Monday, 29 November 2010

Do you have faith?

Curiously, although there is an established Christian church and it is an integral part of our national institutions and government – so many people are reluctant to discuss this most fundamental matter.

Here, in this next interview in our series we talk with Paul Milbank, a missionary and verger in the St. Helier Town Church.

He is a young man starting out on a “career” in the church and has already decided to reject life in the Jersey Finance world.

Of course, the St. Helier Church sits close-by all the institutional buildings and offices of Jersey’s own government and administration and the courts of justice. It is where almost all “official” services take place and so many of the decisions and actions of those with power are blessed or sanctioned “in the name of God.”

But, do we really mean it? Do people generally wear their faith like an overcoat and take it off at work or when it feels uncomfortable?

We at the Voice want to explore such issues but we need your comments to ensure a dialogue. Or, are you in fear for some reason, about expressing your views here?

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

FAITH or FINANCE – which is the better investment?

We at The Voice do not know how many people in Jersey regularly attend a church or participate in worship. Obviously, there are many thousands.

Yet, during a recent States debate, one member was reprimanded for referring to the Christian beliefs of another. How strange – especially since the Dean joined in the same debate and of course, all States sessions commence with The Lord’s Prayer.

We have suggested to the appropriate Scrutiny Panel that the “the Church” is such an important part of Jersey life that it should be considered as part of the Cultural Strategy of the Island. After all, what would Jersey be without its twelve Parish churches besides the multitude of other places of worship for all manner of denominations and beliefs?

Here we interview Richard Syvret, who was the founding Director-General of the Jersey Financial Services Commission and has a strong Christian faith.

We ask Mr. Syvret about the ethics of the finance industry, the potential conflicts for those with a faith and wonder what the future might bring to Jersey.

In subsequent blogs we propose to interview others with strong faiths or views but who are not part of the Island’s traditional, political framework.

Submitted by Thomas Wellard