St Mary’s is a Fairtrade Church. This means that the congregation support the principle of Fairtrade and that we are committed to serve Fairtrade coffee, tea & sugar when refreshments are offered after services or by Church groups.
We also hold a Traidcraft stall after the 9.30 service and the Family Service on the first Sunday of each month, selling a range of Fairtrade food items and beautiful cards, made by a women’s co-operative in Kibera. Copies of the current Traidcraft catalogue are available in the Church Annexe to take home.
To find out more about Traidcraft or to visit its on-line shop, see the Traidcraft website
I am sure that the St Mary’s family and particularly many of you who support our Traidcraft stall or who are committed to buying Fairtrade goods in your usual shopping will share my sadness and concern that Traidcraft have announced that they will cease trading after December 2018. It has been clear for a while that they have been struggling within the changing retail market and had reduced their staff in Gateshead. Now the remaining 60 + staff face redundancy.
Traidcraft started in the 1980s selling goods which had been made or grown in the developing world allowing small scale producers to trade successfully in the global market. Over the past nearly 40 years Traidcraft has taken millions of poor people out of poverty and enabled their communities and families to lead better and healthier lives. St Mary’s has run a monthly stall since 2002 and we became a Fairtrade Church shortly after that. I do hope that we can make the remaining months stalls extra special, and particularly that we sell a record number of Christmas cards this year. I expect to have sample cards and to be taking orders on October 7th.
It now looks hopeful that Traidcraft will be able to continue trading in a reduced way after Christmas. Many food items will be available but fewer craft goods. The next stall will be on Sunday February 3rd.