The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall wrapped up their official visit to Barbados and several eastern Caribbean islands by attending a church service this morning at The Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels.
The service, which was held for Their Royal Highnesses, was led by the Bishop of Barbados, Michael Maxwell, and attended by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason.
Bishop Maxwell said he believed that the visit was inspired and commissioned by God at a time when the region’s “current affairs are not the very best”.
He implored that Christians must make a positive difference in the lives of others, and referred to the Old Testament reading of Exodus 3:1-6, where God called upon Moses from the burning bush to instruct him to return to Egypt, and lead the people of Israel to a promise land.
“Your Royal Highnesses, interestingly enough, I see your visits to us, since the time of Independence in a similar light. I see your visits as inspired and commissioned by God. That God has called and inspired you to embark on these special tours of touching base with the Caribbean brothers and sisters, as we now share a special bond of being a connected Commonwealth community.
“As our loving God has been hearing our cries over the years, I believe he sent you to visit us like Moses, to see firsthand the economic, social and moral issues that are currently affecting us here in the Caribbean, and to assist us in addressing them, to pledge your support, to enter dialogue with us and establish closer ties, to let us know British’s genuine love and care for us today, and your desire to work with and lend a helping hand to us,” he stated.
During the sermon, Bishop Maxwell lamented that not enough was done in the past to restrict the rise of social, moral and economic ills, and stressed that God has been hearing the cries of the Barbadian people.
“How many more violent deaths, how many more will turn to drugs, how many more will be laid off, how many more school drop outs and how many more will turn to a life of crime and gun violence and how many more will become indifferent to God and the sanctity of human life, how many more?” he queried.
“We have not done well in the past to curb the rise of these social, moral and economic ills. So, God now calls us, God now commissions us as Christians to rise up and to respond immediately, intentionally and without apathy,” he emphasized.
Bishop Maxwell also extended thanks to Their Royal Highnesses for their official visit, and added that God has called on Christians to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
“I want to thank you, thank you for responding to what I believe to be God’s commission, for visiting us and offering us your love and support, your well wishes and assistance. And I thank you as well because you certainly could have had some reservations in coming to us at a time such as this, when our current affairs are not the very best. And our history of slavery, to some extent, still haunts us from time to time, but thanks to God you responded favorably and you came and have pledged your support to assist us where possible.
“And thanks to God that most of have learnt to forgive the past and to warmly accept your offer of support at this time. And that’s really the commission to which God calls, not only to the prince and duchess, but all of us as Christians to hear the cries of each other and respond to them, to be his living agents in making a positive difference in the lives of others, to be there for each other, to visit and standby and support and console and forgive and build up and work with each other in establishing God’s plan of salvation.”
At the end of the service, the royal couple departed for the airport, where they will journey to Cuba. It will be the first official visit by any member of the royal family to that country.