Rector of the St. Georges Episcopal Anglican Church, Father Ronald Branche defended his church’ decision to participate in the Festival parade and announced that the time has come for Christians to get up from the sidelines and try to correct some of the wrongs going on in the society.
During a 9 February radio broadcast Father Branche declared that Jesus gave Christians the responsibility to be the salt of the earth, and salt – he stated – is a preserver that prevents decay. The Rector commented, “if we are to be the salt of the earth it means that we have to enter into situations and speak out on them before everything falls apart.”
To make his point the Church Leader recalled the Church’s participation in the 2013 Emancipation parade and explained that he and members of the congregation were reproached for that action: “When we made a decision last year that we would go into the Festival there were many who criticized us — you have no right being in that, that is awful you all in that. Father Branche I wasn’t looking for you there, so they say.”
However, Father Branche pointed out that entering the parade was a necessary action on the Church’s part to lead by example: “We cannot be the salt of the earth if we isolate ourselves from these things. We got to get in there and show them that we can conduct ourselves in a Festival where we are celebrating the freedom of our forefathers without gyrating, without drinking alcohol, but doing what we have to do and portraying what we have to portray in a very simple way. We must lead the way, we must show them how.”
In his message Father Branche also scolded Christians who prefer to gossip than pray, and those who are non-chalant about the state of the community, “… and so all of us, wherever you work you must be the salt of the earth. Instead of gossiping in the morning before work starts, start a prayer group. Sit down and pray, pray to God, do it because we need it. Things are falling apart, and we can bury our heads in the ground and say things are all right with me. I am saying things are not alright with you when you are living in a society you have to be concerned about it.”
The Church Leader was also very critical of international artists with dirty lyrics who are allowed to perform in the Territory: “We cannot allow, as much as the young people may like it, these artists to come in here and confuse their minds with dirty language, we cannot do it. Somebody has to say no. A man was here last week and they even labeled him as delving in satanic practices, but we let him in. What are we feeding our young people with, and they jump up on the grounds till half past four, and we say well what to do. What to do, we have to be the salt of the earth… we cannot just be doing what we do on the surface, we have to show, we have to teach, we have to model.”