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Church ‘can do more’

Tim Slinger

Church ‘can do more’

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A PRIEST feels that with an increasing number of churches in Barbados, there should be a greater contribution to the social development of the society.
Reverend Adrian Smith, pastor-in-charge of the Calvary Moravian Church, said while traditionally some churches led the charge in what was considered to be the social mandate to create a better life for people and particularly its members, there was room for a bigger input.
His comments came in an interview with the WEEKEND NATION in which he announced plans to assist in revitalising the Greenfields community beside the church.
“There’s a lot more we can do but I think the challenge is that there’s a disconnect between spirituality and everyday living, which I think the church has to correct within its own self by way of having persons to understand that part of my spirituality is how I live each day.
“God’s number one call, contrary to what some people think, is . . . to fight for justice, and as a church we have to be an advocate for that,” he said.
But Smith added that the church’s role could not be viewed as that of a handouts institution.
“The church will remain committed to hearing the community and trying to develop programmes that can empower the community and not just for handouts,” he said. “I think the whole notion of human dignity and whatever we do, we have to do it with that measure of the affirmation and human dignity of individuals in the society.”
Reflecting on the failures of successive governments to improve the living standards of Greenfields residents, Smith called for an “all hands on deck” contribution.
“It is sad that either party has failed in its efforts to address some of the challenges and needs of the community, but it is seemingly bigger than any one party,” he said. “I think all hands – the church, the non-profit organisations – need to come together to look at how we could help the community.”
Smith also decried the fact that some homes in the district and elsewhere still used pit toilets.
“Whatever the challenges are we have to agitate so that every family, every household, should have water-borne toilet facilities. It’s a basic amenity in life in this developing country of ours called Barbados,” he said.
Meanwhile, City of Bridgetown MP Jeffrey Bostic said he was disappointed that help has yet to reach Greenfields residents.
Referring to an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) $60 million loan project to re-developed Greenfields as well as Cats Castle in The City, Bostic said: “When this project first came about, I was extremely excited about it as a candidate and as a former City resident because it was the Greenfields and Cats Castle that would have been transformed.