Friday 30 October, 2020

Anglican Bishop condemns fashion show: It should have been shut down

Anglican Bishop Claude Berkley

Anglican Bishop Claude Berkley

Claude Berkley, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago, said the controversial fashion show at the Holy Trinity Cathedral should have been shut down at the first sign of any rule violation.

The Bishop was responding to public outcry on Monday of swimwear models participating in the StyleWeek event that was held at the church in Port-of-Spain.

Dean of the Cathedral, Reverend Shelley Ann Tenia said although guidelines were in place, one designer flagrantly disregarded them.

"Indeed, the depiction of scantily clad models parading along the aisle of the Church offended individual and collective sensibilities locally and internationally. Let me state categorically that such a parade is completely out of order, inappropriate and is strongly condemned," the Bishop said.

"Our church has hosted fashion shows in the past and we have never come to this sad deterioration of respect and modesty. I am reliably informed that firm guidelines were in effect with the primary organiser, but that there was a deviation from the agreed guidelines. At the first sight of this deviation, the show should have been shut down."

The Bishop said the designer's actions were a blatant breach of the guidelines and a breach of trust, to the detriment of the Church and its community.

"We must take full responsibility for the laxity in regulating the use of the church’s space. The church advocates and exhorts its members to modesty in dress and deportment, and it is a direct contradiction and affront, that this display of immodesty took place," he said, assuring that further investigation of the issue will follow and appropriate measures are taken to prevent any recurrence of this kind of exposure.

"Be assured that what took place is not the practice of the Anglican Church. Even though the church might promote the positive aspects of the culture in which it witnesses, due care must be taken to ensure that participants do not cross the line into negativity and impropriety," he said, apologising to the Anglican community, every religious organisation, faith group and to the general public.

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