Getting back to church

The advertisement placed on the Transport Board bus.

The Anglican Church is taking their message to the road and encouraging other denominations to do likewise

This is being done not in the traditional sense of walking door to door in the hot sun or setting up at a corner in a community for service but with the assistance of the Barbados Transport Board a generic message will be taken to several communities.

Chairman of the Anglican Evangelism Commission Rev. Dr. Michael Clarke said he chose this medium simply because it is repetitive.

“For an entire month this bus will be moving along different routes from Fairchild Street bus stand. It is going to be seen again and again by different persons. It does not say a lot – it does not seek to sell anything. It simply offers a generic invitation,” he said.

Dr. Clarke stressed that while the advertisement is sponsored by the Anglican Church, it is not necessarily an invitation for persons to go specifically to that denomination.

“While the ad does have sponsored by the Anglican Church of Barbados it is not an invitation to go to the Anglican Church. It reminds a significant percentage of Barbadians that they have been to church before – hence welcome back. In addition it says ‘See you at church’ – we use ‘at’ as opposed to ‘in’ because we did not want to attach the invitation to a building that we call a church. Church takes place where ever people gather to worship, praise and seek direction from God,” said Dr. Clarke, who is also rector of the St. Thomas Anglican Church.

The Priest said that while the advertisement is associated with Back to Church Sunday which will be observed on September 30, it is not confined to that event but more geared at getting persons into not necessarily a church, but a meaningful relationship with God.

“The ad has connection to Back to Church Sunday but is not tied to this hence there is no date on the ad. There is also no day either as we are mindful of the fact that not all Christians hold Sunday as their major day of worship some hold Saturday (Sabbath). Hence the ad speaks to all areas of Christianity. The scriptures is depicted as despite our differences in doctrine we all hold the Bible as sacred and central to the Christian faith.”

“The intention was and still is to interest other Christian denominations in mounting such an ad with their sponsorship. To have a host of buses throughout the island carrying this message is bound to raise awareness. This is what we seek to do – raise awareness to the presence of the Christian church in our community – not locked away behind walls with secret rituals but alive and present in the community ministering and sharing in the life of Barbadians,” he said.

He also indicated that a bus with a message sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church is expected to be on the road shortly and that the Anglican Church will also be sponsoring another advertisement on a bus to traverse the northern route.

“The ad will run beyond the end of the month and we hope to be able to have similar ads going through to the end of the year,” Dr. Clarke added. (DB)

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