Report from Dar Es Salaam 01
Tuesday, 13 February 2007
by Colin Coward
The Revd Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude England, Davis Mac-Iyalla, Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria and the Revd Caro Denton Hall from Integrity USA arrived at the White Sands Hotel, Jangani Beach, Tanzania on Monday, not with difficulty and minor drama. The three of us arrived and met together at the immigration desks in the airport at 2.30pm Monday: Davis had been advised that he could apply for a visa on arrival. The authorities decided that they were not able to grant him a visa on the evidence available, despite the fact that Caro and I vouched for him and did have visas and evidence that we were here for the Anglican Primates meeting. After waiting three hours, Caro and I took the hotel limo to White Sands and I returned to the airport with a letter of authorisation from the hotel. Meanwhile Davis had met an immigration official from Nigeria. When I arrived at 9.30pm with the letter, a visa was issued within 10 minutes. Davis remained calm and confident that he would be allowed in. I wasn’t so sure!
The conservatives are already here, and as reported elsewhere, have set up headquarters at an adjacent hotel where they have been planning their strategy for the coming week with Archbishop Peter Akinola and Bishop Martyn Minns (CANA). Canon David Anderson (American Anglican Council) and Chris Sugden (Anglican Mainstream) are here too and Davis has been introduced to them. I detect a certain reticence on their part to meet and acknowledge Davis‘s presence. Why is this? Why are the conservatives so discomfited by meeting a gay Anglican from Nigeria? This is a basic failure of Christian respect and hospitality, and is contrary to the spirit of the Windsor report and the listening process.
Read it all here -- and do keep all in Tanzania in your prayers!