At All Saints we currently run a Fairtrade stall twice a month after the morning service selling Fairtrade food, gifts, cards, clothes, musical instruments, footballs and much more! The stall was started in March 2005 and in 2013 we reached a milestone in selling £20,000 of Fairtrade products.
Most products come from Traidcraft (www.traidcraft.co.uk) which locates small-scale farmers and products around the world and assist them to meet the Fairtrade standards so they and their community receive the benefits it brings.
Biblical basis for Fairtrade
Throughout the Bible we are confronted by God’s bias towards the poor and his anger at the way they are disregarded and their needs ignored. Jesus repeatedly makes the link between the plenty of a few and the lack of many to highlight the calling of his Gospel. This ‘bias to the poor’ is consistent with the Fairtrade principles of democracy, empowerment, equality, self-help, and mutual care.
- Micah 6:8 What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and love mercy.
- James 2:14-17 What good is it…if a man claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. God’s nature is one of justice and fairness.
- Isaiah 61:8 ‘For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing.”
- Deuteronomy 24 looks at justice by relationships not rules, concerning debt and the poverty that is responsible for it.
- Proverbs 23:4 A theology of ‘enough’ is expressed by the idea: Live simply so that others may simply live.
- Deuteronomy 10:18-19 shows God’s love of strangers and in the New Testament we are commanded by Jesus to love our neighbour as ourselves and to show strangers mercy (The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37).
Jesus conveys the fairness needed in peoples working lives in the parable of the labourers (Matthew 20:1-16).
- Pray – for justice and fairness in our world, use information on the websites of Christian Aid, Tearfund and Traidcraft to direct your prayers.
- Join the team – Help out on the stalls on Sunday mornings or fetes during the warmer months. Contact Rachel Smith or the Church Office for more information.
- Promote Fairtrade products – Rachel can order tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits in catering size packs so you can change your work or schools coffee times to being Fairtrade in an instant. We can attend your event at work or school, either you can borrow some Fairtrade goods and do it yourself or some of the team can come along and help out.
- Campaign – For big changes, which will improve the lives of many millions of people around the world, to be discussed and agreed by world leaders and governments they need to know people care and want these changes to make our world a fairer place. There are many campaigns run by Christian Aid, Tearfund and Traidcraft, amongst others, to get involved with, from simply filling in a postcard and sending it to David Cameron (you can’t ignore thousands of cards all requesting the same thing!) or joining with thousands of other people at an organised rally.