The Open Letter to the British Methodist Church, written in what feels like a Kairos moment, was shared in June 2020 and went on to receive over 700 signatures. Since then, all of the signatories have been invited to join in conversations via Zoom on several occasions to continue to dream and to develop the thinking of the Open Letter, exploring what needs to happen for its vision to be realised. It is now the start of Lent 2021, and the methodology using Open Space conversations continues. In this way, clear goals and objectives are emerging.
All We Can: This week we received the certificate from All We Can for the support given by TG members to the charity for the year ended August 31. It informs us that we gave £2055. This includes amounts given by individual members privately. Across the connexion £140,000 was raised to support the partner project in Cherkos in Ethiopia. I am pleased to inform you that we raised over £500 for the new partner project over the Harvest weekend. Some people also sent their donation direct.
Acts 435 I had a call from Alan Whitehead who came to speak to the group about the work of the charity. At the start of lockdown, we asked for help for a lady who occasionally visited the Centre Café. The charity has been able to provide her with a new vacuum cleaner and more recently with a new washing machine as both of hers had broken down. When her needs were advertised, the money was forthcoming within 24 hours. She is very appreciative of the help given.
I regularly receive national updates from Acts 435 HQ with request for help If you would like this forwarded please let me know.
I was able to participate in Traidcraft’s on-line AGM at the end of September. They were able to report a profit of £22,000 for the year ended March 31 compared to a loss of £400,000 in the previous year. Turnover dropped by 33%. Costs also dropped substantially because of the reduction in staff. The company has seen a big shift in trading with on- line trading seeing a sharp rise. The current staff were congratulated for their energy, passion and commitment.
On Monday October 19 I was able to participate in the Yorkshire Fairtrade Region Conference held on-line. The keynote speaker was Erinch Sahan Chief Executive of the World Fairtrade Organisation. He told us we are a vision of the way trade should work, a business model with a focus on people and planet rather than profit. This was followed by a panel discussing questions which had been sent in. The panel included Subita Benerji CEO of THIRST, which focuses on working in the tea industry and exposing the exploitation of workers which still goes on. Dominique Muller also took part, and she is the Policy Director of Labour Behind the Label campaigning for better and fair working condition in the clothing industry. Also taking part was Tom Wills from Traidcraft Exchange. It was an inspiring evening! There was a plea at the end of the evening that when lockdown finally comes to an end that we do not return to ‘trade as usual’.
Christmas is Coming! We cannot sell or promote the purchase of Fairtrade products in the usual ways this Christmas as some churches are still closed and there will be no public events where we can have a stall. So, I have 40 copies of the Traidcraft catalogue in circulation and another 60 copies are due to arrive this week. The plan is to distribute them to as many TG, Norwood and Walkington members as possible. On most Saturdays we will be using the stalls in the church drive for special events and will include a Fairtrade stall. I have already received some substantial orders.
Personal: Barbara James was admitted to hospital early on Sunday morning
Hope you are all well and looking forward to winter!!
We think this was a great project for COVID lockdown. Peter Clark created this system for a perpetual supply of salad leaves, herbs, spinach and rocket with clever pipework and empty plastic drinks bottles which also cleverly disguised a boring brick wall! Ingenious!
Dear friends, There’s a tradition in many parts of the country, certainly in times past, for Pentecost to be celebrated by local churches sharing in “Whit Walks.” These walks are a witness and celebration of God’s great gift of the Spirit. The contrast of the Whit Walks with Pentecost celebrations this year couldn’t be starker. We could not physically gather together in our churches never mind go onto the streets en masse.