Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Christmas Truce

During 2014 there have been many commemorations of the start of WW1. In fact it was the theme for the Wadworth Gala. As we approach Christmas this year we come to the anniversary of another remarkable event, the Christmas Truce.

There was no official truce for Christmas. In fact there was no ‘truce’ to speak of, but rather ‘truces’  – dozens of informal, spontaneous incidences all along the front. Some of them lasted hours, some days. Few of them were organised, and certainly none of them were endorsed by high command.
The rapprochement began on Christmas Eve, as the German soldiers decorated their trees. The campaign at home had been very successful and they had lots of them – enough to pitch them all along the parapet of their trenches. “The scene from my sentry post was hardly creditable” wrote a rifleman named Percy Jones. “The German trenches... were illuminated with hundreds of little lights.” 
While British officers decided whether or not to shoot at the lights, a cry came up from the enemy trenches: “Englishmen, don’t shoot. You don’t shoot, we don’t shoot.” Then the carolling began.
Across no-man’s land came the sound of voices, Stille Nacht, Helige Nacht. The British lines listened, sometimes cheered. “Guten singing, Jerry” they shouted, and returned fire with carols of their own, with God Save the King, or one of the Army’s many bawdy parodies of popular hymns. Many carols are known in both German and English, and in some places trenches traded verses or sang together.
Inevitably, as a sense of goodwill developed over the course of the evening, individual soldiers began to venture out of their positions. Arms raised, holding out hats full of cigarettes or sweets as a gift, men cautiously approached. Souvenirs were exchanged, translators found, and where officers were involved, agreements reached for the following day.
On Christmas Day it is the football that has gone down in legend, but there was no organised match played in no-man’s land. Instead, there are numerous eye witness accounts of shambolic kickabouts. Hats and coats were thrown down for goals. Sometimes there was a ball, sometimes not. One game used an empty ration tin. In some cases the Germans watched the English play, and in a few instances the sides played each other.
The truce came to a scrappy end around midnight on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, petering out or formally concluded.
This had been a grassroots truce with no official sanction, and as word of it spread, direct orders were given to start firing again before anyone got any ideas. In some cases hostilities were only resumed with great reluctance.
So at Christmas we are going to remember this “grass roots truce” by making our carol service a “Silent Night” special with some film from the truce and some sketches as well as some traditional carols and readings. Sherry and mince pies afterwards.
We hope you can join us at this and other services during the Advent and Christmas period.

Alun

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Temporary Madness

We have recently started a new service at 6:30pm on the first Sunday of the month at Wadworth church - it is called “Something Different” and it does exactly what it says on the tin! At the last service Jane read from Captain Corelli's Mandolin. I had heard the same reading the day before, at a wedding. In fact I have heard the reading several times before at many weddings. It is a popular selection. There is a line that struck me at the wedding and then again as Jane read it: 

“Love is a temporary madness”

The more I have thought about this phrase the more I  have have come to realise  there is sometimes nothing temporary about the madness of love. We do mad things because of love, but the madness persists - does it not? 

God so loved the world that he sent his only son to die on the cross  - madness surely - but no temporary madness -  in fact it is eternal madness that demonstrates the eternal love of God for  His creation. 

Likewise, in a place that seems long ago, twenty odd years past, Jane and I adopted three children with special needs - madness by the worlds values, foolishness by societies rules but wisdom if you look down from the cross. We have since progressed from a family with three children with special needs to a family with three young adults with special needs - both parallel universes to the ones most other people live and exist in! 

Last night we had our Harvest sing a longa at the the Village Hall in Wadworth - in many ways it was an evening that was twenty years in the making - it was the first one we had taken all three along too- Rob is a regular but Owen and Amy? 6 months ago they would have caused chaos!! Emily an older “normal” child has also become a regular.  So I watched holding back the tears of joy as Owen led off proceedings with Doe Rae Me, Amy sang from Mama Mia and they did a duet for “Any Dream Will Do”.  

In our darkest times with these three children, when we had little money, I was training to be a Vicar, working in the NHS was stressful, the battles with social services, the battles  with education authorities,  the view from the cross kept Jane and I going. Think of it like this. A bowling ball and a basket ball are both round balls. If you drop a bowling ball it can be noisy,  even painful. It is not designed to bounce. However a basket ball does bounce but you could not throw it down a bowling alley. Life can be a bowling ball, hard and painful when you drop it; or life can be like a basket ball, when you drop it, the ball bounces back. 

When people ask how have we coped - it is simple - the presence of Jesus in our lives makes us basket balls  - so we bounce back - however hard we hit the floor.

Still temporarily Mad


Alun

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fair Trade and Fair Water

Last year, our harvest appeal together with others in the UK transformed  Lahyte in Ethiopia with safe, clean water. So they are asking us to do the same this year to help their neighbours in Mecheke.

Mecheke is in the Konso region of Ethiopia, where drought is common and causes immense misery, hunger and death. The nearest water source is the Morgare stream, which is little more than a polluted trickle.”

However, in Lahyte, Children no longer die from drinking dirty water. Women spend less time collecting water and more time helping their husbands to grow food, while their children have the chance to go to school.

Using dirty water causes 2000 children to die of illnesses caused by dirty water and poor sanitation every day.

Once communities have safe water, life changes for everyone. There is less illness, children do not miss school and adults can work instead of spending their time collecting water.

Abele and his wife, Sokate, live in Mecheke, with their two children, Abri and Aster, and Abele’s mother, Oyasa. They farm the land for a living; however, the failure of crops is a big problem for the family. Abele has a lack of water for his crops. To collect water from the river it takes an hour there and back, down a very steep track. It is so bad that many women and girls fall and break their wrists and legs. He says, “If we had water available, we could grow a lot of crops.” To make matters even worse, the Morgare stream disappears during the dry months. Then people must travel all day to collect dirty water.
Your donations will help lay 16km of pipes in Mecheke to provide the community with clean, safe water. You will also help the community have a supply of water even in the dry months, by helping to build two reservoirs. This constant supply of safe water will ensure families have a fruitful harvest for many years to come. So please give generously 

We have now agreed to become a Fairtrade Church, this means we
  • use Fairtrade tea and coffee after services and in all meetings for which we have responsibility
  • move forward on using other Fairtrade products such as sugar, , cleaning materials, biscuits and fruit
  • promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and during the year through events, worship and other activities whenever possible
As church we feel it is vital that we do not take advantage of food producers so that we satisfy our needs at the expense of their hunger and poverty. Remember also farmers in this country and always try to support our own farmers when we buy food. Reading food labels can make you think.

It is hard to avoid the horrifying news that comes out of Iraq and Syria where horrible acts of barbarism are committed. We pray for the families and friends of the hostages who have been executed on film and for those hostages who await their fate. Ancient Christian communities are being destroyed and persecutions are on an increase. Every Wednesday we gather at 10:30am in St Katherines in Loversall to pray for persecuted christians and especially the situation in Syria and Iraq. Please come and join us.

Many of you will now be aware of the facilities improvements planned for St John the Baptist. We passed another major hurdle last month by receiving official permission to do the work from the Church of England. This is great news. Also very good news is the support we have received from the village in raising over £2500 from this summers appeal. Thank you very much. If you would still like to give but did not receive an envelope or have lost your envelop then please pick one up from church or contact the vicar. 

Harvest celebrations continue with two joint events with Balby parish. Our annual sing-a-long a Harvest with a bring and share supper is on Friday the 10th October at 7pm. Kazoos at the ready. Then on the Sunday 12th October we are having a bring and share lunch at Balby Church. We are aiming to start at around 12:15 just after the service at Balby finishes. Please come and join us! There is always plenty to eat on these bring and share occasions. Great events to bring a friend.

Happy Harvest

Alun




Saturday, August 30, 2014

More on Mission Action Planning

Last month I outlined starting a the process of Mission Action Planning. This month we continue with the next part of the process, which after putting together a parish profile and a community audit we need to consider the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the Parish. These three together will give us a pretty good idea of the church and its patch, the area it works. We will also use the data gleaned from “Everybody Welcome” course we did last year.

The next task we need to do is to come up with new ideas and ventures. We need to be bold – and not to worry about practicalities at this stage. Since we did “Everybody Welcome” many really good ideas have already been proposed, we just need to get them written down!

With a list of ideas, how many are possible and in what time scale? What do we need to make the ideas work?  So we consider what people and skills will be needed to accomplish your objectives. We may need to partner with someone - we do this already with Pioneer Social Enterprise, the two parishes working together but are there any other local partners that need to be involved? Who in the church community might take the lead on some of the projects? What else might be needed?

We may have a long list of ideas - so we need to prioritise them. A good way to do this is to divide our ideas into three categories – ‘Quick Wins’: things that can be introduced and make an impact quickly, ‘Medium range’: things that will require preparation. ‘Long range’: things which will need an investment of significant time and resources.

Now the trick with all these grand plans is making sure they happen so they need to pass the SMART checklist - Specific and Stretching, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Realistic as well as Time bound and Timely.

Deep breath -  we will have a plan by this stage - in fact we will have a Mission Action Plan! The problem with great plans is they often don’t become a reality so we need to turn it into a living document. One that we discuss at every PCC and review the objectives. 

Want to help?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Mission Action Planning? What's that?

Mission Action Planning is something you may have heard me talk about in a few sermons and it is something all parishes need to do. So What is Mission Action Planning?

Mission Action Planning is a key tool that can help deliver the Sheffield Diocesan Vision and Strategies. Each parish will need to find its own way of growing the body and making disciples in the specific contexts of their communities. Mission Action Planning offers an opportunity to see things from new perspectives, to discover new ways of doing things and to learn from each other as we travel together.

Mission Action Planning helps parishes to develop a vision of who we are and where we are going. The process enables us to explore what we are good at, what challenges we face, what opportunities God is laying before us and are specific to our area.

Mission Action Planning then helps us to put together specific and realistic plans for how we will develop our work and enable us to grow both spiritually and numerically. The process of Mission Action Planning encourages each church community to consider their purpose, gifts, strengths and weaknesses as well as any opportunities and threats in their life together and use this information to develop a vision and plan for the future, and hopefully plan for growth in faith, in understanding, in resources, in new members, in engagement with the communities we are called to serve.

There is no single ‘correct’ way to do this, whatever route is followed the plan that is produced at the end of the process should be a flexible working tool, helping Christian communities to develop their lives together, focusing effort and resources effectively and encouraging us to stop doing those things which are hindering our building of the kingdom of God.

Where do we start?
Well over the years as a parish, we have gathered a lot of the information we need, it is a case of pulling it all together and reflecting upon what we have done, what we need to do next. Other dioceses who have been using the the process for a number of years already have found it useful to start with making a Parish Profile. This profile describes as many aspects of our parish as possible such as: styles of worship; a profile of the people who come; church resources; activities within the church. The other useful data to gather can be pulled together under the heading of community audit. For example, we compile a profile of our neighbourhoods. include information about local organisations and amenities. Census data is a good source of information on the population. 

This is only the start of the process and a key is that everyone gets involved so as information is gathered it will shared for people to comment on. There will be a file in church with the information in as it is produced, so please have your say. Got any ideas? Please share them!

Next month I will talk about some of the other task we will need to do.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

World Cup: a dark side and a higher goal

This summer, eyes will be focussed on Brazil, host nation for the FIFA World Cup and generally considered a top spot for tourism.

BRAZIL FACTSHEET
  • The fifth largest country in the world
  • Capital city: Brasilia
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Population: 190 million
  • Urban population: 84%
  • Currency: Real
  • Coastline: 4,500 miles
  • Contains the Amazon rainforest, the worlds largest jungle
  • Colonised by Portugal in 1530
  • Won the World Cup five times, more than any other country in the world

But theres a darker side to Brazil that many wont see this summer. Look closer and youll see thousands of children being forced into prostitution, sometimes by their own families. Millions more live in poverty and at risk of gang violence and drug trafficking.

The problem of child prostitution in northeast Brazil:
  • There are half a million children involved in the sex industry in Brazil (UNICEF)
  • 46% of children live in extreme poverty i.e. less than $1 a day
  • The average age of children forced into prostitution is 10 years old
  • Every eight minutes a child or teenager is raped in Brazil (UNICEF)
  • Northeast Brazil is quickly becoming the new sex capitalof the world, since the 2004 tsunami in Asia

Church Missionary Society mission partners Andy and Rose Roberts are working to bring the light of Jesuslove into these shadows. For four years (2008-2012) they worked at a project called My Fathers House, a safe haven for at-risk boys in Olinda, northeast Brazil.
One day they came across three sisters, aged 8, 10 and 12, whose mother had sold them into prostitution. In helping these girls as much as they could, Andy and Rose discovered there were no local Christian organisations caring for at-risk girls. So they decided to pioneer a new ministry called ReVive International.
One of the goals of ReVive is to establish safe houses, where vulnerable girls can experience the healing love of Jesus and recover from trauma. With help from generous supporters, Andy and Rose were able to purchase and refurbish a local house and they have just welcomed their first young girl into safety. Ana* is 13 years old. The ReVive team found her sleeping rough on the street. She told us she had run away from a government project after a boy had tried to abuse her,Andy said. We took her to the child welfare office, who in turn took her to a judge and then finally escorted her to the ReVive house. Shes settled in well so far and we hope and pray she finds peace.
As you watch the World Cup and root for your team, CMS is asking all of us to root for these children, that they will be shown hope through Jesus. CMS was established in 1799 by William Wilberforce and others campaigning to end the slave trade. More than 200 years later, some CMS mission partners are still fighting to end exploitation, trafficking and abuse. UNICEF estimates that in Brazil alone, more than half a million children are working in the sex industry. As Andy Roberts says, If that doesnt disturb us, theres something wrong with us.


So as we watch the World Cup, either enjoying the tournament or frustrated by the wall to wall coverage, please remember those for whom this World Cup will mean nothing to their slavery.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Celebrations continue

I would like to thank all those who helped make the Wadworth Gala at the start of May a great success. For those of you who missed the display about the War Memorial in Wadworth, it will be on further display at the Church Garden Party on the 28th June, starting at 2pm. Our commemorations of the start of World War 1 will continue with a candle light service on 27th July at Loversall, followed by light refreshments in the WI hut.

Another commemoration this year is the 100th anniversary of the Diocese of Sheffield. Local Churches in West Doncaster are gathering to celebrate at St Mary’s Tickhill on the 22nd June at 4pm-6pm with a service followed by a hog roast. Please join us.

The Bible readings during Lent aligned to focus on the women followers of Jesus. First the Samaritan Woman at the well -she recognises Jesus as Messiah. Martha at Bethany declares Jesus to be the Messiah just before Jesus bring Lazarus back to life. The Mary at the garden tomb is the first to recognise the risen Jesus. All this while apart from Peter the male disciples are floundering in their understanding of Jesus. This leap of understanding of Jesus the Prophet to Jesus the Messiah is one we all have to make in our faith journey.

I was privileged at the start of May to represent local churches in West Doncaster at a service to celebrate 20 years since women first became priests in the Church of England. This emotional charged day started as we met in the Dean’s yard at Westminster Abbey and following some speeches which recalled the events of 20years ago, set off walking to St Paul’s cathedral. Some of you may have seen yours truly on the TV bulletins. 

I was extremely touched, by the immense passion some very old women expressed, as they fought to complete every inch of this walk of witness. Some relayed their life long battle to have their calling as priest recognised and  also recalled fellow comrades who were now dead and not present to celebrate. I could not help but to think of Christ carrying his Cross as I watched the effort laden walk of passion of these women. 

Once seated in St Paul’s, we saw  the women who were first ordained twenty years ago  enter as a sea of white robes. The heavenly picture in Revelations of “white robed martyrs” came to mind. 

The passion to be a priest expressed by the women transcends a desire of equality with men to a desire to answer a call of God on their lives. It mattered more to be a priest than to be what previously only men could be. This says much about human need to answer the call of God - equality is secondary. 

The Church of England has a bright future if we can ALL show the passion these women showed to follow the call of God on our lives wherever that may lead us.


Alun

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Wadworth Gala this Sunday - Special Church Service 10am Commemorating Start of WW1


Preparations are in full flow for the Wadworth Gala on the 4th May and we start with a service in Wadworth church at 10am. I hope it will bring the community together as much as the event did last year. We give thanks for all who are working to make this event a success.

Local children will be processing in with flags from the countries who fought in World War 1. The service will be suitable for all ages. During the service children will be invited to light a candle as we recall the sacrifice of those who died in the WW1. The service will finish as we process to the war memorial where children will be invited to place a cross and poppy. We will then have a 2 minute silence. Through the afternoon there will be some prayer stations in church to help people reflect on the events of WW1. Some news clips from WW1 will also be played. There will be some information about how the Wadworth War memorial came into being.

Plans for the improvements and repair to Wadworth Church gather apace and I and the church are very grateful for the generous donations we have received now amounting to £30,000. The church has fund raised around £20,000. The total cost will be around £76,000 plus VAT. So we have a gap of around £26,000. Now we should be able to reclaim the VAT but we have to pay it out first. We are applying for grants but if you would like to make a donation then please contact myself or the treasurer or churchwardens (contact info on the back page). I think the most correct term for the work we wish to do would be Facilities Improvements as we are wanting to make a building that may well have been started as long ago as 10th century fit for use in the 21st century.

I and the church are also highly delighted with the work the community payback team under the supervision of Peter Dutchak have completed in the tower - come and see it on the day of the Gala!

A very big thanks also goes to all those who organised and took part in this years Lent Project as we raised over £1500 for St George’s church in Baghdad and the work of Canon Andrew White. You may remember we chose this charity as our Lent project because St George’s is not only the sole anglican church left in Iraq but also the present church was built in1936 as a memorial to the soldiers of the British Empire who lost their lives in Mesopotamia in WW1.

Some of you may be aware of the demise of the South Yorkshire Digital Network who provided super fast broadband to Wadworth back in 2011, but it did not attract enough customers and will be turned off in May 2014. This leaves the vicar without any internet, as trying to switch to another supplier has revealed a series of problems which will take time to resolve. This means I have limited access to the internet and my phone number may have to change.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Conquest and Commemoration

Conquest has shaped all our lives whether it is through the battles between nations, political battles or our own personal battles. The destructive desires of nations to conquer others and the fight for freedom from oppression  frames the map of the world.

The desire for conquest and freedom were at the heart of the reasons behind the start of the first World War. Peoples for a long time oppressed by empires  wanting to break free from their shackles, smaller empires intent on seeking bigger empires. The result  - millions dead in a carnage of death and destruction - left a temporary peace - but also left the fault lines that resulted in World War 2. As we approach the anniversary of the start of World War 1 what do we commemorate? 

I think we need to remember the bravery and sacrifice of ordinary people, especially those who died on the battle field. So we will hold services for each of those named  on the War Memorial on the date they died. 

We also need to remember the vastness of the war and all the nations of the world that got embroiled in the conflict. So this year the Wadworth Gala and fun day will have have a theme of commemorating the start of WW1. Last year re re-created the coronation, and children from the village dressed up as various people who took part in the coronation service. This year we asking children to make and carry in a flag from one of the countries who fought in the conflict. If they want to dress up in appropriate costumes then that would be great. The Gala will start with a service in church at 10am and finish with a time of silence at the war memorial. We would encourage the the congregation to try and dress for the era. If anyone can come dressed in uniform even better. 

After the service we hope to have some film reel clips from World War 1 and also we are making an appeal  for photos taken of Wadworth or people living in Wadworth around the time of WW1. we would like to use the photos to make a display in church. All photos will of course be retuned. We  also hope to have some details about the battles the soldiers on the war memorial fought in.

The Gala will be held on Sunday 4th May.

Before the Gala, we celebrate Easter Sunday - the conquest of Jesus over death. From Palm Sunday through Holy Week we explore the easter story. The triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, his last meal with his disciples, his arrest, execution on Good Friday and then resurrection on Easter Sunday. The whole story of course is played out in a country that has been conquered by the Romans. Many of the Jews were looking to Jesus to free them from the Roman oppression. They were left disappointed. However Come and explore the story and why it is so important for everyone because through it we find out how the ultimate conquest over death occurs. 


Alun

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Floods and Suffering

We approach Lent this year with the image of flood firmly in our minds. Popular culture has even referred to the winter events as “Biblical” with more references than I can remember for some time to Noah and the flood.
The Noah story is a good example of how suddenly a Bible story can speak again to a new generation in a way it has not spoken before. No generation has faced the climate change we now face since prehistory. Yet much like the Noah story there is a world full of sceptics. Noah built his ark in a society which was hostile and derisive towards his actions. Proponents of climate change are met with the same hostility and derision today. I suspect the majority will see the errors of their ways when it is too late for all of us.
However at this moment in time it is NOT too late, but we must act now and protect God’s wonderful gift of creation. As Noah faced his critics and got on with building the Ark so we must face the sceptics of climate change and build a 21st century Ark. Our Ark is not a physical one but an Ark of attitude. We must build a society with ecological foundations so that we play our part in reducing the global climate change. Think Global - Act Local can never have been more important.
Our Ark of Attitude means tough choices - an astonishing paradox this winter for me has been the debate on fuel costs at the same time as the floods. Even though we have parts of the country blighted by flooding and  crucial infrastructure destroyed e.g. power distribution, railways lines collapsing; the government - pressured by populist press - talk of reducing the so called “green taxes” on fuels to reduce fuel bills. Am I the only “Noah” who sees this astonishing lapse - we need more “ green taxes” to force the shift away from the fossil fuels that damage our environment and cause the flooding. If you want to reduce fuel bills then sort out the PRIVATE energy companies profit! I would go further I would link the cost of flooding to energy generation and make the energy companies pay for the clean up!
The story of Noah has important theological points as we approach Lent. In Baptism we are recall that our “sins are drowned in the water of redemption”
Lent is also a good time to think about any suffering or hurt in our life, this may be current or sometimes dating from our past.  This Lent we are going to try something different and make a Garment of Suffering.  The Garment of Suffering symbolises the hurt that is contained in our lives and community.
During Lent we ask that you to either pick up a piece of cloth from the back of church, or bring to the Church a piece of cloth (any colour) about four to six inches square and leave it in the designated basket. Your piece of cloth can represent the pain, grief or hurt in your life. It may be associated with:
Grief at death and separation;
Pain of living with a troubled partner, parent or child;
The pain of sickness;
The pain of being misunderstood;
The pain of failure, etc.
During Holy Week the cloths will be collected and sewn together into one complete garment. On Good Friday the garment will be draped over the Cross and left there throughout Easter. At Pentecost the garment will be removed and burnt.
During Lent and Easter we will pray to be healed.
What is unique about this ritual is that you will be able to recognise your own piece of cloth, your own grief and suffering and yet understand that so many others share similar worries.
If you don’t normally come to church, why not come along and join in with this act.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Trade that is Fair



Conventional trade just isn’t working for the world’s poor. Despite international trade being worth $10 million a minute, poor countries account for only 0.4% of this trade. Cotton is a stark example of the effect of unequal trade rules in global trade on people’s lives. For many poor people in West and Central Africa, cotton is the only viable way to earn an income so even small price declines can mean families struggle to meet basic needs like food, medicines, schoolbooks and tools.

Despite ups and downs, over the last 40 years, the real price of cotton has fallen significantly. Recent falls can be directly attributed to huge subsidies granted by rich governments to their
own cotton farmers. The US in particular has a big impact on global prices as the world’s second
largest cotton producer and is by far the largest exporter. US producers currently receive about $4.2bn in subsidies, equivalent to the total value of their crop.

Subsidies mean farmers in developing countries – despite having lower production costs than their American counterparts – are not able to compete with the artificially lowered prices. Experts estimate global cotton prices would be 15% higher if all subsidies were eliminated. In the meantime Fairtrade offers shoppers a chance to choose an alternative vision of how trade can work and what it can achieve.

Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York said,

‘Fairtrade is a great example of the power of ordinary people to be ‘good news to the poor’. Last year I visited a brand new health centre built by a local co-operative in Ivory Coast on the strength of the extra money they receive because of Fairtrade. The co-op members were rightly proud of their achievement, which is already saving lives. Getting fair prices and a fair trade premium makes all the difference for farmers and producers. As a Christian, I want trade to be an expression of the reality that all men and women are my brothers and sisters, to whom I owe justice, respect, and the
best possible future.

Fair trade really took off more than 20 years ago because the churches took it up. There has been fantastic progress – even some multinationals now have their Fairtrade products. But there is much more to do. I hope this resource will both inform and inspire churches to participate fully and campaign for further changes.’

Last year another 1,000 churches in the UK met the goals to become a Fairtrade Church, bringing the total to a whopping 7,000. On becoming a Fairtrade Church you receive a certificate to display to tell people you have made a commitment to Fairtrade.

The three goals a Fairtrade Church must fulfil are:
Use Fairtrade tea and coffee after services and in all meetings for which they have responsibility
Move forward on using other Fairtrade products such as sugar, biscuits and fruit
Promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and during the year through events, worship and other activities whenever possible

Is this something we as a church can do? Can we commit to this as a church? It also means that if we donate products for use in church they need to be  Fairtrade. It is noteworthy that fair-trade tea and coffee is now cheaper tham “Premier bands”.

I believe this something important we can do - act local think global.

Alun