By Gid Ahanonu
The Goshen Anglican Retreat Centre property of the Superannuation Fund of the Niger Anglican Churches was dedicated penultimate Thursday in Owerri, Imo State capital by the Bishops of Niger Anglican Dioceses.
In his admonition at the brief service to mark the occasion the Chairman of the Joint Provincial Council and the Archbishop of Aba Province, Most Rev. Ikechi C. Nwosu PhD, commended the efforts of church heroes by prudently providing for the development of such centre and urged Christians to be focused.
He harped on the need to protect and sustain the efforts of “Heroes past” for posterity, but urged the people to resist temptations inherent as Satan is always at work when the children of God assemble to work harmoniously.
The Archbishop who described the dedication as a moment of celebration, called for serious prayers for the centre to thrive since unnecessary obstacles through quarrels might come, adding that they should pray for the presence of Jesus Christ to go before them in the centre for blessings and transformation to take place.
In his remarks, the Imo State Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, appreciated the efforts of the Anglican Church in setting up such a tourism centre which complements the State Governor’s Rescue Mission agenda in making Imo the most tourism attraction area.
He was delighted with the Goshen Anglican Retreat Centre which he noted would give employment to over one hundred job seekers, thereby supplementing Gov. Okorocha’s motive of reducing unemployment in Imo State. He assured the Anglican faithful of government’s support to strengthening the centre.
Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman, Superannuation Fund Investment Committee and Bishop of Ohaji/Egbema, Rt. Rev. Chidi Collins Oparaojiaku, PhD described the event as history, tracing the origin of the centre to 2004, and commended those who contributed to its success.
Bishop Oparaojiaku listed the facilities at the centre to include, event hall with 1,200 seating capacity, lodging suits, with over 50 rooms and six standard suites, availability of group accommodation, minimart, and superlative restaurant as well as conducive environment for retreat and meditation.
He stated that the facility is for all well meaning Nigerians but emphatically said that the centre is not for prostitution, all forms of criminality and political activities. He then appealed to the people to patronize the centre as it was developed with collective responsibility.
The occasion attracted many dignitaries from far and wide such as the Bishops and Archbishops, priests and laymen and their wives from the ecclesiastical province of Owerri, Aba, the Niger Delta and Enugu.
Highlight of the occasion was the dedication/commissioning of other structures at the centre by other Archbishops who assisted the chairman of Joint Provincial Council Most Rev. Ikechi N. Nwosu PhD. They are the guest house, the auditorium, mini-mart/Restaurant and Group Accommodation outfit.