I am Sonia Hinds, the Rector of St. Leonard’s Anglican Church in the Diocese of Barbados. My role includes being a pastor, administrator, preacher, teacher, facilitator, advocate and counsellor. These roles are linked with my previous professions – secondary school teacher and social worker, including Guidance Counsellor.
I feel compelled to care for the environment because of my understanding of the Creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2. In addition, as a Caribbean national who practises the Christian faith, I believe that I, along with my Caribbean sisters and brother, am called to be faithful stewards of God’s creation. Both Creation accounts make a critical point– God is the Creator of the world. I believe that for us in the Caribbean, sustaining a healthy environment is crucial to our survival and the Church has to be in the forefront as a faithful witness.
The Anglican parish of St. Leonard is located opposite a primary school of approximately four hundred girls and boys, many of whom live in the community. It is in the middle of working class neighbourhoods and is in close proximity to one of Barbados’ most popular beaches and a sewage plant.
Barbados is one of eight Dioceses that make up the Caribbean Province of the West Indies. The others are Trinidad and Tobago, North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba, Jamaica and Cayman Islands, Bahamas and Turks & Caicos, Windward Islands, Belize and Windward Islands.
Some of the major issues that the Diocese of Barbados face at parochial level (such as in the parish of St. Leonard) are faced by many other parishes throughout the Province. These include the disposal of garbage; scarcity of water; the use of plastic containers for food and drink and the amount of foreign exchange used for the imported food items such as fruits and non-perishable items.