I was very happy to find out that the Chaplain is from Nigeria and a school mate to some of my friends who are priests in my home Diocese of the Niger Delta. I could see some worries on his face when I rang his bell after the service to introduce myself. He was very welcoming, however and introduced his wife and two beautiful girls. I was offered food and drink and was welcomed very well.
However there was no time for me to ask his views on the debate about human sexuality in the Anglican Communion – he was running late for the next service. I left Holy Trinity rejoicing because the Chaplain wanted me to join the next service, a Youth dedication service where a young Ghanaian who is a member of the youth group was to preach the sermon.
Beloved friends, you don’t often find Nigerian priests opening their doors to welcome fellow Christians who are LGBT. Even those living in the West are still trapped in the politics of the Church of Nigeria because they don’t want to go back home and be rejected by their home bishop.
The welcoming attitude of this Nigerian priest opened my mind to begin to research how many Nigerian priests are in Europe and are really welcoming to everyone. Changing Attitude Nigeria will continue to seriously challenge religious homophobia not only within the Nigerian Church but also in Europe and other parts of the World.
Later I met with an African Gay Pentecostal group. They are very much underground as gay people but also form an open choir, singing the Holy Spirit down on bishops, priests and lay people every Sunday in their churches. Many conservative Christians claim to be hearing from the Holy Spirit directly, but I keep wondering why the conservatives have still not got the message that there are many LGBT members in their churches who sing the melodies in choirs and congregations every Sunday, singing about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.