Vol 3/6
July/August
1998

The Bridge

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Parish News

The campaign goes on!
Local churches back fair trade

In East Sheen

At 11 am on Friday 22 May, while Cafe Direct was served to passing shoppers, children from Sheen Mount School handed over a giant till receipt and 3 large bags of till receipts to Waitrose supermarket in East Sheen.

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They were supported by local churchgoers, the Mayor, the local MP Jenny Tonge, and local Councillors.

Rev.Paul Kennington, for Christians Together in Mortlake and East Sheen, explained that these represented 120,000 spent by shoppers from local congregations of all denominations as part of Christian Aid's, Change the Rules campaign.

Gill Armstrong, Manageress of Waitrose in East Sheen said "Our buying teams are well aware of the need and advantage of purchasing from reputable companies who do not exploit their workers.

"Over the years they have developed close trading relations with their sources of supply of own label products and as such have had a significant influence on improving working conditions.

"In the light of current customer concerns, we are reviewing our practices and policies in conjunction with non-government organisations, such as Fair Trade, Oxfam, Cafod and the New Economics Foundation, as part of the Ethical Trading Initiative. We believe the quickest progress can be achieved with all the UK supermarkets working together on this project. It will take time but significant progress is being made."

...in Peckham

The Rev. Malcolm Johnson and members of the congregation at St John's (some dressed up as pieces of fruit) presented a basketful of till receipts worth 9,872 to the duty manager at Safeway supermarket.

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Safeway's response admits that "the present position is certainly not perfect and we freely admit that we are still learning about the most effective measures to ensure long-term change".

And in Clapham

photoOver a hundred Clapham residents turned out on 13 May for a candlelit meal to celebrate Christian Aid Week - and to draw attention to the range and quality of fairly traded goods now available.

A cooking demonstration started off the evening, with every item on the menu, fairly traded ingredients. A Fashion Show over the coffee tasting brought the stylish new clothes in the Traidcraft and Out of This World catalogues to everyone's attention.

Diners flocked to the groaning Traidcraft stalls to buy up the food and gifts for sale. Everyone went away with freebies supplied by Christian Aid and cafeDirect, an information pack on local suppliers and a clothes peg for collecting their supermarket receipts for Christian Aid. The Feast, which was organised by Churches Together in Clapham, raised over 400 for Christian Aid.

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The full printed edition of the 'Bridge' newspaper is available at all Southwark Parish Churches
Further copies can be obtained from wendy.s.robins@dswark.org.uk

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