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Church leaders from St James say there is the need for moral education of both the state and the church and that it is critical for the churches to work together to address the many problems facing the society.
The leaders noted that there was no major coordinated effort from the churches and although there may be convergence in some areas, there is the need to work together and to pool the energies and resources.
The church leaders expressed these views this morning (Aug 8) when they met with Prime Minister Bruce Golding at the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay. Mr. Golding is in Montego Bay for the day meeting with various interest groups including representatives of the Negril Environmental Protection Trust, Councillors of the St James Parish Council and members of the Montego Bay business community. Mr. Golding was accompanied by Minister of Housing and Water and MP for St. James North Western, Dr Horace Chang.
Among the other areas discussed were the church leaders’ concern with issues including crime and violence, gun amnesty, the impact of casino gambling, lack of respect for authority, need for support from the business community, need for developing a mentoring programme that should involve the churches working together, and the provision of housing solutions for the poor.
While calling for greater co-operation among the various denominations, the leaders commended Prime Minister Golding for the level of political maturity which he has brought to the governing of the country.
Prime Minister Golding gave the Church leaders the assurance that government would be open to any proposal that would involve the church in a meaningful way. He called on them to assist in reaching people with the positive messages which need to be imparted. ‘The church has enormous power of influence to get the concept of changing and sustaining positive values and attitudes’, Mr. Golding noted.
Among those attending the breakfast meeting were representatives of Faith Temple, West Jamaican Conference of Seventh Day Adventist, St James Parish Church, Assemblies of God, Calvary Baptist Church and the St James Ministers Fraternal.