The S.W.S.U is a formal, semi-independent outfit managing the affairs of the church in the area of help to the society around us. It is officially headed by the Canon Residentiary of the Cathedral (the next in rank to the Provost).
He heads a panel of 14 persons- 1 Priest, 10 lay Volunteers and 3 Paid Staff. The Panel sits every Monday, except public holidays, to listen to appeals from the needy and make decisions. Sometimes appeals are granted, sometimes they are denied, and sometimes further investigations are needed to guide our decision making. As usual, many lives were touched and various kinds of assistance are rendered to people by various means.
When in April 1970, Very Revd. Sope Johnson became Provost of the Cathedral Church of Christ, he soon found, like most parish priests do find, that there were callers at the vicarage of the Church or office, seeking help most days in a week. From his previous parish experiences in London, he found it to be so. There was always the caller at the vicar’s office that cried for help.
During the two years he spent on the staff of St. Martin-in-the-fields in London. He saw how a well-organized Social Welfare Service Unit fulfilled a very important role of the Church. With that background, Sope did not fine callers strange to parish life. In actual fact, one of the areas he had thought deeply on during his retreat before installation as Provost was the area of work among the poor and needy. He was quite soon faced with the problem. Without hesitation, he plunged in.
There was no organized system to tackle the problem. Advice was given as occasion demanded, letters of recommendation were written whenever it was called for and if money was needed, he dipped his hand into his pocket! Before long the Provost began to feel the pinch. Gradually there grew a list of friends to whom he appealed for help to fund the work among the poor. By the middle of 1974, it became obvious that the church would have to be directly involved.
Towards the end of the year, the C.M.S Grammar School Old Boys 1944 set wanted to celebrate thirty years of leaving school. Dr. Olu Asekun who was the Provost’s Warden approached the Provost and requested to know what gift the Church would appreciate for the occasion. Quick as a flash, the Provost responded, a cash donation to start off a fund for Social Welfare Service Unit. Dr. Asekun did not need any persuasion. The ceremony for the donation was arranged to take place in the gardens of Federal Palace Hotel at the “Carolling Afloat and Picnic” on the 26th of December 1974.
It was the last Christmas that the Rt. Revd. Seth Irunsewe Kale spent as Diocesan Bishop of Lagos. Because of the special relationship the Bishop had with the 1944 set of C.M.S Grammar School Old Boys, he was a favourite Schoolmaster, he was invited and took part in the Carolling Afloat and Picnic that year, and all the takings of the Boxing Day 1974, in the Gardens of Federal Palace Hotel was the amount with which we started. When things thus officially began there was no separate Bank Account. The money was paid into the Church Bank Account with the Standard Bank of Nigeria.
That is the story of the birth of the S.W.S.U. I am glad that the vision has continued to be sustained.
To God be all the praise and glory
I want to express my profound gratitude to your good selves for your kind gesture to me during this my time of need. I knocked on your door and you flung it open to receive me with open arms. Words cannot be enough to express my appreciation in this regard. I can only pray that Almighty Father in his infinite mercy and love shall reward you abundantly. Amen
Yours in the Lord.
- Bolanle Owolabi
I Olalekan Tirimsiyn want to use this medium opportunity to say a very big thank you for the favour rendered to me by your reputable society. It has been so much joy after your kind gesture towards my wife and baby, now they are back home and everything is going on pretty good. I want to also thank all the committee, executive and other members of Cathedral Church of Christ and that may Almighty God bless you all in all ramifications. It has been your reputable society and Almighty God throughout the hardship.
- Olalekan Tirimsiyn
We the entire members of Bethesda home for the Blind use this medium to thank the Organisation for their kind donation towards sustaining the running of the Home. The donation helps to achieve the vision of caring for the visually impaired (Blind) Students. It also includes making them feel like other members of the society, as this will enhance self-reliance. With our heart of gratitude, we writing you this letter, to show appreciation for your coming to our aid. You have put smiles on the faces of the visually impaired (Blind) and less privileged persons in our home who ordinarily have been neglected by the society around us. May God replenish your source and reward your kind gesture toward us as you remain in this humanitarian service.
Thank you and remain blessed.
- Chioma Ohakwe (Mrs.)Director