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Wiawso Anglican Bishop defends investiture of Knights

By GNA

May 12, 2011
Accra , May 12, GNA - The Right Reverend Abraham Ackah, Anglican Bishop of Wiawso on Wednesday defended the investiture of 11 eminent personalities of the Church, saying it was not in contravention of what the Mission stood for.

"The Anglican Church has aplace for Knights," he said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.

Bishop Ackah was reacting to a media publication attributed to Most Reverend Dr Justice Ofei Akrofi, Primate of the Church of the Province of West Africa , who disassociated himself from the investiture.

Archbishop Akrofi said in the publication that he had no hand in planning the ceremony, which he described as a practice associated with the Roman Catholic Church, "although a handful of Churches in the Anglican faith are doing so outside Ghana ".

Most Reverend Ignatius Kattey, Archbishop of the Province of Niger Delta and Bishop of Niger Delta North, Nigeria officiated the ceremony at Wiawso in the Sefwi-Wiawso Diocese of the Western Region.

Seven men and four women from both Nigeria and Ghana received the Order of Knighthood ofSaintsChristopherandMary as a unique honour for their distinguished services to the Church and the Society.

Bishop Ackah said the Wiawso Diocese was linked with the Niger Delta Province of the Church and therefore was independent to carry out the investiture of the Knights.

In the Province of West Africa some Dioceses have other Orders such as the Order of St Helena, Order of Holy Paraclete and Order of Holy Cross, which were borrowed from the US and Britain.

"Each diocese decides, which organisation or order to belong to," he said, adding: "In the Anglican Church in Ghana , all dioceses are autonomous."

Bishop Ackah said Archbishop Akrofi was duly notified about these events, out of courtesy, which he acknowledged in the newspaper publication, and was subsequently invited for the investiture.

He said even if Archbishop Akrofi was not happy about the event, "a telephone call will have been a better alternative than the newspaper publication".

He said the Wiawso Diocesan Synod of the Church took three years to organise the event and duly informed Archbishop Akrofi about it. "It has reflected in our Synod ACTA for the past three consecutive years."

Bishop Ackah said the investiture of the Knights, which was the first of its kind in Ghana and the Wiawso Diocese, was performed in the presence of some Bishops and Senior Clergy of the Church and hailed by other Bishops in Ghana .

The Church of the Province of West Africa is a part of the Anglican Communion, covering 15 sees in West Africa, specifically Ghana, The Gambia,Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The Dioceses are Accra , Cape-Coast, Koforidua, Kumasi , Sekondi, Sunyani, Tamale, Wiawso and Dunkwa ( Ghana ), Bo ( Sierra Leone ), Cameroon (Region Missionaire), Freetown ( Sierra Leone ), The Gambia, Guinea , Liberia .

The Wiawso Diocese has links with the Diocese of Toronto, Canada, the Diocese of New York, and the Diocese of Los Angeles in the USA as well as the Diocese of Portsmouth in the UK . Five Parishes in the Diocese of Wiawso, through the Bishop Waltham Deanery are also linked with some Diocese abroad.

It is the 9th Diocese in Ghana and was carved out from the Diocese of Sekondi in the Western Region.

It was inaugurated in February 2006, with the Consecration and Enthronement of Rt Rev Ackah as its first Bishop in June 2006.

The Diocese is co-terminus with the five political districts of: Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai; Sefwi Wiawso; Juaboso; Bia and Akontombra.

GNA