Faith Groups

Big Brew in Bradford

Sunday 27 at Bradford Cathedral a Big Brew was held to raise funds for Traidcraft Exchange, an organisation supporting producers in low-income countries.  This event took place after morning service and was well attended.  Fairtrade drinks were served with a range of cakes and biscuits while instructive films about Fairtrade producers were screened.  A group of students from Bradford University Fairtrade Group were also at this well-attended event.

Posted on March 20th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fair Trade Lent Resources 2022

Here are some great Fair Trade Lent resources, devised by our friends at Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand.

These Resources are based on the Revised Common Lectionary used by many Churches around the world. The Bible passage links are to the Lectionary page of the Anglican Church.

 

First Sunday of Lent 2022

Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Romans 10:8b-13
Luke 4:1-13
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
The Temptations of Jesus. Luke 4:1-13

 

All four Gospels record the Temptations of Jesus. In the wilderness, Jesus was tempted without succumbing and then he was free to commence his ministry.

 

Before we look at the three Temptations of Jesus in Luke 4. we notice that during the Temptations Jesus had a constant companion. In verse one we read ‘Jesus returned from the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit and was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert.’

 

For Christ and for us it is good to remember that in the midst of the most severe temptation the Holy Spirit is present.

 

Three temptations: Stones into bread. Power over the whole world and the wealth that goes with that. And a spectacular Bungie jump from the temple with angels as the elastic rope.

 

Three temptations. 1. The satisfying of hunger. 2. Domination over the whole world. Global government. 3. A spectacular headline grabber.

 

And Jesus said No! No! No!

 

It is great that Jesus was not led astray by the Temptation. The writer to the Hebrews could say:

 

Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:14,15 NRSV)

 

There are many forms of temptation which we are called to resist.

 

Subtle amongst these and probably not often considered might be the temptation to take the cheapest and easiest option when buying products such as tea, coffee, chocolate, or clothing.

 

Temptation away from Fair Trade. We may be aware of the importance of Fair Trade, how it helps people with a decent wage and working conditions, free of slavery and ensuring general equality and caring for the environment, but sometimes it might be too hard. We must hunt on the supermarket shelves, or even go to another store for the Fair Trade basics: tea, coffee, chocolate. We must search through various Ethical shopping or fashion guides to find the clothes produced according to the 10 Principles of Fair Trade, even then it is difficult.

 

I think the biggest temptation in Fair Trade is to give up. It’s too hard …

 

As we commence Lent, many people will give up something. Here’s a suggestion. How about giving up non Fair Trade products, and switch to Fair Trade. That way you can keep consuming chocolate or coffee, with an easy conscience and with the satisfaction of the knowledge that you are supporting producers in distant places towards a healthy sustainable lifestyle.

 

Now is the time to look beyond Lent for Fair Trade chocolate Easter eggs for Easter Day.

 

 

Prayer

 

Loving and forgiving God,

We thank you that Jesus, although severely tempted did not give in.

Help us to resist temptation in all areas of life;

Help us to resist the temptations that may pull us from what we know to be just and fair for the workers of the world in order to make life easier for us.

 

Thank you Lord,

 

Amen.

Posted on February 26th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Second Sunday of Lent

Genesis 15:1-12,17-18
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Luke 13:31-35
Psalm 27
‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! (Luke 13:34)

 

With Martin Luther King being assassinated so long ago (6.4.1968) and Desmond Tutu dying late last year (26.12.2021) it is hard to believe they were contemporaries. King was born in 1929, Tutu in 1931.

 

Both are seen as great prophets of the 20th Century, each addressing injustices in their own context and beyond. One was assassinated at the age of 39. The other lived a long life but suffered many character assassinations for his stand on issues of social justice.

 

The great Old Testament prophets suffered their share of ill treatment, and Jesus, when he uttered those words knew he would be next but one. John the Baptist was next.

 

The Church is called to be prophetic in the face of social injustices of our day. Seeking to please everyone, to not rock the boat and fearful of upsetting and losing members, much of today’s preaching avoids confronting governments or business with the result we lose the prophetic edge.

 

Much of the world trading is based on maximising profits and minimising inputs which includes paying workers as little as possible, far below a living wage. Fair Trade is joining the prophets in saying this is wrong.

 

Guided by the great Old Testament prophets, Jesus himself and the 10 Principles of Fair Trade we can take prophetic action to ensure justice and fairness in the trading system.

 

With the mother hen image, Jesus showed great love and compassion for the people of the city of Jerusalem. A characteristic of prophets is their strong words for justice are driven by great love for people. A book of Martin Luther King’s sermons is entitled ‘Strength to Love’ with a photo of King in earnest prayer for the people on the cover. We can picture Desmond Tutu weeping for the oppressed people of South Africa.

 

Prophetic acts of justice such as appealing to people to purchase Fair Trade are motivated by a desire to improve the lives of people, mostly unseen, in distant lands. This is passionate love working at a distant.

 

Reflect on your situation. Where are the prophetic voices in your community calling for justice?

 

‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’.   (Martin Luther King Jr)

 

‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor’.   (Desmond Tutu)

 

Prayer

 

Loving God,

We thank you for the voices and actions of the prophets calling us to faith.

Thank you for those prophets of long ago, recent times, and among us now calling us to action for people and the environment.

Thank you for the voice of Fair Trade calling on a realignment of world trading practices to benefit all parties.

Amen.

Posted on February 26th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Third Sunday of Lent

Exodus 3:1-15
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Luke 13:1-9
Psalm 63:1-8
Exodus 3:1-15

Exodus 3:1-15.

Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians …” (Exodus 3:7,8a)

 

When we think of the account of Moses before the burning bush we often focus on Moses and his response.

 

Moses, peacefully caring for his Father in Law’s sheep had his tranquillity disrupted by God’s instructions for him to lead His people from slavery in Egypt to a land of freedom.

 

The key words in this passage are not to do with the bush that burns and is not consumed, it is not how inadequate Moses may feel. The key message is that God has heard the cry of his people who are miserable and suffering in slavery in Egypt. The rest of the book of Exodus is about how those people were released, how they wandered in the wilderness and were eventually ready to enter the land of Canaan.

 

The important message is that God has heard the cry of his people and is to use Moses to lead them to freedom.

 

This was an important theme for the Israelites. We often overlook the introductory words from God when Moses later received the Ten Commandments: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,…” (Ex 20:2)

 

The point of all this for us is that God still hears the voices of those who are in slavery across the world, estimated at 46 million people across 167 countries. In addition, there are 160 million child labourers.

 

No 5 of the 10 Principles of Fair Trade is ‘No child labour. No forced labour’

 

The Fair Trade Association is committed to these 10 principles and works in cooperation with organisations like Be Slavery Free.

 

Reflection

 

In Exodus God heard the cry of His people. The question is, do we hear the cry and what steps are we taking to respond to that cry?

 

.

Look at how we can take action through organisations such as Be Slavery Free https://beslaveryfree.com/

 

Prayer

 

Listening God,

You heard the cry of your people in slavery in Egypt.

You hear the cries of those in slavery and child workers in the world today.

Help us to hear those cries.

Give us the courage and wisdom to act.

Amen.

 

Posted on February 26th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Joshua 5:9-12
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Psalm 32

Luke 15:11b-32 is perhaps one of the best-known parables of Jesus. It’s main point, perhaps its one point is the extravagant, generous, forgiving love of God. The parable is about a selfish spendthrift younger brother and a dutiful passive-aggressive older brother and their Father. It takes place in the context of a wealthy Jewish household amidst the religious and social milieu of the first century as a response to the grumbling of the Pharisees and the scribes (verse 2)

 

Depending on our emphasis we can call it ‘The parable of … the loving (or forgiving father), … the lost son, … the two brothers, … the lost sons’ etc.

 

Reread the parable taking particular note of what is said about workers and those who employ them.

 

After the money had run out the younger brother ‘hired himself out’ to a non-Jewish, Gentile farmer in a ‘distant country’. (v 15) This hiring arrangement seems hardly fair, when the son is so hungry, he envies the pigs’ dinner. (v 16) Better off to be a ‘hired hand’ back home where they ‘have bread enough and to spare’ (v 17). Those well off workers are later described as ‘slaves’ (v 22). The hired hands or slaves in the father’s house have enough and to spare (v 17) That is the perception of the younger son who is starving. Taking the image of the enterprise as being the household of God we can deduce that God wants his workers to be well looked after, with sufficient and to spare.

 

By contrast, in the far country, this young Jewish man has made himself into a non-citizen. There were several occupations which were prohibited to Jewish people. Among these were some of the people Jesus mixed with: prostitutes and tax collectors. Even the shepherds in the birth story would be included. Keeping or feeding pigs was an occupation certain to render a person ‘unclean’ and make them a non-citizen.

 

The older son saw himself as a slave (v 29), rather than the inheritor of a great estate, although somewhat diminished now that the younger son had wasted his share.

 

The waiting, running, forgiving, extravagant, ‘not listening to excuses’, Father shows he unconditionally accepts this son who has become a non-person by his actions. The treatment of the younger son is symbolic of treatment everyone can receive.

 

All people are loved in this way. We are all, the Gentile in the ‘distant county’, the prostitutes, tax collectors and non-Jewish sinners, the Pharisees and scribes, all people on earth are equally offered the forgiving love by this apparently bizarre Father.

 

And in this Father’s household no one is a slave as the older brother saw himself, all have enough and to spare as the younger brother perceived the ‘hired workers’ back home.

 

Reflection

 

If this is the way God treats each of us, ought we not treat all the people who serve us, such as the workers who produce our goods, with the same attitude of love?

 

Prayer

 

Loving, extravagant, generous God,

We thank you for your forgiveness as you welcome us into your Household.

Help us to see people as you see them, with watchful love and forgiveness.

Help us to treat people with dignity as we seek to remunerate all workers, so they have enough and to spare.

Amen

 

Posted on February 26th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

5th Sunday of Lent

Isaiah 43:16-21
Philippians 3:4b-14
John 12:1-8
Psalm 126
John 12:1-8

 

This remarkable act of Mary at the home she shared with her sister Martha and brother Lazarus in the presence of Jesus and his disciples opened wide the eyes of all those gathered that day.

 

Attending to feet was the work of a slave. No self-respecting lady would unbind her hair at dinner.

 

Cutting across conventions, Mary took half a litre of very expensive perfume and poured it all over Jesus’ feet, then wiped his feet with her hair.

 

Whether Mary was fully aware of what she was doing we don’t know. But Jesus interpreted that action as anointing in preparation for his burial.

 

Someone saw it differently. Judas reacted quickly:  “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for 300 silver coins and the money given to the poor?” (John 12:5)

 

Judas probably thought Mary to be a fool to be so extravagant

 

We might think Judas’ reaction was because he had a genuine interest in the poor. But John’s footnote tells us that he was the treasurer and a thief who helped himself to the moneybag.

 

Jesus concluded this little scene with words which I believe have been often misinterpreted.

 

7Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’

 

Many people have interpreted that to mean that it’s OK to spend money extravagantly on beautiful churches, stained glass windows, pipe organs and so on. After all we are doing this for Jesus.

 

What I believe Jesus was saying is this.

 

“There will always be poor people to help, and it is good and right that you help them in every way.

For this one time, and for this one time only, Mary has done a beautiful thing. She has anointed me in preparation for my burial. She has done this now and this loving act can only be done once.”

 

“In the future,” I believe Jesus is saying, “you will have plenty of poor people to help and it is good and right that you should help them.”

 

Jesus was saying. “This is OK for Mary, but for you and the church in the future you can better spend money by giving to the poor”.

 

The sad thing is that Jesus was aware that there would always be poor people. In spite of his teaching about sharing coats and feeding the hungry and caring for the needy, Jesus knew that it was part of our self-centred nature to so structure the world that there would always be poor people.

 

The economic heap would be so structured that there would always be poor people at the bottom.

 

Sharing our resources, giving to causes which help the poor are worthwhile.

 

Fair Trade is a way we can re-structure the world.

 

Reflection

 

Consider that the most beautiful thing you can do for Jesus is to give to the poor and to ensure that the workers behind the products you purchase were treated according to the 10 Principles of Fair Trade.

 

As Jesus said: “I tell you whenever you did this for one of the least important brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me!” (Matthew 25:40)

 

Prayer

 

Loving God, we thank you for the once and for all extravagant act of love performed by Mary of Bethany.

Help us to similarly show our love to you by our generous acts of love towards people in lower income countries.

Show us how, through Fair Trade, we can alleviate poverty.

Amen

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Posted on February 26th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Sixth Sunday of Lent 2022 (Palm / Passion Sunday.)

The Liturgy of the Palms

Luke 19:28-40
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
The Liturgy of the Word

Isaiah 50:4-9a
Philippians 2:5-11
Luke 22:14-23:56
or Luke 23:1-49
Psalm 31:9-16
Luke 19:28-40

 

The Iona Community is an ecumenical Christian community working for peace and social justice, the rebuilding of community and the renewal of worship.

 

Although its members and associates are scatted over the world, it’s focus is the rebuilt medieval Abbey buildings on the Scottish Isle of Iona.

 

People from around the word are welcomed to the Abbey where each morning the following words open the worship:

 

The world belongs to God

THE EARTH AND ALL ITS PEOPLE

 

How good it is, how wonderful,

TO LIVE TOGETHER IN UNITY

 

Love and faith come together,

JUSTICE AND PEACE JOIN HANDS

 

If Christ’s disciples keep silent

THESE STONES WOULD SHOUT ALOUD

 

Open our lips, O God,

AND OUR MOUTHS SHALL PROCLAIM YOUR PRAISE

(Iona Abbey Worship Book, ‘The Morning Service’)

 

It is easy to see the source of some of those words:

 

19:39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.”

19:40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

 

In a well-planned piece of street theatre, Jesus acquired a donkey. The people put some clothes on the animal and spread some on the ground. Jesus rode the donkey down from the Mount of Olives and into the city of Jerusalem.

 

In Luke’s gospel there are no palms. The palm theme comes from the other Gospels, such as Matthew.

The people shouted. They shouted ‘Hosanna’. Which means ‘Praise God.’

 

Perhaps fearing the ever-watching eyes of the Romans some Pharisees in the crowd told Jesus to tell his followers to keep quiet.

 

And Jesus’ response?

 

“I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

 

The stones would shout out.

 

For Jesus it was the stones of the city of Jerusalem. Stone beneath the donkey. Stone all around. Buildings, temple. Everywhere.

 

In Iona abbey in the cool morning, it’s the stones of the eight-hundred-year-old building.

 

Yet, we can’t leave it to the stones to shout. We can’t be silent. The people of the Iona Community are not silent. Working for peace and social justice is integral to the Iona Community.

 

The literature, crafts and other products in the Abbey Shop reflect this ethos.

Therefore, they take great care to source their products from a range of small family-run businesses, local where possible, and fair trade organisations.

 

Iona Community people are committed to Fair Trade.

 

Members of the Iona Community are committed to following a rule of worship, prayer and commitment to justice and peace. Among their working principles is economic justice.

 

Our economic values

We deplore economic injustice. We are committed to the common good, to trade justice and to a critique of economic policies that increase poverty and inequality. We support our work through our own giving and our trading operations. We operate a balanced budget, try to bank and invest ethically and purchase fairly-traded goods. Our residential staff are paid the same, regardless of job. We seek to minimise salary differentials for non-residential staff.

 

These Iona people do not keep silent. Their praise to God is in the form of worship and economic justice.

 

Reflection

 

Use the Iona Morning worship responses as your approach to God.

Try replacing ‘We’ with ‘I’ as you re-read the ‘economic values’ statement.

What action are you taking for yourself and your community to express trade justice and purchase fair trade goods?

Your group can become a Fair Trade Faith Group

 

Prayer

 

Loving God,

We thank you that Jesus approached the great city of power on a donkey, symbol of peace and not a horse, symbol of war.

We thank you that the disciples shouted your praise in the face of opposition.

We pray for the Iona Community and their commitment to worship, peace, and justice.

Bless me and my community as we seek to live the peaceful and just way of Jesus.

Amen

 

 

Posted on February 26th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fairtrade Fortnight Events in Bradford District

Bradford Cathedral

Join the Bradford Cathedral Big Brew! on Sunday 27th February 2022, from 11:30am, or by sending a #VirtualBigBrew selfie

Bring in your own cakes, buns or biscuits for the Big Brew! – a list of recipes, guidance and where to get Fairtrade ingredients, can be found on the Bradford Cathedral website.

Alongside the food and drink there will also be quizzes and competitions, and a presentation all about the work of Traidcraft Exchange, a charity that works to promote justice and fairness in trade. All the money raised at the Bradford Cathedral Big Brew! will go towards Traidcraft Exchange’s work.

The Cathedral’s ‘Traidcraft stall’ will also be returning. There you’ll be able to buy many of your favourite Fairtrade products, and you’ll even be able to place an order for Fairtrade Easter eggs.

Those who would like to come along to the Big Brew! in person will be able to join in from around 11:30am on Sunday 27th February, following that morning’s service.

There will also be the opportunity to get involved even if you can’t physically get into the Cathedral. If you’re at home, you can also support the event by making yourself a Fairtrade drink and buying or making some Fairtrade treats, and sharing a #VirtualBigBrew selfie with the Cathedral. Full details of how to get involved can be found on the Bradford Cathedral website, including how to join the online service that is streamed before the Big Brew.

 

BRADFORD DISTRICT FAIRTRADE COMMUNITIES

Bradford, Baildon, Burley, Haworth, Ilkley, Keighley, Shipley

A special feature in Bradford will be the Lord Mayor showing the Fairtrade flag and City Hall being lit up in Fairtrade colours to brighten City Park at night. The district’s seven Fairtrade Villages and Towns organise a variety of events throughout the year to promote Fairtrade, and collaborate with schools, places of worship, organisations and businesses whenever possible.

ACTIVITIES

Mon. 21 Feb – Sat. 5 March in Baildon Library

Fairtrade display with information available.

21 Feb  University of Bradford in Student Central

Student members distribute information about Fairtrade Fortnight

22 – 27 Feb in Northgate Co-op, Baildon

Display of Fairtrade goods available in Co-op stores with arrangement of Fairtrade flowers by Emma’s Florist, Baildon

24 – 25 Feb  in Northgate Co-op, Baildon

Baildon Fairtrade Group members staffing information desk with focus on Fairtrade and Climate Crisis.     Thurs. 24  12 – 3pm    Friday  12 – 5pm

26 Feb – Christchurch, The Grove, Ilkley

10am – 12 noon. Fairtrade coffee morning and Fairtrade stall.

26 Feb Baildon Farmer’s Market

Stall selling Traidcraft Fairtrade products with information distribution by members of Baildon Fairtrade Group

4 March – St John’s Church, Ben Rhydding

9 – 11am  Fairtrade coffee morning with Traidcraft stall

1 – 5 March in Northgate Co-op, Baildon

Display of Fairtrade products available in Co-op stores with arrangement of Fairtrade flowers by Secret Garden Florist, Baildon

3  March  5pm  Upstairs at Pennybank House, Haworth

Join Haworth Fairtrade Group watching Sandy Docherty.  Free and open to all

on a first come basis.  Please email: upstairsatpennybank@gmail.com

Baildon

A special feature in Northgate Co-op this year will be an arrangement of Fairtrade Flowers as the Fairtrade Foundation is asking supporters to encourage local independent florists to use Fairtrade Flowers.  We are delighted that Baildon’s two florists, Emma’s and Secret Garden will each create an arrangement (one for each week), including flowers donated by the Co-op and with publicity for their shop.

At the Farmer’s Market on Saturday 26th Feb there will be a Fairtrade Stall organised and staffed by Sean Hayes and friends from Baildon Methodist Church.  The stall will sell Traidcraft Fairtrade products as well as providing information on Fairtrade and the Climate Crisis.

See events list above for details of Baildon events

Posted on February 20th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fairtrade Campaigners call on COP 26

Fairtrade supporters across Yorkshire are calling for COP26 to be more than just blah, blah, blah. Climate justice is needed to ensure that the countries of the global south, who have contributed the least to escalating climate change, are given the support they need to adapt to the changing climate. The Fair Trade movement is at the forefront of assisting producers to cope with the adverse effects of climate change and has a key role to play in creating sustainable livelihoods for the future.

Fairtrade supporters joined the Global Day for climate justice march in York on Saturday 6th November. The march began at York Minster and the protesters demanded that world leaders assembling at COP26 deliver on promises of a low carbon future and climate justice for the world’s poor.

Global Day for Climate Justice march in York

Across Yorkshire Fairtrade supporters have been drawing attention to the need for climate justice. They supported the Young Christian Climate Network march for climate justice, as activists walked from Cornwall to Glasgow, passing through our region. Events along the route included the holding of  a special service at York Minster, which was led by the Dean. At a local level, Fairtrade campaigner Cynthia Dickinson set up a display of climate related artwork in the Crofton Parish Centre and promoted the Wave of Hope, to persuade leaders to do act swiftly in the face of the escalating climate crisis.

Fairtrade stalwart, Cynthia and the artwork display in Crofton

Wave of Hope window display

Posted on November 8th, 2021 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fairtrade banana peloton back in action as part of Cathedral Cycle Rally

Thursday 3 June was World Bicycle Day and the Fairtrade Yorkshire banana peloton – famous from this video from the Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire in 2014  was back in action as part of a 20 strong cycle relay on the leg between Bradford Cathedral and Wakefield Cathedral. The journey is part of the Cathedrals Cycle Route which takes in over 2,000 miles and visits all 42 of England’s Anglican cathedrals. The circular route starts and ends at Newcastle Cathedral with Truro as the furthest point to the South. Yorkshire is well represented with Ripon, York, Bradford, Wakefield and Sheffield Cathedrals all featuring.

The photo above was taken at Wakefield Cathedral and shows the Dean of Wakefield Cathedral greeting the Fairtrade banana (our friend Mike de Villiers of Baildon Fairtrade). The ride was part of a relay of cyclists aiming to visit all 42 cathedrals in 42 days. The baton passed from Bradford to Wakefield and on to Sheffield and beyond.

For more information about the route see the Cycling UK website.

And if this story has inspired to join in with others on long distance routes you can join the Young Christian Climate Network on their walk from the G7 in Cornwall to COP26 in Glasgow.

The route takes in walking routes between Sheffield, Marsden, Huddersfield, Leeds Tadcaster, York and Ripon in September.

Click here to seethe route and join them if you can.

 

Posted on July 12th, 2021 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News