Brewing up for Faitrade Fortnight

Fairtraders are ready for a Big Brew with Bishop Colin in Yarnton, Oxfordshire. Photo: Maranda St John Nicolle.

Fairtraders are ready for a Big Brew with Bishop Colin in Yarnton, Oxfordshire. Photo: Maranda St John Nicolle.

AROUND the diocese, churches are planning to put the kettle on so that Traidcraft’s Big Brew can mark its 10th year with an “extra strong” celebration.

The Big Brew takes place annually in Fairtrade Fortnight. Churches and other groups are invited to hold an event with Fairtrade refreshments, raising awareness of the range of Fairtrade products available and how Fairtrade helps small producers worldwide.
Churches can also raise money for Traidcraft Exchange, the organisation’s charitable wing, which funds research, supports projects and engages in advocacy that helps some of the world’s most marginalised producers.

Over the past decade churches in the Oxford Diocese have hosted some memorable Big Brews – highlights include events like the “Any Brew Will Do” celebration at Purley, featuring Fairtrade fruit kebabs and a Fairtrade puppets show, and Crowthorne Mothers’ Union’s “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” and Fairtrade film night. In 2010 there was even an episcopal “Big Brew,” gathering together Oxfordshire Fairtrade reps at Bishop Colin’s.

This year is no different: in churches like All Saints, Loughton, in Milton Keynes, which will be holding a Big Brew after the service on 1 March; and Garsington in Oxfordshire, which is planning a soup lunch and Fairtrade stall for the previous Saturday – the creative juices are flowing. There’s an added incentive to make this year special: the UK Government has said that it will double all money raised by Big Brews and sent to Traidcraft by 3 April. The doubled money will enable Traidcraft Exchange to help small farmers around the world to grow crops more efficiently, earn more money for them, and have the resources to feed and raise their families.

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