The Church and the society are not seeing eye-to-eye.
And what might be dividing them is a “cultural” disconnect where the people are leading one kind of lifestyle and the church promoting another.
“(There is a separation) between culture and faith – where the church is going its way and people going their way and never the twain shall meet,” noted Monsignor Blackett of the Roman Catholic Church.
Reverend Austin Carrington, rector of the Christ Church Parish Church, said: “Social outreach is still important based on people’s reaction and response, in particular at Christmas time”.
But he added: “A lot of these people don’t come to church. … remember maybe people do not see church as priority . . . Not when you are looking for entertainment . You don’t want the church to be an influence in your life because you want to do what you want do.”
Monsignor Blackett, in speaking about the cultural differences, said: “You can get people who could go to church at Christmas but they don’t seem able to make the connection between that and what they are doing and what happens (in the future).
He added: “We overfeed [people] at Christmas but yet during the rest of the year we don’t seem to remember the same people that we would have fed”.
Crime is becoming also a challenge for Reverend Carrington’s parochial district: Gall Hill and Silver Hill.
“We recognised that there seems to be an escalation in violent crime and it is of some concern to us. We are monitoring the situation, and one has to recognise that the police have to play their part.”
“You try to run a parenting programme and nobody shows up because people are not interested in these things. But it is important that the church remain in touch with the community.”
Monsignor Vincent highlighted his church’s outreach programmes, stressing he would also like the institution to become more radical.
Full story in Tuesday’s DAILY NATION