Mere Anglicanism

Church has no place in Caribbean party politics, British bishop declares

Bishop Stephen Cottrell addressed the West Indian nation’s highly charged political atmosphere in a sermon in Port-of-Spain as the country prepared to go to the polls

The Bishop of Chelmsford has told a Caribbean newspaper the church should steer clear of party politics and use its moral authority to encourage voters to pursue the common good. On a visit to Trinidad’s Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-of-Spain (pictured) last week, the Rt. Rev. Stephen Cottrell addressed the West Indian nation’s highly charged political atmosphere as the country prepared to go to the polls to elect 36 members of the House of Representatives. Speaking to Newsday after his sermon, Bishop Cottrell said “it is not the church’s job to get involved in party politics, but it is the church’s job to say to people when you cast your vote, don’t cast your vote saying what is going to be best for me, cast your vote saying what is going to be best for my neighbour, what’s going to be best for the poorest, what’s going to be best for the common good.” In his sermon Bishop Cottrell said for Trinidad’s “multiracial, multicultural and multi-faith”  voters to seek the common good. “The church always has a moral role in drawing the society back to those basic things. There can be no prosperity in this life without prosperity for my neighbour and that is a fundamental piece of Christian wisdom,” he explained. The Bishop of Trinidad and Tobago, the Rt. Rev. Claude Berkley endorsed the Bishop of Chelmsford’s comments saying the aim of politics is “for the greater good and what is best for our nation and especially for those groups that are marginalised because they need somebody to be championing their cause.” Trinidad was “in some turmoil right now” because of competing truth claims. “The intellectuals say one thing, perhaps the media might project another view, then the church might project another view and we seem to be in such contrast that gives us a sense of unease.” He added that there was a “great trust problem that exists in the country. There seems to be a deliberate effort to keep the divisiveness or the divide of the country in place. … We need to create some forum where we can bring people together to discuss our situations and circumstances and perspectives so that we can come to something of a common mind.”

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles

Similar articles