Clergyman calls for more faith-based institutions in social outreach
Bishop Rowan Edwards said that he believes there would be an immediate change in some violent-prone communities if local churches were to be included in certain social outreach programmes.
"If you arm the church and give them financial aid -- where they get programmes into the community -- you would be seeing a massive change," Edwards said.
"There are quite a number of churches that help to teach skills training in their churches. But not just the church, they (government) should bring skills training back to the community and get the church to be involved in skills training. There is a lot of community centres that are out there underutilised. This is where the church comes in. Get them involved in the community to help them supervise the skills training," the popular clergyman said.
Edwards also said that the church and the government must unite to help to eradicate some social issues, including hunger, and lack of access to education that continues to enable crime and violence.
"Government should establish a department that is charged with working through churches in communities to impact relationships, parenting and micro-business development and this is because we have influence and still enjoy the trust of the people.
Edwards said the time has come for pastors to find more meaningful ways to impact society.
"Prayer plays a part, but the church should do more than pray. Prayer plays a vital role in any organisation in any country, but we should go more than prayer now. We should be more involved in terms of helping to advance communities as how to get them out of their rut," Edwards said.