Thursday, 23 December 2010

Faith, Finance and Archbishop George Carey

The former Archbishop of Canterbury (1991 – 2002), Baron Carey of Clifton PC.FKC aka George Carey was in Jersey recently and recorded a video interview with Paul Milbank, the verger at the Town Church.

We at The Voice are very pleased to be able to show this seasonal interview here because it links in very well with our series looking at Faith, Finance and related issues in Jersey.

Our thanks to Paul for the use of the recording and to Stuart of Impact Video for helping to post it on YouTube.

Lord Carey was born in the East End of London, failed his eleven plus and went on from secondary school to National Service in the RAF.

He became a Christian at the age of 17 going to church with friends and after leaving the RAF studied for his GCE “O” and “A” levels - then for a degree in divinity at King’s College London.

George served as a curate for many years in England and was appointed as Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1988.

He is married and has four grown-up children (one is in the clergy).

He is described as an Evangelical Christian, supports the ordination of women, closer links with Rome and is opposed to homosexual relationships between serving clergy.

This year he provoked some controversy due to an intervention in an English Court of Appeal case (re McFarlane) that had to consider religious rights issues.

Lord Carey suggested that such cases should be heard only by hand-picked judges with religious knowledge. So much for the independence of the judiciary!

The issues raised then are central to the theme of our series on this blog. If judges are expected to leave their own beliefs outside of the court room – what about the rest of us – shall we leave our religious (or political beliefs) outside of the office or workplace or even government?

Or, would it be proper for an employer to recruit staff “who had a proven sensitivity to religious issues?”  but as always, we invite your comments.

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Faith, Finance and far away places…

Tim Nash knows about China and has advised Jersey on the setting up of the Island’s office in Hong Kong.

Here, in this two-part interview he carries on with our theme of looking at the role of Christians in the world of finance. He discusses human rights, Jersey cows, the extraordinary growth of Christianity in China and many more issues and he suggests that a China office established in Jersey might actually be a better deal than a Jersey office in China.

There is a great deal of information on this blog – do try to see it and understand that Chinese people have a very long history that makes Jersey seem a tiny, insignificant newcomer in this world.

Who shall benefit from doing business with the Chinese now – do we need them more than they need us?

Hopefully, the Chinese have forgiven us for our part in the British Imperial past when we supplied the opium that ruined so many lives and was so destructive of their ancient government and administration.

We wonder why the Chinese, long established in Britain and Jersey, have such a minimal political influence here (how many Westminster MP’s of Chinese origin can you name?) yet at the same time China is investing, on a world-wide basis wherever there is economic and strategic advantage?

As Tim Nash explains, Chinese National policy is based upon long- term aims and objectives – not just making a fast buck.

We try to consider the Christian, ethical implications of Jersey’s involvement in this vast country and as an afterthought here wonder whether selling bibles to the billion plus Chinese might be a better basis for honest trade rather than selling tax avoidance schemes…

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Faith, Finance and Freedom…..

We at The Voice here continue with our look at local faith based activities and the relationship with the finance industry etc.

On Sunday 5 December 2010 the Freedom Church organised a very successful and enjoyable event in Jersey’s Royal Square, within a marquee. We have tried to capture the atmosphere in our video.

We don’t know how many people attended throughout the six hours or so but there were always several hundred people of all ages present, so we guess that a couple of thousand might have dropped-in at some time. No doubt the organisers could tell us how many mince pies and hot-dogs were eaten to make a better calculation - but suffice to say that the event was very successful and popular.

Although the weather on Saturday was wet and miserable – we cannot ignore the simple fact that so many more people turned out for the Freedom event than the political, anti-GST meeting held then in the same Royal Square. We want to understand why a Christian based event can be so attractive whilst political concerns are not and we here continue with our questions about everyday faith in a political context.

Do Christians in Jersey turn into greedy capitalists on Monday morning when they arrive at the office or workplace or do they apply their Christian values and ethics all day, every day?

Is freedom-faith just for fun?

We speak here, in this two-part blog, with Pastors Andrew De Gruchy andTim Bond of the Freedom Church –

As always, we invite comments.

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Faith and Finance in Jersey – Interview 3

Eric Dolan is a Deputy Director at the Jersey Financial Services Commission, the regulating body for finance activities in Jersey but speaks here in a personal capacity.

Of course, the central question in this series of interviews is whether faith can be worn like an overcoat at all? We are trying to understand if it is possible to present a different personality, according to context.

If the overcoat of faith becomes too uncomfortable at work or anywhere else – can it just be taken off?

This ethical problem is not a new one and applies just as much to so-called socialists working in a capitalist world too – or a vegetarian working as a cow-hand.

But, we must all resolve this dilemma for ourselves - no amount of regulation can make the decision for us.

At some time we all have to say NO on ethical grounds – but where is this acceptable or necessary in the international world of finance?

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.