The Parish of St. Mary’s and St. Michael’s is a Fairtrade Parish. Each of our buildings are listed with the Fairtrade Foundation individually as a Fairtrade Church.
Being a Fairtrade Church means that we have agreed to three principles:
- To use Fairtrade tea and coffee after services and in all meetings for which we have responsibility.
- To move forward on using other Fairtrade products such as sugar, biscuits and fruit.
- To promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and during the year through events, worship and other appropriate activities wherever possible.
Fairtrade supports farmers and workers producing goods to ensure that they get a fair wage and decent working and living conditions. That means that we must try to look for ethical production and marketing in everything we buy and use.
As Christians, we believe that it is our responsibility to make sure that no one suffers to produce goods, and that everyone should able to live how we would want to live. Ethical consumption is applicable to every aspect of our lives, so not only do we buy and use Fairtrade items from overseas, but we also use items produced locally (in Britain and in Kent especially, when they are available) – this helps to protect and sustain farming everywhere, and to reduce food-miles and transportation of goods, which helps our planet.
Goods like sugar, fresh fruit, milk, bread, flowers [.] are produced in Britain/Kent (please check labels for place of origin). Goods like bananas, tea, coffee, chocolate, out-of-season fruit [.] that can’t be produced in Britain/Kent, should be Fairtrade or ethically traded.
At times, members of our congregation and supporters like to donate tea/coffee and other goods to us for use after services and at events. We are extremely grateful for and appreciative of any donations, and we ask that any goods either have the Fairtrade Mark on them, or are bought from local producers.
We are aware that, because Fairtrade goods ensure a better wage for the workers, they may cost slightly more. If you would like to donate items, but feel that Fairtrade is beyond your budget, we ask if you could please donate the money that you would spend instead of buying non-Fairtrade.
If in doubt whether an item is Fairtrade or ethically traded, the Fairtrade website or a retail professional may be of help.