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JustShare - a fair deal for the whole world. 30 April 2004

(There will be similar events, but without the stalls on Fri 29 April 2005)

JustShare is a coalition/movement of Christian Organisations . JustShare organises debates, publishes resources, meets with business and political leaders and holds public events in the City of London on May Day.

JustShare website

Judith Allinson, CEL's web editor, travelled through London on the Friday of Mayday en route to teaching a grasses course near Box Hill south of London. She writes:

Most of you reading this will be affected by shares - in your pension fund or ISAs.. so I hope you will enjoy just sharing with me in the adventures of the day..as I walked through areas where so many shares are traded.

JustShare stall with sachets of FairTrade tea and coffee In the morning I joined people who were holding JustShare stalls outside the ten churches in the City. We gave people free sachets of Fair Trade coffee and tea, and encouraged them to sign a certificate. We wore outsize t-shirts saying "JustShare"
At lunchtime I went to the Open Air Service.. on the steps of the Royal Exchange, next to the Bank of England. You can just see the new building the "Gherkin" behind the Exchange. The double decker bus has just gone in front of the people.
Garth Hewit with Loudspeakers and guitar led the singing. At the top right you can see Rev Dr Leslie Griffiths. (A few days later he became a Peer)
Bishop Bernadino Mandlate of Mozambique read the prayers:"... These riches are in our hands for good stewardship..."

Leslie Griffith's got up to preach - He addressed us - but more than that, with the loudspeakers he addressed the City., the tall buildings that surround us, and the people who work there. In fiery words, He called for all to have full and fair opportunity to trade their goods and participate in economic life.

including:-

"The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" or in the words of a more recent sage: No generation has a freehold of this earth. All we have is a life tenancy with a full repairing lease". Who said that? Why Margaret Thatcher of course. We should remember then that the earth is ours on loan. Its owner is the God who made it. Now if we could live in the light of that truth, then we might indeed begin to shape a world fit for our children and our children's children to grow in.

We sang, to the tune of Hanover (O worship the King): (The hymn below is copyright of Rev David Haslam)
"The earth is the Lord's, the fullness thereof"
"Tis written in stone, this entrance above,
The Royal Exchange is a Symbol of Trade
And under its portals are large fortunes made
I stepped back and cricked my neck up to read the text. Yes there high above us was written "The earth is the Lord's"
  But what of the poor, hid far from our eyes?
Are they in the frame, do we hear their cries?
The fullness we speak of, is any for them -
A crumb from the table - or must they just dream?
   
  And what of the earth we say is the Lord's
Is it something we mean, or simply just words?
The earth is decaying, polluted and worn
Already a problem for those not yet born.
Radioactive waste, species extinctions, deforestation, overfishing, habitat loss...  
  If the earth is the Lord's then trade has to change
It has to be fairer, a thought not too strange?
This whole earth's resources belong to us all,
So City, just share them, please,
PLEASE HEAR OUR CALL!
     
In the afternoon we had workshops  
In the evening I went to Juniper Hall Field Centre, near Box Hill. Over the weekend we found 40 different species of grasses, practised keying them out and had an early morning walk to hear the birds.
  And in my feedback form at the Centre wrote "Please can we have Fair Trade sachets in the bedrooms in future."
   


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