The church has been reminded to speak out against corruption in the country.
Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce Dwight Sutherland made the call this morning at the Central Bank Church Village for the Michael Cathedral Centre for Faith and Action Independence Entrepreneurship Expo.
While lauding the church for its contribution to the social development of the nation, Sutherland stressed that the church must not “be quiet in its call for stamping out of corruption, whether within the business arena or society at large”.
The Minister said the island’s potential should not be curtailed by those with ill intentions.
“We simply cannot affect real change while allowing a corrupt few to hold this new Barbados hostage and stymie the potential of a nation whose destiny remains in the hands of a tentative majority,” Sutherland said.
“The church, while not immersing itself in the political nuances of the day, must understand its role as a social advocate and thereby impress on the government of the day the importance of adopting a holistic approach to solving social problems. There must be no longer the us and them but a collective union of stakeholders,” he added
The inaugural expo which was organized by the Reverend Jeffrey Gibson of the Cathedral Church of St Michael and All Angles featured several small businesses.
Sutherland also commended the Anglican church for inserting itself within the society and advocating for entrepreneurship and enterprise in light of the island’s financial situation and government layoffs.
“Church-based business enterprises help rebuild a community’s social infrastructure and provide much needed values-based services such as child care, youth development, elderly care and substance abuse counselling. These activities tend to lead to improved schools, better public safety and enhanced quality-of-life. From this type of community economic development, everyone, that is, those living in the area and those in surrounding communities stand to benefit,” he said.
“The church, apart from inserting itself within the society as a formidable social actor, must also seek to develop a cadre of entrepreneurs who see themselves as gifts of God’s grace within the society,” he continued.
Reverend Gibson told Barbados TODAY that there has been an increase in parishioners requesting assistance as the country undergoes its economic recovery plan.
“People are coming, making requests, some who are employed, and made comments that they have not been paid for a period of time and they ask for some form of assistance,” Gibson said.