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Family support

Mike King

Family support

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SOUTH?AFRICAN?priest Rogers Govender has called on the Diocese of the Anglican Church, which has devoted this year to Stewardship In Family Life, to set aside a chunk of its budget for programmes to support family life.
Govender, now based in England as Dean of Manchester,  made this plea at the Anglican Diocesan Service at the Garfield Sobers Complex last night.
“If this year is going to be a priority for you in terms of the stewardship and family life, then the diocese should be responsible in setting aside resources to support this work,” he said.
Before an audience that included Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, President of the Senate Sir Branford Taitt, Archbishop of the West Indies Dr John Holder and Dean Frank Marshall, Govender  proposed a programme of no less than three years if the focus on the family life was to take root and bear fruit in Christian discipleship and witness.
Govender, who was Archdeacon of Pietermaritzburg and rector of St Thomas Musgrave in Durban, South Africa, told hundreds of Anglicans that this year might also be an ideal time for the church to give sacrificially towards a special fund to assist needy families with counselling, substance abuse or parenting courses.
“If you haven’t done that already, I will like to encourage you to think about it. Many problems exist in Barbadian society, as indeed other societies like my hometown South Africa and England where I live now,” said Govender, who returns home tonight after spending a week here at the Deanery as a guest of the Anglican Church.
Govender said he was concerned that some young men were committing suicide because of failed relationships and drug-related illnesses.
“I would like to encourage you as a church to do what you can to support those who are vulnerable in your communities, as well as individuals in a way that is non-judgemental . . . .
“It is said that a healthy society is only known by the way it takes care of the most vulnerable members of its society.”
Govender reminded his congregation that family life was the bedrock of a healthy society.
 “Family is our first primary university. It is where our children learn about life through our example. It is our first place of learning,” he said.
 Govender said the colour red was special for him as it represented the team colours of his side Manchester United and was the signal for Valentine’s Day which is being celebrated today.
He said the eve of St Valentine’s was more than an appropriate time to launch the diocesan year of stewardship and its focus on the family.