Churches must ‘join forces’ for harsh times

The church has always played a significant role in assisting the needy in society but the critical time has come for all sectors of society to join in and offer support.

This is according to chairman of the Barbados Christian Council, Monsignor Vincent Blackett, as he spoke to Barbados TODAY this morning about the current economic climate in Barbados and the ongoing process of civil servants being retrenched. He said that the church had always been ready to lend a helping hand and indicated that he believed it was necessary for the various denominations to pool their resources and work together to help many more people.

But at the same time, Blackett said that the economic structure of the country must be examined because overcoming the current economic climate was more than handing out food or other necessities to people.

“We need to look at the whole economic structure and ask ourselves if this is really where Barbados should be today and how can we restructure.

“But everybody must become concerned today where more and more the Government this, the Government that but what about the businesses? They have to come onboard and they have to do much more. It is going to be a need for all of us working together, the church, businesses, it is for everybody because it is our responsibility,” he said.

Speaking about the church’s role, the monsignor of the St Patrick’s Roman Catholic said that the church in various ways had been consistently working assisting poor people and those who were on the margin of life. He said that at every state when Barbados had gone through a difficult time, the church stood up to the challenge.

“One of the most flourishing financial institutions we have in Barbados today is the credit union and many people do not know that it was the Catholic Church [that] brought the credit union movement to Barbados. The Shamrock Credit Union [introduced in 1947] was the first credit union here and that was as a response to the situation that was so difficult in those days.

“Then we have the St Vincent de Paul Society and they are working around the clock in all our [Catholic] churches. Then other churches are there; the Salvation Army has been working for ages to assist.”

Blackett also added that he believed some Barbadians needed to become less dependent and stop relying on Government for their every want
and need.

He said: “Take for example, you would hear people call in on the call-in programmes saying, ‘Oh there is a gutter in front of my house that need clearing’.

“When I was growing up  you never saw anybody coming around and doing that kind of cleaning up. You clean in front of your place. You go out to Africa and people are cleaning every day. We got to get back to that stage.”

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