As Easter approaches, and nearly a year after a divisive break from their Chicago church and the politically toxic sermons of its pastor, Jeremiah Wright, the Obamas are in need of a church near in their new home base. Aides and close friends of the family have been quietly checking Washington churches on a shortlist, including Foundry United Methodist (choice of the Clintons), attending services, speaking with pastors, reverends and rectors and reporting back to the Obamas, said one White House source familiar with the search. For the first black President, the selection carries racial ramifications: should he choose a majority white church, blacks may be upset; should he choose a predominantly black church, whites may fear a repeat of the Wright debacle. Whatever the choice, the church itself may not welcome it: the honour brings gigantic logistical problems. The president’s massive motorcade would have to be accommodated; dozens of Secret Service agents would be needed to secure the site; and parishioners would be forced to pass through metal detectors or be hand-checked before entering.