Fr. Armstrong 2
I have read recommendations that the Anglican Church in Barbados should pay reparations, and I ask, “To whom? I find it interesting that some of those advocates of reparations are already reaping the benefits of ‘reparations’. They are well educated, well positioned socially and economically because they had a good educational foundation, either directly or indirectly, through the Anglican Church. I can think of schools like Coleridge and Parry (formerly two schools, named after two Anglican Bishops of Barbados), which has produced two Governors General, Clifford Husbands and Elliot Belgrave; the late former Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Arthur; Bishops in my time, Bishop Brome and the late Bishop Sehon Goodridge; excellent educators, and civil servants. Historical research will show the contribution of the Anglican Church to the other Government Secondary Schools. In addition, the Anglican Church is run by well educated and well trained clergy, both male and female, who benefitted from the education in these institutions before going to Codrington College. These would include the Rt. Rev. Michael Maxwell, Bishop of Barbados. So, you see, reparations have been, and continue to be, made all along, both ‘in coin and in kind’.
There are some former Anglicans who have turned their backs on the Church, for one reason or another, and gone to other Churches. Fine! As I am pointing out in my third book, (soon to be published) entitled, “Can A Denomination Bring You Salvation?” there is no one Denomination that has a monopoly on God’s truth. Our choice of a Denomination is driven by our ‘spiritual comfort level’. So whether we worship with ‘smells and bells’ or tambourines, our ultimate goal is to have a personal relationship with Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, loving our fellow human beings as ourselves, for God’s sake. So we need to respect the godly ministry of the many other major and minor Denominations. By God’s grace, the Anglican Church made me who I am today; with educational opportunities at Codrington, UWI, Columbia, Toronto, London, International Seminary, and Oxford, where I delivered a lecture at the Oxford Round Table, in addition to post-doctoral studies; with the opportunity to bless the Asantehene, King of the Asante, in his palace in Kumasi, Ghana; to be the guest of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa; to be invited to the White House with a few other clergy by President Jimmy Carter, to name a few of the notable opportunities. I could not have had these opportunities in any other profession. To God be the Glory. So let me now expand on my dreams for the Anglican Church in Barbados.