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Parliamentary service a “sacred legacy” archbishop tells MPs: The Church of England Newspaper, June 20, 2014 June 26, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the West Indies.
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The Primate of the Church of the Province of the West Indies, the Most Rev. John Holder, Bishop of Barbados, called upon members his nation’s parliament to put aside party differences and work for the good of the country. On 15 June 2014 Barbados celebrated the 375th anniversary of the creation of its Parliament, the oldest continuous Parliament of an independent Commonwealth country outside the British Isles, with a memorial service at St Mary’s Anglican Church in Bridgetown. In his sermon, Dr. Holder urged MPs “to move beyond the restrictions of party and take necessary political risks for the sake of country. You need sometimes to put the next elections out of your mind for a while, and think country instead of party. Just remember that this country is far bigger than all of the parliamentarians and all the members of the political parties together.” He told MPs they had “inherited what others have laboured and have died for. You have stepped into a stream that goes back some 375 years. There is a sacred legacy,” and as such they must put country before party. The thirty-member House of Assembly is divided 16 to 14 between the Democratic Labour Party and the Barbados Labour Party.

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West Indian economic crash prompts episcopal calls for thrift: The Church of England Newspaper, November 1, 2013 November 5, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the West Indies, Development/Economics/Govt Finances.
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An economic downturn and political turmoil in Barbados has prompted the Archbishop of the West Indies to challenge his countrymen to practice thrift and self-reliance. The Most Rev. John Holder has also tasked political leaders to set aside their political wrangling and work together to pull Barbados and the West Indies out of a protracted economic slump.

Last week the island’s Central Bank reported sharply lower foreign exchange reserves and a down turn in overseas investment, while economic growth was projected to be less than 1 per cent for the coming fiscal year. Last month the IMF forecast no grown for 2013 and 2014 for Barbados — marking it as one of the most sluggish economies in the hemisphere.

On 23 October 2013 Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler survived a no-confidence motion by a vote of 15-14. The Barbados Labour Party had charged the government with incompetence in managing the country’s fiscal affairs.

In response, Archbishop John Holder, the Bishop of Barbados, released a statement on 26 October with the church’s Advocacy and Social Justice Commission urging Barbadians to “use the coping and creative skills we have to ride out the recession and lay the groundwork for an economic rebound.”

“Barbadians of earlier times fought against the odds and laid the foundation for the quality of life we now enjoy,” the archbishop said, adding: “We are proud inheritors of such a spirit of fortitude and resilience, and we must show that we are capable of peacefully getting past the present economic setbacks and building a more prosperous and just nation.”

“We do have some control over our destiny. What we must not do is to throw up our hands in despair and just wait for the IMF’s dire forecast to be realised. Rather, we should use the unfavourable assessment as motivation to redouble our efforts to prove the predictions wrong.”

While crying up thrift for the people, the archbishop also challenged the government to institute social and economic reforms. “We must re-examine our systems and structures, and work to ensure that those Barbadians who consider themselves to be marginalised are given the opportunity to enjoy some of the benefits of a prosperous Barbados,” the statement said.

Politicians needed to do their part as well.  “Leaders need to tone down the rhetoric and refrain from saying or doing anything which creates anxiety and despair. Instead, they should work together to find solutions to the problems which our nation faces. One up-manship and selfish actions will only serve to fracture the society at a time when unity is required,” the paper said.