THE METHODIST Church in Fiji and Rotuma will soon see a new policy implemented to ensure all its churches are smoke-free and the consumption of kava in the church premises are limited.
After the morning devotion on the first day of the Methodist church annual conference yesterday, church president Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu outlined his vision in making the church a "green church".
Speaking on his behalf during a media conference, communication secretary Reverend James Bhagwan said it was Mr Waqairatu's vision that the church move away from excessive kava drinking, and also for members to refrain from smoking and to make the church a smoke-free zone.
"We are moving towards trying to have the church as a green church in terms of the management or stewardship of the environment," Mr Bhagwan said.
"As we are part of creation, we are part of the environment.
"We need to be a healthy church so we can live better, physically and also spiritually.
"He has made his statement on what he intends to do during his year in leadership and so this is then taken for the divisional superintendents to understand and pass down."
Mr Bhagwan said the senior members of the church were now trying to steer all 56 church divisions to have a green church, which would mean a smoke-free church and less consumption of kava drinking in the church premises.
"That's the issue not only in terms of health, also in terms of economics.
"A lot of money is spent on kava. You have seen the recent news stories; there is so much consumption in Fiji that we have to import kava.
"So that says something about our situation in Fiji."
Mr Bhagwan said getting the churches to be smoke-free and ensure less consumption of kava was going to be a key area to be discussed and it would soon be part of the church policy.
"How it will come in I cannot say yet. But I am sure it will be part of the journey in the next two years."