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

 

Ending of WW1 commemoration

Centenary commemoration of the ending of WW1


In November this year, we commemorate 100 years since the end of the first world war. We will join with the town to remember and give thanks for the sacrifice made by many over the years. In addition to our services on November 11th there will be:

    a Concert of Faure’s Requiem at St Mary’s on Saturday November 3rd.
    a WW1 Centenary Commemoration on Saturday 10th November 2018 at Holy Trinity Church, Woodgreen, OX28 1DN to remember the ending of WW1 with readings, poetry and music. Tickets are £10, including refreshment. For details please contact Charlotte@witneyparish.org.uk or telephone 07900 456299

775 Sermon Series

Do join us as we celebrate our 775th Anniversary with a series of sermons:

2018

    Sept 9th The Rev'd Toby Wright A Christlike Church
    The sermon text is here: Feast 2018
    Oct 7th The Ven Judy French A Servant Church
    Nov 11th Rev’d Kate Bruce A Peace-filled Church
    Dec 9th The Rev'd Dr Joanna Collicutt A Pondering Church

2019

• Jan 6th Baroness Caroline Cox A Courageous Church • Feb 17th The Rev'd Helen Cameron A United Church • Mar 10th The Rt Rev'd Steven Croft A Learning Church • Apr 21st Fr Stephen Tucker A Resurrection Church • May 5th The Rt Rev'd Chris Lowson A Kingdom Church • Jun 16th Sr Stella CSMV A Contemplative Church • Jul 7th The Team Vicar A Creation Church • Aug 4th Robin Brunner-Ellis A Renewing Church • Sep 8th The Rt Rev'd Colin Fletcher A Missional Church

Witney Flower Festival 2019

Plans are well in hand for the Witney Flower Festival 2019 which takes place 5th to 7 July 2019. Full details to be posted here over the next few months.

In the meantime please do take a look at this video of the 2016 Flower Festival which reminds us all of what to expect next summer.

Witney Wonderland

Witney Wonderland will make the Advent season really special this year. From the Christmas lights switch on (30th November), right through to Christmas and New Year, St Mary's will be a wonderful place to visit.

We have teamed up with a local charity, Joss Searchlight and a number of generous sponsors to host the first Witney Wonderland festival in the church. Expect to find St Mary's full of christmas trees, each individually decorated to reflect what Christmas means to different parts of our community. There will also be a fantastic Christmas scene to delight children of all ages.

As we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmas, our Carol services will be extra special this year; we'll be hosting a number of local schools as well as the Mayor's Carol service on December 14th and the service of lessons and carols on Christmas Eve. There'll also be a number of special events throughout December, including concerts, bands, sing a long film nights, community vocal and dance groups and even a special visit from Santa. Find out more by visiting witneywonderland.co.uk

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.

Find out more

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!

Why not find out what is invovled in a peal

Raise the roof

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!

Donate with JustGiving and PayPal

Please find out more

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