Anglicans putting more focus on family
August 20, 2013

Anglicans putting more focus on family

by George Alleyne Tue Aug 20, 2013

Anglicans of the West Indies who attended their Provincial Congress last week are returning to the various dioceses intent on fostering closer unity and development of the family, in its various forms, across the Caribbean.{{more}}

The second Congress of the West Indies Province concluded Sunday with a service at St Mary’s Church in Bridgetown, Barbados, after those in attendance spent one week looking at matters of health, moral values, the elderly, effects of the world economic recession in the region, and placing a major focus on accommodating the family in its Caribbean way of life.

Recommendations of the Congress had not been published up to SEARCHLIGHT’s press time, but it is understood that the Windward Islands Synod will be soon reviewing them.

Bishop of the Windward Islands Rev. Leopold Friday, said the Diocese will meet for the 34th Triennial Synod in St Lucia late September, “Then we will be able to look at recommendations coming out of the Congress, and see which ones will be helpful for us, and how we can take it forward”.

He took time out from the week’s busy schedule at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, to talk about the work in store for the Diocese stemming from the Congress, where it relates to the family.

He explained, “Although in the church we stress the importance of marriage and being good families, it is important that we deal with the present situation.

“But at the same time not saying we are changing the church’s understanding of family and the traditional family type, but we need to address present realities and see how best we can help people within their context and their situation to develop their family ways and their family life”.

Bishop Friday, who has led the Windward Islands Diocese since 2006, said “I’m not basically saying restoring the traditional home, but rather the family as they are: whether it be the blended family, the extended family, the matrifocal family, or the patrifocal family in their context.”

He said the drive for family development will be about, “seeing how you can help them to have the best way to function, whether it be to manage the affairs, whether it be taking care of the children, taking care of the finances and managing the home itself, along with any kind of relationship between different members of the family.

“The reality of it is to see how best we can help people, perhaps, move to a better way of living together as a people”.

According to Bishop Friday, emphasis will be placed on “the importance of having a father and a mother in the home, and how best we can provide for our families”.

Naturally, in this thrust Bishop Friday sees a need to focus on the parents. “I think it is important for us to help rebuild parenting,” he said. “We have a parenting programme through the Mother’s Union. We’ve had a good parenting programme. I think we need to strengthen that programme with the influence on parenting in society and to help people to recognize that in that region as a whole we have different forms of family and see how best we can help to focus on function, helping each form”.