Thursday, September 15, 2011

World Development Newsletter - September 2011

From: Sue Young, World Development Adviser, Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich 

Harvest is a time when we think about food. We give thanks and celebrate what God had given to us. We also think about where our food comes from and consider how farmers and producers are treated. And we consider the food trading system and the role of food speculation. 

Creation Time 1 September – 4 October 
Every year, throughout the month of September, churches are encouraged to celebrate Creation Time. This year the theme is Our Daily Bread – Food in God’s Creation. When we pray “Give us our daily bread” we are both acknowledging our dependence on God’s generosity and our realisation that the answer to prayer needs to include agriculture, commerce, sharing, trade-justice, animal welfare, diet and a host of other considerations. The Churches Together in Britain and Ireland has a wealth of resources available for free download, including sermon notes, prayers of intercession, service outlines and group study notes (

Churches Week of Action on Food 10 – 17 October 
Around World Food Day on 16 October is the churches week of action on Food. Almost one billion people in the world live with constant hunger, despite the fact that we currently grow enough food to feed everyone. For campaigning material around the Food for Life campaign, visit the Ecumenical Alliance web site (

Food Speculation 
Banks are earning huge profits by betting on the price of staple foods, like wheat, maize and soya.  This creates instability and pushes up global food prices, making poor families around the world go hungry and forcing millions into deeper poverty. On the World Development Movement web site ( you can learn more about this and take action by emailing the Treasury asking them to support strong and effective regulation to stop this betting on hunger.  

Jean Daltry has become the new co-ordinator of the Diocesan link with the Diocese of Kagera. 
Please pray for her as she takes on this demanding role, advocating the link and co-ordinating our  activities. Contact her about all matters relating to Kagera   

Fund raising evening of live music, auction, BBQ, raffle and stalls in aid of the Disasters Emergency  Fund from 7.00pm on 16 September at the Brewery Tap Pub, Ipswich. For more information:   

On Saturday 8 October there will be an 8 mile circular walk from Bury St Edmunds cathedral in support of India’s Dalits and tribal people in their fight for land rights. Christian Aid partner Ekta  Parishad is organising a year-long series of marches, culminating in an enormous 100,000 strong march from Gwalior to Delhi in October 2012.  The marchers’ goal is to claim rights to lands that their families have worked and lived on for generations, and which they are denied because of discrimination. Christian Aid believes that if the Indian government were to implement an existing land rights law, it would lift 400 million people out of poverty.  The walk in Bury, starting and ending with prayer, is to raise awareness and give financial support to Ekta Parishad and other partners working to tackle inequality in Asia. For further details and registration form see attached flyer or contact  

Quiz evening at 7.30 on Friday 18 November to support Tearfund’s work in Zimbabwe.  At the Labour Club in Felixstowe. £5 to include supper. For more information contact Sue Young (as below).  

This is an occasional newsletter emailed to those in Suffolk who are interested in world development issues. If you would like to be put on the mailing list for future newsletters, please contact Sue Young

Faith in Maintenance

Faith in Maintenance provides training and support for the thousands of volunteers in England and Wales who help to maintain our historic places of worship. They run free training courses and you can reserve a place online for the next course in this diocese on 13 October 2011 at All Saints' Wickhambrook.

Please see the Diocesan website page

The Children’s Society

For a number of years Ruth Castles was our Benefice Co-ordinator for the Children’s Society and we are most grateful for all that she did.  Ruth has now moved into Bury and so we urgently need a new Benefice co-ordinator. This only really involves work twice a year – receiving the collection boxes once a year, counting the contents and sending it off, then returning the boxes. The other thing is ordering materials and publicity for the annual Christingle service. Please think and pray about whether this is something you could take on and, if you can, please let me or a Churchwarden know as soon as possible.

Samaritan’s Purse – Operation Christmas Child

Samaritan’s Purse – Operation Christmas Child – Shoebox Appeal Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest children’s Christmas project, bringing joy into the lives of underprivileged children since 1990. Please consider supporting the Shoebox Appeal. Information leaflets, containing full details, are to be found at the back of all the churches. Please then pass your completed Shoebox to me or to a Churchwarden for passing on to me. The deadline for handing in the completed Shoeboxes is the Benefice Service at Ousden on 30th October, as they need to be taken to a collection point at
the beginning of November.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rector's View - September 2011

Dear friends,

At Harvest time I would like us to think about the rainbow. The Bible tells us that God gave us the rainbow so that we would remember that as long as the Earth remains we will always have seedtime and harvest time. In other words, God makes sure that we always have food to eat, and enough of the right kind of food to eat, so that we remain fit and healthy.

Perhaps you are thinking, that if this is so, why are there millions of people in our world today who don’t have enough to eat, and who don’t have the right kind of food to eat, and who don’t remain fit and healthy. What is God doing for them? What does His promise mean to them?

The answer lies in the way in which God works. There is enough food for everyone in the world! The problem is that fewer than one-third of the world’s population consumes more than two-thirds of its resources.

God does help those who don’t have enough to eat – through us! We have more than we need and so we can share with those who don’t have enough. In this way we show, in a very practical way, that we are grateful to God for all of the good things he has given us to enjoy. It also shows that we care about those who are not so fortunate. It shows that we, as Christian people, take our stewardship of God’s good things seriously and that we are keen to pass on God’s love and care to those in need. We know God as Father. It is totally inconceivable that God would want some of His children to starve to death, while others have too much.

God is generous to us – in return we need to be generous to others. We have many opportunities to do that, amongst these are the Christian Aid harvest appeal, for those whose harvests have failed or who have had very poor harvests. I know that we all struggle to raise funds to meet our outgoings, so perhaps we could consider just giving a part of our Harvest Festival collections to the Christian Aid harvest appeal? The great thing about Christian Aid is that they ensure that the right kind of help is provided. Christian Aid is not about handouts. It is about restoring self-worth and human dignity, of both the person who gives and the person who receives. Christian Aid funded projects work by meeting with local community groups, or with individual families, and looking at what skills the people have and agreeing on what income-generating work they might take up. The funding is there to provide start-up costs for necessities such as machinery or seeds. They also help to look for markets for the produce. When we buy fair trade products, now available in supermarkets, we help at the other end of the production line, ensuring that the producers receive a fair return. On the first Saturday of each month, at 10.00am, we have a fair trade shop and coffee morning in the Benefice Hall next to Wickhambrook church. Why not come along and enjoy the opportunity to have a chat over a cup of coffee and also take a look at the range of lovely fair trade goods, which are available to buy?

Every year we celebrate Harvest Thanksgiving but, when our abundant harvest makes us so grateful that we want to reach out to the hungry and thirsty, then we are truly thankful.

With every blessing.


Rev'd Stephen Abbott