Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Celebration, Lent Project and Fairtrade ooh and of course St Valentine

It Is now almost four years since we first did the “Everyone Welcome” course within the Benefice. This led to out first proper Mission Action plan in 2014 and we have now done many of the actions that arose. We had poor provision for young people and we decided that we need to partner with other churches to improve. This resulted in a Mission Partnership with St James and St Francis and the deployment of a Centenary Youth Worker, Annabel Stott, who visits us on the second Sunday of the month at both morning services. 

It is now time to raise the profile of youth work and also raise some money towards the development of youth work within the Benefice. So this year Our Lent Project will be focused around the development of youth work in the Benefice. Please see the separate leaflet in this magazine for more information.

The last weekend in February promises to be an exciting time as we launch the Lent Project on the Saturday morning and then on Sunday Bishop Peter will be visiting in the evening at 6pm for a special service and faith supper to celebrate the formation of the Benefice. Please come along and join the celebrations. 

The 27th of February marks the start of Fairtrade Fourtnight. 2017 sees the 23rd Fairtrade Fortnight in the UK. It will also be one of the most uncertain years for a generation when it comes to trade. Following the vote for Brexit, the UK will be coming to terms with the urgent need to renegotiate more than 50 international trade deals. And no one knows yet what this will mean for farmers and workers in poor countries. or this country

At the same time, the spiralling price wars between supermarkets are set to intensify, putting even more pressure on the most vulnerable producers who deliver so much of what we eat.
It’s more crucial than ever that the voices of farmers and workers are heard – to combat the risk of undoing the progress of the past two decades of Fairtrade, and putting farmers in an even worse position in the future.

The simple fact we need to get across to as many people as possible this Fairtrade Fortnight is this: that many of the farmers and workers who grow our food aren’t getting paid fairly.
And the problem is closer to home than people might think. Thousands of farmers in countries such as Malawi, Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire all contribute to the tea, coffee and cocoa we enjoy in the UK. And yet many of those farmers are still living in poverty. If people really knew the true human cost of exploitation, would they still make the same choices? Not if you tell them real stories about how farmers and their families are affected.

It is not just farmers abroad - we need fairness for farmers in this country and the best way we can do this is to consider carefully when we buy. Always check the source of food and if you can buy British - please do. Remember every time time we spend money we cast a vote. We are not snowflakes in the wind, the fight against globalisation is not impossible because we spend money and companies want our money so the more we spend local the more companies will foster local British production. 

So think before you cast your vote - every penny can be a vote against globalisation. Always try to buy Fairtrade. Always check to see if you can buy what you need locally and even better if it is made or produced locally. 

Remember think global but act local


Alun