend the ministries of all to God’s keeping and guidance.

I cannot end without giving heartfelt thanks to God for my partner in life and ministry – my beloved spouse, Venerable Priscilla Modupe. I greatly value her encouragement, wisdom and love; as I also value her honest criticism, spoken in love.

I also give thanks for my younger family – Njilan, Jeggan and Dado – for their unswerving love and support.

Before Synod business commences, let us restate our theme for this Synod:

“Streamlining the local Anglican input in the actualisation of the
Millennium Development Goals 3, 4 and 5 as the year 2015 fast approaches”

We are reminded of Millennium Development Goals 3, 4 and 5:
• Promote gender equality and empower women
• Reduce child mortality
• Improve maternal health

Finally, as we move into the business of Synod, under our theme, let us do so supported by scripture. We revisit the prophetic words of Jesus:

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
(Matthew 25: 35 and 36)

“In tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine,
you did for me.”
(Matthew 25: 40)

In the name of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To the honour and glory of God. AMEN.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. S. Tilewa Johnson
Bishop of Gambia
9th February 2011




Held at


RESOLUTION 1: That thanks be given to our Almighty, Merciful and loving Father for His infinite faithfulness, abundant blessings, guidance and protection for the mission and ministry of His Church in this Diocese.

RESOLUTION 2: That thanks and praise be given to Almighty God for His continued blessings on our beloved nation, The Gambia; and furthermore that commitment be made to pray for enduring peace and religious
harmony in our land.

RESOLUTION3: That warm, sincere prayerful greetings be sent to His Excellency the President of the Republic Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yaya A. J. J. Jammeh, assuring him of our daily prayers for himself, as he begins his mandate for a fourth term; and for all those who hold authority in our land.

RESOLUTION 4: That fraternal greetings be sent to the Most Reverend Justice O. Y. Akrofi, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the province of West Africa . Furthermore that he be assured of our constant prayers for himself and his family. May God bless guide and strengthen him in this task.

RESOLUTION 5: That there should be endorsement of the theme for the Synod:
“Streamlining the local Anglican input in the actualization of the Millennium goals 3, 4 and 5, as the Year 2015 fast approaches”
and further that the Bishop be commended for his inspiring and scholarly Charge to Synod.

RESOLUTION 6: That a draft of the Synod minutes be circulated to Synod members as soon as it is feasible in order that members could check on the
implementation of decisions taken at Synod meetings.

RESOLUTION 7: That heartfelt thanks be sent to the sister churches (The Methodist
Conference and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Banjul.) in the Gambia, with deep appreciation for the cordial ecumenical relations we enjoy in this land. In this regard we remain committed to working with our sister churches in ministering to the people of the Gambia.

RESOLUTION 8: That the Resolutions Committee, with support from the Diocesan of office, translate the resolutions of Synod into a plan of action for
implementation by the Diocesan Office so that a status report on the implementation of such resolutions be presented by the Chairman of the Resolutions Committee.

RESOLUTION 9: That greetings be sent to our partners in mission United Society for the propagation of the Gospel (USPG), Church Mission Society (CMS), expressing appreciation for our partnership in mission assuring them of
our prayers as they face the challenges of today’s world

RESOLUTION 10: That warm fraternal greetings and sincere wishes of God’s ever abiding
love and provision be sent to our ecumenical partners as follows: World Council of Churches (WCC), All Africa Council of Churches (AACC), Fellowships of Christian Council in West Africa (FECCIWA) expressing our joy and appreciation for their goodwill messages and assuring them of our prayers.

RESOLUTION 11: That greetings and thanks be sent to all those who sent messages to Synod 2012 as follows: The Rt. Rev. Mark Sowerby of Horsham, Chichester; Dr. Rogate Mshana of WCC; Reverend Dr. Karen Hamilton
of the Canadian Council of Churches; Justice Samuel Oluwole McCarthy, Chancellor of the Diocese of Guinea and Regis trar of the Church of the Province of West Africa; the Right Rev. John K. Ottoo of Secondi; the Rt. Rev. Dr. Festus Yeboah-Asuamah of Sunyani Diocese; The Rt. Rev. Francis B. Quashie of Koforidua; Fronse and Germaine of Michigan USA; Canon Pedro Sambune of USA; expressing our joy and appreciation for their goodwill messages and assuring them of our prayers.

RESOLUTION 12: That Greetings and heartfelt congratulations be sent to Bro Sydney Winston Balogun Riley upon receiving the well deserved Honourable Mention in the Bishop’s Charge to Synod 2012, and further assuring him of our gratitude for his time, talent and services to our Diocese and of our prayers for his continued good health and long life.

RESOLUTION 13: That thanks and appreciation be sent to Sisters Mary Small and Amanda Markin (Co-Chaplains, Synod 2012) for the interesting and inspiring Bible Study they conducted at Synod 2012 and further
assuring them of our prayers and best wishes.

RESOLUTION 14: That warm greetings and thanks be sent to Canon Samuel and Mother Margaret Danquah expressing our appreciation of their
ministry among us and assuring them of our prayers for their
continued good health.

RESOLUTION 15: That greetings and condolences be sent to the three bereaved families listed in the Bishop’s Charge, assuring them of our prayers for the continued repose of the souls of their dear departed ones.

RESOLUTION 16: That warm greetings be sent to the Venerable Priscilla Johnson with a note of sincere appreciation for the unstinting support that she gives to His lordship the Bishop and the great contribution she makes to the life of the Church; and furthermore to send greetings to Njillan, Jagan and Dado Johnson in recognition of their role in supporting the Bishop’s ministry.

RESOLUTION 17: That thanks and sincere appreciation be sent to members of the Clergy who have worked tirelessly and have given their best to their Diocesan work as well as their full time regular work. We thank God for their
commitment to the Non-Stipendiary Ministry and salute their spouses and family members who have provided much support to their work for God.

RESOLUTION 18: That sincere thanks be sent to all those who have contributed to the
smooth running and success of Synod 2012 at the St. Mary’s Cathedral.
These are Rev. Victor Clayton Johnson, Mrs. Veronica Grey Johnson and her team, The C. P. C. and other Organisations such as, the
Mother’s Union the Ushers’ Guild and the many Parishioners and other individuals who have supported the Parish during Synod 2012.

RESOLUTION 19: That the Diocese ensure that a Health Insurance Policy be obtained for all members of its staff so that medical expenses could be taken care of.

RESOLUTION 20: That Canon XXVIII of the Constitution and Canons of Gambia
be fully observed by all Parishes in the Diocese.

RESOLUTION 21: That all Parishes of the Diocese and all Diocesan organisations that are obliged to present audited financial statements to Synod should do so using the standardised format which Bro Donald Kaye has

RESOLUTION 22: That the Education Committee and the Estate Committee work
together in order to arrive at a proposal for the development of no. 7 Fitzgerald Street that, will be acceptable to the Diocese.

RESOLUTION 23: That special mention be made every year, at the All Soul’s Day
Eucharist, of all those who have bequeathed properties to the
Anglican Diocese.

RESOLUTION 24: While acknowledging considerable improvement made by the Radio and T. V. Ministry which deserve commendation, those involved are, however, urged to endeavour to reach out more to women and children, in keeping with the theme for Synod 2012. Moreover they are advised to make adequate preparation prior to their Radio or TV show to ensure that the appropriate materials, such as text, hymns etc are used.

RESOLUTION 25: That Diocesan Organisation such as Mothers’ Union and A. Y. P. A.
should be established in all Parishes and membership be extended to all those interested. A special effort must be made to reach out to
women at St Cuthbert's and Church of the African Martyrs.

RESOLUTION 26: That all Parishioners are challenged to lead by example; to preach the Gospel not only with their lips but by their lives as charged by His Lordship the Bishop.

RESOLUTION 27: That the Youth Ministry be challenged to be more active in 2012 and subsequent years than they have been in 2011; moreover that special and concerted attention plus encouragement be given to their Ministry.

RESOLUTION 28: That all the Parishes be asked to allow the youths to participate in
the Sunday Service at least once a month, in an attempt to encourage the youths to be more active.

RESOLUTION: 29 That all Parish Priests and Synod delegates brief their various
Parishes on the outcome of Synod and further encourage their
P. C. C.’s to conduct a mid-year review of major decisions of Synod

RESOLUTION 30: That Priests and other Diocesan workers in rural areas be given an incentive in the form of Hardship Allowances or any other relevant support in order that they may reach out to more people who live in less privileged areas with the hope that the theme for Synod 2012 could be realized.

RESOLUTION 31: That the various Parishes be challenged to establish fitness /health clubs especially for women and children in order to encourage
healthy living among our women and children with the hope that this will contribute to maternal and child health care.

RESOLUTION 32: That all the parishes be Challenged to come up with a Church Calendar
Calendar, before the beginning of each year, which shows all the relevant programmes and fixtures for the coming year which should be submitted to the Diocesan Office for censure. This, hopefully, will eliminate clashes of Church Programmes.

RESOLUTION 33: That the Diocese through the schools provide enough input in the actualization of the Millennium Development Goals 3, 4, and 5 as stated in the theme for Synod 2012.

RESOLUTION 34: That all audited accounts and reports for Synod be submitted to the
Diocesan Office for processing by 25th January every year.



Sister Victoria Ethel Clarke, Chair.........................................................

Sister Francess Belford,Member............................................................

Sister Mary John,Member.....................................................................

Sister Mary Alaba Thomas Mboge, Member..........................................

Brother Richard Campbell, Member......................................................

Sister Hannah Peters, Synod Secretary..................................................

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Solomon Tilewa Ethelbert Willie Johnson