Getting involved in bigger issues can be the reason that people come together in fellowship but for many parishes it can be a real challenge to find the time and resources to do more than just 'keep afloat'. So as a diocese we have highlighted key areas to focus upon collectively. Our aim is to take a lead in work that people in parishes may want to engage in or even share, direct or advise without having to go it alone.
In 2015 we hope to develop a 'Green and Gentle Pledge'. We will be asking at least 10 people in each parish to change their personal purchasing and lifestyle habits a tiny bit to incorporate ideas around trade justice and environmental sustainability into their everyday lives. There would also be a few simple actions that each parish could take to do the same.
We have an Action Group established to focus upon a Sustainable World. Members recently agreed the following central considerations to guide and give shape to their work:
In a world where poverty and inequality have reached unprecedented levels, our Sustainable World Action Group (SWAG) – joining a growing international movement – believes that trade rules often don't help and can actually makes things much worse.
God calls us to work for justice and take a lead in transforming the world, eliminating poverty and making it a more just and equitable place for all people. By supporting the campaign for trade justice and Fairtrade we can ensure that more and more churches make the connection between trade and poverty and commit to using Fairtrade products including tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits.
SWAG will host and encourage events throughout the year and particularly during the annual Fairtrade Fortnight to highlight trade justice. We will also share prayers and readings about Fairtrade for others to use in their worship. Many of our churches have also worked to have their support of Fairtrade officially recognised by being accredited as a Fairtrade Church. To do this you must agree to the following: