Igbo Community Aberdeen Annual Thanksgiving Service 2022
On Sunday 4th December 2022, we at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Aberdeen played host to the Igbo Community Aberdeen on the occasion of their annual thanksgiving service. Every year on the first Sunday in December, the Igbo Community holds their annual thanksgiving service at any of the churches which their members attend. This year, they chose to come to ours.
The Igbo Community Aberdeen (ICA) are the people of South-East and part of South-South Nigeria who as God will have it now reside in Aberdeen City and Shire of which I am one of them. ICA formally came into existence ten and half years ago aimed at bringing ourselves together as a support network, and to sustain and promote our cultural heritage. More importantly, to foster peaceful co-existence with our host Scottish community as well as with other ethnic minority communities. Peaceful co-existence is an attribute the Igbos are proudly known for because among all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, the Igbos are the most entrepreneurial and diasporan.
The Igbos (or Ndigbo, in our local Igbo language) are today predominantly Christians. This was not the case one hundred years ago. Thanks be to God, through the effort of British and particularly Scottish missionaries who laid the foundation, we have been transformed out of the darkness of African Traditional Religion into the marvellous light of Christianity. A notable missionary was Mary Slessor (an Aberdonian) who stopped the killing of twins. Today, a big statue of hers is mounted at a major roundabout in the city of Calabar in Nigeria.
As we are predominantly Christians, it is not therefore surprising that every year we set aside one Sunday to come (as a community) before God in his holy temple to give Him thanks for all the benefits we have derived from him, and to pray for His guidance and mercies for the year ahead.
At the end of the service, the Chairlady of ICA, Mrs Chinwe Ihegbu said, “it was a great honour to worship at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Aberdeen for the Thanksgiving Mass organised for the Igbo Community Aberdeen (ICA). On behalf of ICA and our members who were at the Mass, I want to thank the Rector and the congregation at St Mary’s for the warm welcome we received and for the Tea/Coffee served after the Mass. We truly enjoyed ourselves, and we hope to visit again in the future. God bless you all”.
Likewise, in his feedback to our Igbo Community Aberdeen after the event, our Chairman, Mr Edward Obi (Ike Ora Nyelu) said, “our visit to St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Aberdeen on 4th December 2022 was a fulfilling experience. What a way to end the year! The worship and thanksgiving service was performed in a calm manner that depicts peace, which was the theme for the second Sunday of Advent. Leading our community members to perform our annual thanksgiving at St. Mary’s would no doubt be memorable among us, giving that one of our own (Godwin Chimara) who is an ordinand in training assisted in the worship. We will no doubt be looking to visit St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Aberdeen in the future”