March 13 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Nigerian priests take starring role in new documentary

Two Nigerian priests serving the Highlands due to Scotland’s shortage of priests are to star in an upcoming BBC documentary.

Fr James Anyaegbu and Fr Max Nwosu, of Aba, Nigeria, were filmed at football games and ceilidhs with members of their congregation.

The relationship between the two young priests and their congregations features in the BBC film Our Fathers, which will air later this month.

Fr Anyaegbu, 33, says he enjoys serving in Scotland which is over 4,000 miles from his home country.

Love for Scotland

“I have come to know a lot more about the country since we have been here,” he said.

The documentary, directed by Zoe Hunter Gordon and Kieran Hennigan, premiered at Glasgow Film Festival last week, and ‘sheds a positive light on Scotland,’ Fr Anyaegbu said.

“We enjoyed it because it’s an appreciation of our mission in Scotland. The time was when missionaries from Ireland, from Scotland, would come to Africa. Because of the universality of the Church now, there is a reciprocity of that charitable act between the two nations.”

The two priests have served in Scotland since 2015, collectively working in seven parishes from Beauly, near Inverness, to Poolewe and Ullapool on the west coast.

Priest shortage

They were sent to Scotland due to a shortage of priests to cover Scottish clergy holidays and, during the summer months, they collectively celebrate four Sunday Masses each week.

In the film, the priests are also filmed singing with residents at an old people’s home and hosting a concert of Nigerian music in a village hall.

The priests are well-loved by their communities, as parishioners joked to the filmmakers they are ‘not going to let them leave.’

Their mission is expected to continue for the foreseeable future in Scotland, as the Church has no plans to send them home.

Strong community

Fr Ayaegbu said: “There is nothing about going back at the moment, or any transfer. I will miss a lot of people whom I’ve grown into very strong ties with. Most of the parishioners have become like mothers and fathers to us. It will be very sad.”

A spokesman for the Church added: “There are a number of priests from Africa currently serving in Scotland including the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. They are an asset to the local church and a reminder of the universality of Catholicism.”

Leave a Reply

latest news

Scottish bishops reveal new Coronavirus working group chaired by lay Catholic

May 6th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Bishop Gilbert said: "The bishops are keen to benefit from...

Scots College rector says BBC documentary’s success shows desire for more religious-themed shows

May 4th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

The rector of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome said...

Funeral arrangements made for one of Glasgow Archdiocese’s ‘best-known’ priests

May 4th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Funeral arrangements have been made for a Glasgow Archdiocese priest...

Dunkeld pays tribute to priest who served for nearly 65 years

May 4th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Bishop Stephen Robson of Dunkeld paid tribute to to a...

Social media

Latest edition


exclusively in the paper

  • Unite in prayer against the virus, Paisley bishop pleads
  • Papal award recognises 60 years of Faithful service
  • Catholic high school leads trend with positive outcomes for pupils
  • New memorials celebrate Croy’s proud mining heritage
  • Top Catholic university rolls out programme in Scotland

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO