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Pastor’s tirade unacceptable

Dear Sir,

It is with deep disappointment that I feel compelled to write about a most unfortunate incident which I witnessed at the homegoing service of Sybil Robinson on Friday, June 26, 2015.

After a most appropriate service, Pastor Nicholas Tweed, of St Paul AME Church, left the pulpit, approached the casket and proceeded to advise the congregation that the committal service would occur in the St Paul sanctuary rather than at the gravesite, as he was not allowed to do a committal service in the Church of England’s cemetery because of Anglican rules. Pastor Tweed then proceeded to have a 20-minute diatribe on racism, apartheid and white people, all by way of explaining why he could not do a committal service.

At no time did he consider that the choice of the burial ground was that for the family to decide, and by challenging the policies of that church under the circumstances showed a flagrant disrespect to the family’s choice and a disregard to all the deceased loved ones as her last epitaph.

There was no consideration that Mrs Robinson’s family is of mixed race.

Respectfully, this service was not about Rev Tweed or his feelings. While the deceased’s family totally do not condone separatist policies, the occasion was not the appropriate venue to show disregard to the family. Immediately following the service, many folk expressed dismay and apologies for the insensitivity of the pastor.

This tirade on last Friday at the end of a beautiful homegoing service for Sybil Robinson went beyond anything that could be considered decent.