There are many forms of injustice in our world.

But as we're coming up to Fairtrade Fortnight, we'll focus on just one - the injustices in trade that concentrate power in the hands of wealthier countries and companies and leave small producers of commodities and manufactured goods unable to negotiate fair prices and working conditions.

For many years, the Trade Justice Movement's logo has been an uneven balance, symbol of the way trade is often tilted against the poor. For Christians, this may bring to mind the prophet Amos, who raged against people who sought to profit unjustly by falsifying balances (Amos 8:5). At the small scale, such falsifications - and the fight against them - can still be a live issue in trade. 

…. A few years ago, in a conversation with local Fairtrade supporters, one Ghanaian producer talked about how her cooperative was helping its members to ensure that the balances purchasers used to weigh products were accurately read, so that the producers got what they were owed. It felt quite Biblical!

On a larger scale, the Fair Trade movement's standards help to 'tip the balance' back towards fairness overall by, for example, requiring companies that purchase Fairtrade goods to pay a price that covers or moves towards covering the costs of sustainable production. Fair Trade can also involve increasing producers' negotiating power in other ways: when a Fairtrade producer group was being given unhelpful terms by the government body that controlled trade in their product (and through whom they had to sell), the Fairtrade Foundation ensured that the producer group's manager received training that enabled him to negotiate a fairer deal.

But Fair Trade is only part of the picture. There are wider questions about the rules of trade. For example, how, while enabling the flow of goods and services, do - or don't - trade rules protect workers' rights, encourage small producers and low-income countries to grow and flourish, and address issues related to the concentration of economic power?

These are questions which are going to become ever more important for us in Britain. We will be setting a new trade policy at a time when trade issues are becoming more and more complex, in a world where many major countries explicitly state their intent to pursue national interests above all.

Will the UK, for example, commit to keeping EU rules that allow the poorest countries to export to us without facing tariffs and quotas? Will we negotiate new trade agreements in ways that take into account the good of the weak as well as the power of the strong ... both domestically and internationally?

Rosemary Pierce

Text © Maranda St John Nicoll (Partners in World Mission) 2017

For more information, contact Wendy Maddison on (01993) 881364, or send an email

 

Praying for a new House for Duty Team Vicar

The parish of Witney is looking for a Team Vicar (House for Duty) who will work enthusiastically and collaboratively with clergy and laity across the benefice. The priest will have particular pastoral responsibility for Minster Lovell, whilst also sharing in ministry fully across the benefice and the other four churches. Click for details ML Profile 2018 here

Lord, as we enter a new stage, may you give us open hearts, Grace to grow in faith and prayer And help us to serve you in our local community. Lord, bless and equip the person you are preparing to lead here. May they have vision and insight and a prayer-fill, pastoral heart To serve young and old alike in this community. Amen.

A successful peal of Church bells

A successful peal of Church bells to mark the 775th anniversary of Saint Mary’s

Congratulations to the team of ringers on a successful peal of church bells to mark the 775th anniversary of Saint Mary’s!

Raise the roof

St Mary

An opportunity to invest in a major Witney landmark

Severe winter frosts have destroyed the limestone slates on St Mary’s Roof. We need to replace them before winter sets in. Local Witney people have already sponsored 2,200 slates. Only 1,800 slates to go!!

Please Sponsor a Slate for £10. Your civic landmark church needs you!

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775 Sermon Series

775 Sermon Series

As part of our celebration of our 775th Anniversary a series of sermons is taking place over the next 12 months. Here is the text of the opening sermon Feast 2018

Praying for victims of terror

Team Vicar



'In the midst of life we are in death.'

Lord, in a place of pleasure, terror struck, in a place of life, death came. Hold us in our shock and grief, comfort the distressed, heal the injured, calm the anxious, reunite the separated, console the bereaved, and give rest and everlasting peace to those who have died, for your love never fails and through the darkness your light always shines. Amen.

Accounts

Annual Accounts

Our stewardship enables us to fulfil God's call and share in God's mission

The Church is the new creation, it is life and joy, it is the sacramental fellowship in which we share the ultimate purpose of God, made real for us now in our hearing the Word and sharing the Sacrament.
Rowan Williams

Click here to view the Witney Parish 2017 Annual Report and Accounts

Annual Review 2017