THE ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF CAMEROON
THE REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON; AN AFRICAN COUNTRY SITUATED ON THE GULF OF GUINEE. GREEN RED AND YELLOW WITH A YELLOW STAR IN THE MIDDLE ARE THE COLOURS THAT MAKE UP OUR NATIONAL EMBLEM, THE FLAG.
CAMEROON SHARES BOUNDARY WITH NIGERIA, EQUATORIAL GUINEE, GABON CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, CHAD AND CONGO
Cameroon is on the Gulf of Guinea with a total population of 23,130,708 (2014 census). It is a Central African country of varied terrain and wildlife. Its inland capital, Yaoundé, and its biggest city, the seaport Douala, are transit points to ecotourism sites as well as beach resorts like Kribi – near the Chutes de la Lobé waterfalls, which plunge directly into the sea –and Limbe, home to a wildlife center.
Because of its modest oil resources and favourable agricultural conditions, Cameroon has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Still, it faces many of the serious problems confronting other underdeveloped countries, such as stagnant per capita income, a relatively inequitable distribution of income, and a generally unfavourable climate for business enterprise. Since 1990, the government has embarked on various IMF and World Bank programs designed to spur business investment, increase efficiency in agriculture, improve trade, and recapitalize the nation's banks. The IMF is pressing for more reforms, including increased budget transparency, privatization, and poverty reduction programs.
Cameroon has a real growth rate of 4.6%. It has an unemployment rate of 30% (2001 est.) and the population below the poverty line is almost half of the total population. It has a low inflation rate of 2.6% (2013 est.) making business conducive.
THE ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF CAMEROON
The Anglican Diocese of Cameroon is a part of the churches that make up the Anglican Communion world-wide. It is one of the Dioceses that constitute the Church of the Province of West Africa, precisely it belongs to the Internal Province of West Africa (IPWA).
It has 24 parishes and 18 Priests. There are 4 Archdeaconries with a congregation population of more than 10,000. These are potential direct customers of any conceived project.
There are four Archdeaconries that make up the Diocese namely:
I North West and Western Archdeaconry in the North West and Western Regions of Cameroon
This comprises of the following churches
1.All Saints Parish Bamenda
2.King of Kings Anglican Church in Ndu,
3.Holy Trinity Church in Bafoussam
4.Anglican Church in Mbengwi
II South West Archdeaconry in the Southern Region of Cameroon
1.St. Paul’s Parish Kumba
2.St. Andrews Parish Tiko
3.St. Peters Parish Limbe
4.St. Matthews Church Buea
5.Calvary Church Tombel
6.Anglican Missionary Church Koussala
III Littoral Archdeaconry in the Littoral Region of Cameroon
1.St. St. Michael’s and All Angels Cathedral Douala,
2.Emmanuel Miracle Parish Douala,
3.New Covenant Parish Douala,
4.Victory Anglican Church Douala,
5.Anglican Missionary Church Youpwe Douala,
6.St. George’s Anglican Church Mbanga,
7.Our Saviour’s Church Kotto Pendaboko,
8.Christ Church Trois Boutigue Douala,
9.Good Shepherd Church Akwa North Douala
VI Center Archdeaconry in the Center and Adamawa Regions of Cameroon.
1.St. James Church Ngaoundere,
2.St. John’s Parish in Ngoussso Yaounde,
3.Christ Anglican Church Mokolo Yaounde,
4.Christ Roi Parish Ahala in Yaounde,
5.St. Theresa’s Church Yeugassi Yaounde,
6.Anglican Missionary Church Obala Yaounde
1. THE CURRENT CONTEXT OF THE DIOCESE - STATISTICS (CHURCHES, MEMBERSHIP AND SCHOOLS)
We have twenty-five (25) churches manned by fourteen priests, three Deacons, one ordinand, three catechists and six Evangelists. The Churches have greatly increased in terms of the membership of communicants and non-communicants.
There is an Educational Board that manages our schools. We have five Primary Schools and three Nursery Schools.
On the level of the Diocese, there is a Bishop’s court training that runs quarterly for Evangelists and Catechists (full time), and Deacons, to enhance learning and equip them for their calling.
On ministerial formation, we train our Clergy in St. Nicholas Seminary in Ghana on pre-ordination education and also through mission partnership on exchange programs.
The Diocese of Cameroon, is a one country Diocese found in seven of the ten administrative regions of the national territories. We have churches in the Littoral, Center, Adamawa, North West and South West regions and South region. Cameroon is multicultural with about two hundred and fifty (250) ethnic tribes. The country exists within a diverse socio-economic context. This multicultural background forms a foundation in which decisions take longer time to be reached as each idea is perceived from different understandings and standpoints of the different people’s context. The gospel takes longer to break the multiple cultures.
Colonially speaking, Cameroon is a bilingual country with French and English being the official languages. Church programs in Cameroonian cities require interpretation from French to English and vice versa. Strategic mission plans are therefore an indispensable part of ministry in Cameroon. Social actions in missions with the establishment of schools, health institutions, job creating and scholarship giving ventures are fundamental to provide indiscriminate cultural attractive-pulling forces that will pave way for the entrance of the gospel into the various groups.
The economic condition of the country is also a real issue. We have churches which are typically in the poverty stricken areas, such as poor electricity supply, bad roads, poor portable water supply, poor communication coverage etc. Life expectancy is generally low in these areas and demands active minded socio-economic strategic plan for missions to be successful.
Cameroon is politically born of two fathers: France and Britain, with two national languages French and English. This background has led to the bilingual nature of the country. The country is currently experiencing threats from the Islamic sect, Boko Haram. This threat is however of a little decree with an overall relative peace that we enjoy. The Government and the church work hand-in-hand, our church not an exception. We do not relent our efforts in joining with the Government to fight Boko Haram or any form of insurgency.
Current Trends (Spiritual and Economic)
The spiritual atmosphere in Cameroon today is that of pluralism in the milieu of the Church. The last three decades has seen a great increase in Pentecostalism, with most of the churches including non-Anglican churches, experience high influx of Pentecostal emphasis. Many churches now organize special charismatic services in order to keep the members that would prefer the Pentecostal overtones.
Cameroon market on the other hand is seriously being affected by changes in the fuel prizes and unstable road infrastructure. The prices of some goods in the market are heavily affected by the tedious, rigorous custom policies and regulations. This on the most part touches on imported goods.
2. The Diocese
The diocese could be described as both urban, semi urban and rural. St. Michael and All Angels Cathedral Douala, Emmanuel Miracle Parish Douala, New Covenant Parish Douala, St. John’s Parish Yaounde, All Saints Parish Bamenda, Christ Church Yaounde, St. Peters Parish Limbe, St. Andrews Parish Tiko, St. Paul’s Parish Kumba, St. James Ngaoundere are the churches that are in the urban and semi urban towns of Cameroon. The rest are in the rural areas.
3. Vision/Mission Statement
“A COMPETENT, EFFECTIVE AND PRODUCTIVE CHURCH, SERVING ITS MEMBERS, COMMUNITY, COUNTRY AND BEYOND, BASED ON THE WORD OF GOD”
Elements of Vision/Mission Statement
The Anglican Diocese of Cameroon believes in sound training. This church is quality oriented and teaches the word of God with prove of a mature and advanced capability and qualified to do so. Her clergy is well trained tested and proved through competent theological institutions. Those called into the ministry without formal training are given regular internal training within the framework of the diocesan education scheme to ascertain and empower them for competence and service.
This church looks forward to and pursues effectiveness in her undertakings at every level. It is not just about rendering service but more about doing it within the expected time frame and using the requisite potentials to meet strategic goals.
In every of her activity this church looks for results. This church is organised in a way that results are measurable and easily perceived at each level.
This church believes in servant leadership using Jesus Christ as a model leader. We are called to serve our members, community, country and even the dying souls beyond Cameroon
Word of God
The word of God is the bedrock for our operation. It is the foundation of our calling and a compass through which every aspect of the church life is directed.
4. The Diocesan Strategic Priorities
At this level, the diocese needs an investment that will generate income. This income generating project if undertaken will reduce pressure on churches of assessment payment and hence accelerate church as well as diocesan growth rate. There is a Diocesan Landed property in the metropolitan city of Douala which is being earmarked for the development of an income generating activity. Our vision is to harness the lucrativeness of the strategic position of the land by building lockup stores, Health clinic as well as guest house on the complex structure that has been envisaged. This will mean doing three things in one complex building. Being certain of the productivity of this well situated landed property, within the heart of the commercial capital of Cameroon, we will be able generate enough income to acquire a more suitable place for the bishop’s court and bishop’s office in a much shorter period than reliance on the assessment.
A diocesan clergy pension scheme has been initiated and prioritized as well. This is a monthly contribution fund that generates income every month and that matures at the retirement of the workers amidst constant investment of the fund for a profitable dividend. This is a social security action by the diocese aimed at providing a retirement home for the Pastors and church workers. We belief that with the consent of all the contributors in to this fund, it is possible to have a good feasibility study made and a good investment undertaken after a period of time that will boost the main objective of dealing with impoverishment of clergymen and church workers, especially at retirement.
5. The Diocesan Assets and Resources
The Diocese has landed property of about 15 acres at mile 4 Limbe in the South West Region of Cameroon available for investment. We also have landed property at the heart of the Douala city, strategically located for a lucrative business venture.
6. Our Strengths
A rich passion of soul winning, a strong capacity to approach the gospel on a multicultural platform and a big reservoir of ability to manage a congregation that is predominantly business men from mostly foreign nationalities.
7. Our Challenges
Since its creation in 2008, the diocese has as well gone through much challenges. Up till now, the diocese is still on rent for the office of the bishop and the bishop’s residence. The sole source of income is that of payment of assessments by the parishes which most are still building and others on rented apartments. These payments have never been effective and this is because many of the churches are still building.
Other Challenges include:
Ø Having to cover long distances to attend Diocesan programs and to effect Episcopal functions, (Yaounde to Bamenda about 400km, Douala to Yaounde about 300km, Douala to Bamenda about 400km etc).
Ø Penetrating the gospel into the French speaking Cameroon.
Ø Limited financial and human resources to meet strategic needs