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Trinidad: Investigation continues into church fashion show scandal

By Trinidad Guardian

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Anglican Bishop Claude Berkley.

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) —  The An­gli­can Church is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the fi­as­co sur­round­ing the Style­Week Port-of-Spain fash­ion show at the Trin­i­ty Cathe­dral.

When con­tact­ed for an up­date on the sit­u­a­tion yes­ter­day, Bish­op of the An­gli­can Dio­cese of T&T Rev­erend Claude Berkley said the church was still com­pil­ing in­for­ma­tion on the in­ci­dent be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion.

“There has been no de­ci­sion. No de­ci­sion has yet been made. And the per­sons in­volved are pulling their ma­te­r­i­al to­geth­er. In­ves­ti­ga­tion, as I have in­di­cat­ed, is in progress and it has not been com­plet­ed,” said the Bish­op.

Bish­op Berkley, how­ev­er, re­mained tight-lipped on the mat­ter yes­ter­day, and pre­ferred that the church came to a firm de­ci­sion be­fore speak­ing fur­ther on the mat­ter.

“It is a very volatile sit­u­a­tion, it has been and prob­a­bly con­tin­ues to be and there­fore, let me have what is a doc­u­ment or some­thing that in­di­cates where we are,” he said.

The church and the or­gan­is­ers of the fash­ion show were wide­ly crit­i­cised when some mod­els of the show walked through the church hall, which served as the show’s cat­walk, in re­veal­ing biki­nis dur­ing the third of three fash­ion shows, held on No­vem­ber 3 at the Port-of-Spain church.

Sev­er­al re­li­gious lead­ers and or­gan­i­sa­tions crit­i­cised the show, with some stat­ing that the holy space of the church had been dis­re­spect­ed by the scant­i­ly clad mod­els.

The Bish­op him­self apol­o­gised for the in­ci­dent, which he said “was com­plete­ly out of or­der, in­ap­pro­pri­ate and is strong­ly con­demned. Our church has host­ed fash­ion shows in the past and we have nev­er come to this sad de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of re­spect and mod­es­ty.”

Founder of the event Christo­pher Nathan al­so apol­o­gised to “the Bish­op, Dean and parish­ion­ers of the An­gli­can Dio­cese” for what they deemed to be “gross in­sen­si­tiv­i­ty by the new fran­chise own­ers of Style­Week Port-of-Spain.”

Dean and Rec­tor of the church Shelly-Ann Tenia said the church had grant­ed per­mis­sion for the church to be used for the fash­ion show, with spe­cif­ic guide­lines for de­sign­ers to fol­low. Some de­sign­ers who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the event con­firmed to the Guardian that these guide­lines were in­deed com­mu­ni­cat­ed by the or­gan­is­ers to them.

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