As hundreds of Government workers lose their jobs, Anglican Bishop-designate Reverend Michael Maxwell is urging churches to set up committees to minister to the needs of affected families and individuals.
Reverend Maxwell, Rector of the Holy Trinity Church, told Barbados TODAY that the St Philip church has already formed a committee to respond to people who have been affected by retrenchment.
“It is important for churches to look at what is happening and start planning and taking some actions immediately,” Reverend Maxwell said.
“So, my advice of course would be for the church to realize what is happening. I am hoping to indeed set up a committee that would be able to respond not only to persons who would be members of our own church, but of course to those in the community who we know, or who the members of the church may know, and would be able to advise us as to who is really affected.”
Reverend Maxwell said that churches play an integral role in helping retrenched workers and their families because they are many who may be in need of counselling and access to resources to enable them to get back on their feet.
The Anglican cleric suggested that a recent spate of violent crime may be related to the state of the economy.
“I believe that we have to find some way of encouraging our people to recognize that this is not the way to go in terms of criminal activities, and that we will try our best to help them again. I believe if we provide assistance to them, that the crime level will reduce,” he said.
“Also, I believe that it has a lot to do with the school drop outs, where again, the education system in my opinion, is not really meeting the various types of young people that are there within the schools.
“And so, instead of just from the academic side of things all the time, I think that the education system has to be able to cater to those who are not of that caliber. They need to ensure that these persons leave with some level of skill, and ability, that they can find work out there when they leave and not just feel as a useless person, and then of course then being attracted to the criminal activity in order for them to make a living,” the Bishop-designated added.
Reverend Maxwell was named a week ago to lead the Barbados see of the nation’s oldest Christian denomination after the House of Bishops of the wider Anglican Church of the Province of the West Indies (CPWI) broke the deadlock in the national synod, the church’s governing body, in the choice between two other priests.