Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 12, 2016 (SKNIS): The role of the Department of Ecclesiastical Affairs was highlighted as one of outreach and positive exchanges as it supports the growth of faith based institutions.

“We relate to the churches and the church leaders and we try to embrace them in the whole social development of the country,” Senior Minister and Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Honourable Vance Amory, said during the recent Budget session in the Federal Parliament.

Senior Minister Amory outlined that the church shares uplifting messages and helps those that are in need in society. He said they work to provide the “spiritual underpinning of society” and greater effort is being placed to have ecclesiastical officials more involved with public schools via the Ministry of Education, and to work in conjunction with private groups in community development initiatives.

“I am advised that the church can do a great deal as the moral compass of the country,” Honourable Amory stated. This belief has helped to influence the level of support that government provides, which includes concessions on building materials, vehicles and worship accessories.

“You can’t divorce the spiritual from the secular in that regard but we have to have that balance and so when we speak with the representatives of the churches we do so with mutual respect for what they have been mandated to do and mutual respect from them for what we, as government, has been mandated to do,” he stated.

Senior Minister Amory pledged that government will continue to support the church, particularly as it works to uplift the nation’s youth.