The Rector writes ‘’Lent begins this Wednesday! This year I have included in this Linksheet a lovely idea for Lent. ‘Less Plastic for Lent’ has great suggestions for each of the 40 days which will be good for our environment as well as our souls (thank you to the Anglican Communion Environmental Network Green Anglicans Group for the idea).
Something else you might like to do during Lent is get a daily email from Christian Aid Ireland ? ‘Footprints’ , is a daily bible reading and reflection written by a wide variety of people (and I was delighted to be asked to write one…my day is March 27th so if you sign up for emails, watch for it!) To sign up, just go to www.christianaid.ie/lent-easter-appeal/footprints-journey-through-lent-christian-aid
Another good idea is to set up a Box or Bag and each day of Lent, put in one item you no longer want or need, then at Easter, give the bag to one of local Charity Shops…… ‘
SPONSOR A SLATE!
St John’s Church is in need of repair to its roof. 100 slates will need to be purchased at a cost of €4 each. If anyone would like to purchase one -or more!- please contact Henry Forbes on 087-2035000.
Check out the progress on the Fundraising Thermometer on the Parish Hall Noticeboard!
St Patrick’s Eve service as Gaeilge will this year be celebrated in Dunmanway Church of Ireland at 8pm on Saturday 16th March. Monkstown Chamber choir will lead the music and will be accompanied by some members of St Luke’s Church Choir, Douglas. All parishioners are welcome to come along and join in the evening in this historic Church.
Anam Cara Cork, the organisation that supports bereaved parents, is holding a Parent Evening on Wednesday 6th March at 7:20pm in the Clayton Hotel, Silver Springs, Tivoli, Cork. This event is free and open to all bereaved parents regardless of the age your child died, the circumstances of their death, or whether their death was recent or not.
4th Mar Littlies + One 10-12 Parish Hall.
6th March Ash Wednesday
10:30am Holy Communion St Mary’s Church
7:30pm Holy Communion St Mary’s Church
7th March Confirmation Class 5-6:30pm Rectory
Select Vestry Meeting 8pm Rectory
9th March Parish Retreat Day ‘Wellsprings’ 10-15:30 Parish Hall
10th March Sunday Club 11am Parish Hall
Youth Club 7pm Parish Hall
Choral Evensong 7pm St John’s Church
13th March Lenten Study 8pm Parish Hall (following 7:30 Evening Prayer in St Mary’s Church).
14th March Friendship Club 11am Rectory
16th March Whist Night 8:30pm Canon McCrea Hall
29th March Mothers’ Union Candlelit Evening 8pm Parish Hall
31st March United Service 11:15am St Mary’s Church
Random Notes No. CCXCIII
Many years ago, on a work trip to Australia, I stopped over in Singapore for 24 hours on my return flight. This was a nice no-cost option for Singapore Airlines business class travellers at the time. I decided to sign up for a coach trip to the fishing village of Kukup in Johor Bahu. This involved crossing the strait from Singapore to enter Malaysia.
On the way to Kukup we stopped at a rubber plantation. We saw how rubber is extracted as a sap from trees and then treated to become the substance we’re familiar with. The plantation also had cacao plants. Cacao is a purplish fruit which is the basis of all chocolate. The fruit tastes, not surprisingly, of unsweetened chocolate.
We went on to Kukup, which is built entirely on stilts over water. You could see the sea through the bowl of the public toilet. Also, the local bar, where we stopped for a drink, sold Guinness, which is brewed in Malaysia.
Back to chocolate: I love the stuff, especially Cadbury’s, Lindt and the unsweetened varieties sold in Lidl. Cadbury has had a long and proud history of manufacturing in Ireland and of course the UK. In 2012 Cadbury was bought by Kraft, which then became Mondelez. (Ferrero, which has a Tictac factory in Cork, was the losing bidder.)
Prior to the sale, Cadbury had a policy of using Fairtrade ingredients in its manufacture. Subsequent to the sale, Mondelez and Fairtrade continued to co-operate in building a sustainable cocoa growing programme for its Dairy Milk products. However, in 2016, Mondelez chose to develop its own Cocoa Life sustainability scheme and the Fairtrade logo was moved from the front to the rear of Cadbury’s packaging. This seems like a weakening of Fairtrade standards and in fact it is. However, what is going on is a little more complex.
Fairtrade itself is now working directly in partnership with Cocoa Life and Mondelez to expand their sustainable cocoa grower’s programme. Fairtrade states that this partnership has permitted it to increase fivefold the amount of cocoa grown in a sustainable and equitable fashion. Also, the scope of the project now includes all Cadbury products. What has been lost is Fairtrade’s minimum price guarantee to growers, but it maintains that cocoa farmers are, on balance, no worse off.
Food sustainability branding is a complex business and can be confusing for consumers. For example, the Rainforest Alliance sustainability brand sets lower standards than Fairtrade. Nevertheless, while I was initially disappointed with the Mondelez decision concerning Fairtrade, the partnership with Cocoa Life appears to be beneficial.
For more information on the partnership between Fairtrade and Cocoa Life, see http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/get%20involved//Current-campaigns/Cocoa-Life-FAQs.
The following Oxfam web page illustrates the 10 multinationals that control almost all food and beverage brands: https://ourfuture.org/20170105/oxfam-ten-multinational-corporations-control-most-food-brands.