Marrying spiritual, physical health

Easter is the most important events in the Christian calender and while some people focus on their spirituality at this time, an Anglican priest believes his congregants’ physical health is equally important.

Reverend Davidson Bowen of St. Philip-the-Less Anglican told LOVING ME that to ensure that the church members were healthy, he started a healthy lifestyle programme which involves people of all ages.

“If you’re looking at the individual, it’s fine that you deal with the spiritual aspect of it. But as much as we want to say that we have a ministry to perform, if you’re unhealthy then you can’t necessarily perform or fulfill that ministry.

“It’s more of a wholesome or holistic approach to the whole individual. We’re not focussing totally on the physical but the physical is important, because without it you can’t do the spiritual and without the spiritual the physical isn’t really much,” he said.

Bowen said a health programme was something he wanted to do for a while and he used the annual Harvest last year to start.

“I used the opportunity where you offered your time, your talent and your treasure but you really can’t offer them if you’re unhealthy. We had different persons and organisations come in throughout the day, such as the Heart & Stroke Foundation, nurses, there was HIV testing, there was PSA testing for the men.

“We started the morning with a walk which did two things, look at the physical side and it gave us the opportunity to minister. The walk encouraged you to look at your health and also gave you the chance to minister. We really wanted the church to get out into the community,” Bowen said.

To date, the church in St. Peter held three walks and he said the response was very good because they had from “the very young to the very old” and he noted that an elderly man, who had been walking for 10 years, was the first to cross the finish line. (DS)

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