AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1. To make citizens of the Black River Community aware of the impact the
St. John the Evangelist Anglican Parish Church has made and still
continues to make on their lives through community outreach.
2. To make the members of the St. John the Evangelist Anglican Parish
Church aware of the spiritual impact their church is having on the Black
3. To meet the requirements of the Caribbean Advance Proficiency
Examinations (C.A.P.E) Sociology Unit 1.
1. To become proficient in data collection.
2. To become aware of the Anglican parish church contributions to the Black
3. To prepare a scientific study on the topic.
1. How effective is the St. John the Evangelist Anglican Parish Church in
providing spiritual guidance to the town of Black River?
2. What impact does the church have on the social development of the youths?
3. How effective is the church in addressing challenges that the community
faces? (such as uneducated people, unemployment)
According to Tischler religion may be defined as a ‘system of beliefs,
practices, and philosophical values shared by a group of people; it defines the sacred,
helps explain life, and offers salvations from the problems of human existence.’
The Sociology for Caribbean Students states that churches are religious
organizations that have become institutionalized. They are supported by society’s
norms and values and have become an active part of affairs of society. Their
engagement in society does not necessarily mean that they have compromised their
core values and beliefs. Functionalists examine the functional aspects of religion as it
relates to social life. One of the founding fathers, Emile Durkheim believed that
religion was functional to both individuals and society as a whole. Individuals
benefited from the rituals and beliefs that surrounded religious activities, which
provided a means of comfort and solace especially in times of need and hardship.
In the article “Jamaica Church Missionary Society to Celebrate 150 Years of
Service” published in The Daily Gleaner (2011, March 24th
) an Ecumenical
Symposium session was held by local Christian communities joined by two Anglican
theologians. They addressed the churches role in correcting inequalities which
marginalize the majority of the population; evangelism and social transformation and
the nurturing of a coming family. Reverend Dr. Harold Daniel explained that the
symposium was being organized in response to the changing social reality which
demands holistic approach to ministry and mission that will engage both ordained and
law members of the Christian society in promoting spiritual emotional and personal
development in the respective communities.
Many churches are able to make visible changes within an individual, whom
they see falling. They are also able to access areas of a society that is not accessible
by other organizations or institutions, bringing about a transformation. Pastor Dorrette
Blake, member of the Living Faith Sold Out Ministries, is an individual who is able to
access these areas and make a change. It is stated in the article “Quietly making a
difference” published in The Daily Gleaner (2010, January 10th
), that Blake’s outreach
programmes take her to Hospitals, Prisons, the AIDS hospice and some of the most
volatile communities in St. James from Sunday to Sunday.
Emile Durkheim argued that religion provided the foundation for the
promotion and reinforcement of the main values and norms of the society. Pastor
Stenneth Davis of the New Testament Church of God in Grey Ground, Manchester
made a positive impact on that community which is often viewed as one of the
volatile areas in the parish. In the article “Church Makes Positive Impact in Grey
Ground” published in The Daily Gleaner (2012, April 14th
) it is Davis stated, “My aim
is to change the approach of the church towards the community. I am on a mission of
activities that are geared towards responding the church towards the community so
that the church becomes a friend of the community, and visa versa”. Activities
disclosed by Davis, include a monthly prayer walk through the community which, he
said, is appreciated by Grey Ground and neighbouring communities. Davis’s missions
also include getting people to move back into the community and making investments
to foster economic growth. “We want the youngsters who go out and become
professionals through study to come back into the community and help to build it”.
THE RESEARCH DESIGN
Quantitative methodology in the form of questionnaires was used in reaching
the objectives of the research, along with participating observation. The research will
take approximately four weeks to be completed. Twenty questionnaires comprising of
eighteen short, precise and clear questions were randomly issued to the Black River
community, with all being returned. The researcher received help with the
administering of the questionnaires.
The researcher will present the data by using forms of data presentation such
as charts. Questionnaires were disturbed on the first Sunday of January and collected
on the second Sunday. The researcher then analyzed and compared the varying
answers given by each individual. This was done in relation to the research questions
and the literature review. All necessary conclusions were made based on the findings
of the research.
This research paper is based upon the citizens of the Black River Community
and the impact of the St. John the Evangelist Anglican Parish Church on them.
The sample consists of twenty individuals with 55% being females and 45%
being males between the age range of 14 and 80 years. The citizens possess a variety
of statuses such as bank managers, teachers, students and unemployed people. Of the
citizens, twenty persons were randomly selected and given questionnaires to
The method of simple random sampling was applied in the method of research
to give members of the Black River Community an equal opportunity in answering
THE DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENT
The researcher used both primary and secondary sources to gather information
for the research. The primary sources included questionnaires and participating
observation. The questionnaires consisted of eighteen short and precise close-ended
questions. They were randomly distributed to the citizens of the Black River
Community. When they were disturbed, individuals were told to return them on the
second Sunday of church, making it possible for easy collection to be made.
Secondary sources used to gather information included books and newspaper
PRESENTATION OF DATA
A total of 20 questionnaires were distributed randomly to citizens of the Black
River community. Adequate and complete responses were collected. Of these
respondents, 35% were between the ages of 14 – 20, 15% between 20 – 27 and 50%
27 years and older.
Of the twenty respondents a significant 85% said yes the church caters to their
spiritual needs and 15% said no.
Figure 1. Column chart showing percentageof
respondents who does and does not think the St.John
EvangelistChurch caters to their spiritual needs
Response shows 55% of the respondents think the church cater to their spiritual needs
by providing spiritual counselling, 20% said by having frequent mass, 10% said
facilitate daily confessions while 15% said the church doesn’t cater.
Figure 3. Pie chart showing how the percentage of
respondents who do and do not think the church assist
the elderly in their community
A significant 80% agreed that the church assist the elderly in their community while
20% said it doesn’t.
30% of respondents said the Church assist the elderly in the community with health,
25% circled the church assist with food and giving spiritual guidance while 20% said
the church doesn’t assist.
Figure 4. Doughnut chart showing how the
respondents think the Church assistthe elderly in
Giving spiritual guidance
Assisting with health
Assisting with food
Does not assist
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Percentage of respondents
Figure 5. Barchart showing the percentage of
respondents who do and do not think the
Church have an impact on the youths in their
A significant 80% agreed that the Church does have an impact on the youths in their
community while 20% disagreed.
35% of the respondents said the church has impacted on the youths by helping them
to obtain an education, 30% said providing them with spiritual guidance, 15% said
trying to develop their self-esteem while 20% said it has not impacted on the youths.
By helping them to
obtain an education
Providing them with
By trying to develop
Does not have an
Ways in which the church has impacted on youths
Figure 6. Column chart showing how the church has
impacted on the youths
55% of the respondents take food from the Soup Kitchen while 45% does not.
Response shows that 32% respondents receive a healthy meal as a benefit from
taking food from the Soup Kitchen, 3% saves money, 20% does not benefit while
45% does not take food from the soup kitchen.
Save Money Receive a healthy
Does not benefit Does not take food
from the Soup
Ways in which respondents benefit fromSoup Kitchen
Figure 8. Column chart how respondents benefit
from the Church's Soup Kitchen
ANALYSIS OF DATA
The data collected showed clearly that the St. John Evangelist Parish Anglican
Church, found in Black River, St. Elizabeth has an impacted positively on the
A church is seen as a building for public worship by Christians. The St. John
Evangelist Parish Anglican Church was seen to make an impact on the community in
catering for their spiritual needs. 85% of the respondents agreed that the church
catered to their spiritual needs while 15% disagreed with this statement. Ways in
which the Church catered to their spiritual needs were observed from the responses
received from the research. Majority (55%) of the respondents said the church did this
by providing spiritual counselling, 20% said by having frequent mass, 10% said by
facilitating daily confessions while 15% said the church doesn’t cater to their spiritual
The church also assists the elderly in the community. This statement was
agreed by 80% of the respondents while 20% disagreed. 30% of the respondents say
the church assists with health, 25% said it assists with food and giving spiritual
guidance while others (20%) said the church doesn’t assist the elderly.
Another area where the research brought out that the church has impacted on
the community of Black River is associated with the Soup Kitchen that the church
has. This canteen provides meals on Tuesdays and Thursday for the members of the
community who cannot afford a healthy meal every day. 55% of respondents said
they take food from the Soup Kitchen. Respondents (32%) benefit from the canteen
by receiving a healthy meal. A minority (3%) said they saved money while others
(20%) said they do not benefit..
In addition to the impacts mentioned already of the St. John Evangelist
Anglican Parish Church upon the community of Black River there is the impact that it
has on the youths in the community. 80% of the respondents agreed that the church
has made an impact on the youths while 20% disagreed. 35% of the respondents said
the church made an impact on the youths by assisting with education, 30% said it
provided them with spiritual guidance, 15% said by trying to develop their self-
esteem; others (20%) said the church does not have an impact on the youths.
DICUSSION OF FINDINGS
Functionalist Emile Durkheim believed that religion was functional to both
individuals and society as a whole. He noted that individuals benefited from the
rituals and beliefs that surrounded religious activities, which provided a means of
comfort and solace especially in times of need and hardship. From the observation
and the respondents (85%) agreed that the St. John Evangelist Anglican Parish
Church does provide these benefits to the community. The church provides them with
spiritual guidance and assisting the elderly by providing them in their times of need
with health and food.
In addition the church has provided the community with food for the needy
from their Soup Kitchen Canteen. From the research taken it can be seen where
individuals (35%) benefit from the Soup Kitchen by receiving a healthy meal while
others saved money.
Furthermore there are the impacts that the St. John Evangelist Anglican Parish
Church has on the youths within the Black River community. It was observed that the
Church has, and still is, making an impact on the youths by aiding with education.
The church does this by providing assistance with books, tuition and uniforms. This
supports Mr. Davis’ statement where he wants the youngsters who go out and become
professionals through study to come back into the community and help to build it.
In concluding the St. John’s Evangelist Anglican Parish Church is and
continues to make a positive impact on the lives of the citizens of the Black River
Community. The Church has impacted on most of the citizens in the community, from
the early stages of childhood to senescence stage. It does this by providing spiritual
counselling and with the establishment of the Soup Kitchen Canteen. Also the Church
has established the Black River High School and the St. John Kindergarden which
aids with education and employment within the community.
While carrying out the research, a few obstacles were encountered; these
include word limit and documents with valid information becoming corrupted.
• Mustapha Nasser. Sociology for Caribbean Students. Jamaica: Ian Randle
• The Daily Gleaner (2011, 2012)
• The Daily Observer (2010)
Letter to respondents
This questionnaire is designed to obtain data on your views of ‘The Impact of the
St. Johns Anglican Church on the community of Black River’. The research is being
undertaken for partial fulfilment of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency
Examinations (C.A.P.E), so I will be grateful for your time and patience in answering
these questions. There are no right or wrong answers, all information is welcome.
Your response will be treated in the strictest confidence and the questionnaire is
- Omelia Tennant
Topic: The impact of the St. Johns Anglican Church on the community of Black
Instructions: Please circle the answer of your choice
1. To what age group do you belong?
A) 14 – 20 B) 20 – 27 C) 27 and above
2. What is your gender?
A) Female B) Male
3. How often do you attend The St. Johns Anglican church?
A) Every Sunday B) Every other Sunday C) Once per month
4. Does the church cater to your spiritual needs?
A) Yes B) No
5. If yes, how does the church cater to your spiritual needs?
A) Provide spiritual counselling
B) Having frequent mass
C) Facilitate daily confessions
D) Church doesn’t cater
6. Does the church cater to any of your daily needs?
A) Yes B) No
7. If yes, how does the church cater to your daily needs?
A) Church assist with food
B) Assist with clothing
C) Assist with monetary funds
D) Does not assist
8. Does the church assist the elderly in your community?
A) Yes B) No
9. How does the church assist the elderly in your community?
A) Giving spiritual guidance
B) Assisting with health
C) Assisting with food
D) Does not assist
10. Does the church have an impact on the youths in your community?
A) Yes B) No
11. If yes, how do you think the church has impacted on the youths?
A) By helping them to obtain an education
B) Providing them with spiritual guidance
C) By trying to develop their self-esteem
D) Does not have an impact
12. Does the church assist the youths with their education?
A) Yes B) No
13. If yes, how does the church assist youths with their education?
A) Providing assistance with tuition
B) Providing assistance with books
C) Providing assistance with uniforms
D) Church does not assist
14. What percentage of the church population consists of youths?
A) Under 40%
B) 40 – 70 %
C) 70 – 100%
15. Has the church made an impact spiritual on the youths in the community?
A) Yes B) No
16. If yes, how has the church impacted on the youths spiritually?
A) By having confession box readily available
B) By hosting fun days for socialization and praying
C) By having mass frequently
D) Does not impact spiritually
17. Do you take food from the Soup Kitchen?
A) Yes B) No
18. If yes, what benefit do you get from the Soup Kitchen?
A) Save money
B) Receive a health meal
C) Does not benefit
D) I do not take food from the soup kitchen