28 October 2005

Churches unite to strike out against 'unfair trade'

Churches are extending an invitation to all to stand up for love to the loveless and justice in the face of greed.

Following the mass lobby of Parliament on 2 November, Christians from many different backgrounds and all over the world will join together to demonstrate solidarity with those who suffer because of unjust trading rules.

An ecumenical service, taking place at 4:30pm in Westminster Central Hall, will feature stories illustrating trade justice from the Methodist Relief and Development Fund, Cafod and Christian Aid and will be led by representatives from denominations. The congregation will take a trade pledge, daring to pray for change in the world and the end of poverty.

The service will also feature a brand new hymn, inspired both by the Samuel Crossman hymn, 'my Song is love unknown' and Coldplay's 'A Message' and written by Anthea Cox, the Methodist Church's Coordinating Secretary for Public Life and Social Justice with Eleanor Tingle, Director of Music Space, West Midlands. It speaks of love to the loveless and justice in the face of greed. Talking about the challenges that face the trade justice movement, Anthea said; 'Because many people attending the mass lobby will be there as part of their Christian witness it is important that there is an opportunity to reflect on the issues in an act of worship and prayer. In order to make the changes that matter, we need to move away from our own apathy and self concern. We need to recognise the desperate need of people living in poverty and God's love and desire for justice for all. The gathering in Westminster Central Hall offers people an opportunity to make a personal spiritual commitment to facing these challenging issues.'

All are invited to attend the service and show solidarity with their neighbours across the globe. It's an opportunity to take seriously the life and death issues facing so many people around the world and remind ourselves that we are able to make a difference.

Campaigners wishing to take part in the trade justice lobby should register at www.tjm.org.uk to receive more information and to contact their MPs in advance of the event. Fliers, posters and action packs are also available from MRDF, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR or by calling 020 7467 5132.

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