31 May, 2007

Church and State

Rev Weekes’ Invocation. On Wednesday I was at the Webster Park for the annual Anguilla Day parade. There, I heard the most extraordinary, hard-hitting, to-the-point, on the ball, relevant, pungent, trenchant, invocation I have ever heard delivered by a Minister of Religion in a public forum. With Rev Weekes’ permission I reproduce it below as a kind of guest editorial for those of you who were not fortunate to be present and see the guilty squirm with embarrassment. Read it and imagine the scene:

INVOCATION, ANGUILLA DAY CELEBRATION, at the Ronald Webster Park on 30 May 2007 – Rev Cecil Weekes

Our Exalted Sovereign Lord and Triune God, all Honour, Glory, Dominion and Power be unto your matchless Name forever. Worthy are you of our praise and thanksgiving, which we give unto you on this 40th Anniversary of our Separation from the State of St. Christopher-Nevis.

Help us never to forget, Oh Lord God, that you are the One who stirred up and sustained the irrepressible spirit of discontent that filled the minds, and motivated the wills of those Anguillians, who at great personal risk rose up in the midst of their countrymen, and set about to free this island from the abuses of power, and the indignities being heaped upon us in those days, by those who immediate political responsibility for the affairs of this island.

On this day of treasured memories of the struggles and sacrifices of the Hon. James Ronald Webster, father of the Nation, and the other National Heroes and Heroines, and the Anguilla population of 40 years ago. Lest we forget, and be deceived, as Esau was, into giving up his birthright for a ‘bowl of soup’, lest we forget, and be likewise deceived into giving up the hard-won independence, freedom, and the attendant privileges, to those intent on dispossessing us of those very things Anguillians suffered and struggled and passed on to us: our land, our culture and privileges, for “bowls of soup”, therefore, Sovereign Lord, we bring before your throne those elected to govern and legislate the affairs of this island, both Government and Opposition, their advisers, the Nominated and Ex officio members of the legislature, the Hon Speaker of the House, and all Civil Servants:-

Give to each of them integrity and strength of character, dedication to the true interests of this island, and a discerning spirit to recognize the subtleties of the “Jacobs” who persistently approach them for favours. Give to them the moral strength to resolutely stand against all attempts at corruption and bribery.

O Lord God, in the Name of Jesus, we bring before you this island of Anguilla under siege by criminal elements. We humbly ask that you increase the mental and intellectual capabilities and skills of the law enforcement agents to effectively purge the Island of all who are creating the mayhem that threatens our social and economic stability and progress.

Inspire with creative vision, and deepen the dedication of all those who work with children and youth within and without the public and private education system. Inspire and deepen the dedication of those who work in the social development programmes of Government, and those involved in the many voluntary organizations on Anguilla, both religious and secular.

Prosper the work of the Agricultural Department and all those young people engaged in farming and food production on Anguilla. Prosper those engaged in business and industry, which have resulted in a better quality of life for the people of this island.

Bless and supply the needs of the care-givers in our public and private health-care facilities, and those involved in the foster care of children throughout Anguilla.

Sovereign Lord, our God, Bless us all, we pray, in Jesus’ Name,


No Minister of Religion in my experience in Anguilla has ever come so close to the bone in touching on some of the critical integrity-related issues in Anguilla. Thank you, Rev Weekes.


  1. Thank you for sharing.
    That is indead goose bumping well said.
    If I may, I'll print it, frame it and hang it in the office.

  2. Reverend Weekes, You can be guaranteed that you would not be honoured to give any blessings or prayers again, because you pray the truth.


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