Church steps in to ease violence
In the terrifying aftermath of recent shootings in St Lucy, some church leaders there are moving to quell further violence in the northern parish.
One priest has made bold to say that the church must now go to the notorious blocks while another minister has organised for police to visit with residents on how to safeguard themselves against the criminals.
“We have to find some way to reach them [criminals]. A lot of them still have respect for the priest and I guest the church will have to get on the block, go among them. If they are not coming to us, we may have to go to them. Some of them just need a little help,” said Reverend Canon Curtis Goodridge of the St Lucy Parish Church.
Goodridge and Minister Marcus Hinds of the Bethel Pentecostal Church which has two branches as well as some other church leaders in the parish have been in contact and discussing how to restore calm and peace to the area. While there have been no firm united plans Hinds has organised the meeting with police and residents for Sunday at his church in Greenidges on crime prevention. The Crab Hill area was rocked by and at times affected by shootings, one of which ended in the death of Crab Hill resident Dexter Lashley on September 30.
However, Hinds fears that while residents remain tight-lipped, preachers will become targets for speaking up and against the violent people.
“We may not be able to speak out much because they will target us as preachers. The Bible says that in the last days men’s hearts may fail for fear. I will preach it because God said that he will not leave us,” Hinds stated.
The minister of 52 years and who has lived most his life, in St Lucy said residents had less respect for themselves and did not value life, death or the law.
“In my 78 years I’ve never seen St Lucy in this state and all because people have lost respect for life,” he said.
That state of affairs has prompted him to reach out to his church peers across the parish and, Hinds said, along with praying, the members of the church must also do work to reverse the situation.
Goodridge, who has been assigned to the parish church for 33 years, acknowledged that Hinds had reached out to him about the disintegrating fabric of the society, the signs of which he noticed about 15 years ago. He linked the decline to the drug trade and the slacking off of church attendance by children.
“We have been talking about coming together to see what we can do for the parish, even having spot services for certain districts . . . . All