Working for Social Justice

As a parish, we look to support our neighbours, both locally and globally, through our giving and by raising awareness of need. We also regularly support several initiatives to promote social justice in a variety of ways. Click on the links below to find out more.

We are also intensely aware that the effects of the climate emergency are being felt most severely by those already on the margins of safe and secure society. So this is a driving force for our Eco Activity.

We are a Fair Trade parish, committed to using Fair Trade coffee, tea and other products wherever possible. For many years (apart from those pandemic months) we have been holding monthly stalls of Traidcraft products at St Mary’s and St John’s in Kidlington, using this opportunity to spread the word about the Fair Trade movement. We have also run Traidcraft stalls in the wider community from time to time, for example at the local Girl Guide Fayres. Now that we are no longer able to get supplies from Traidcraft our close links with the Fairtrade shop in Headington have proved a lifeline. They offer us a range of interesting items on a “sale-or-return” basis whenever we want to run a stall, giving us opportunities for introducing a much wider variety of items for people to try.

Fair Trade activities in the Parish are run by a small committee which is always keen to recruit more members. For further information about Fair Trade, please click on this link to the Fair Trade Website.

If you would like more information, please email Jill via the Parish Office.

Members of our congregations support our local foodbank with regular gifts of food, money and help as well as collecting Harvest offerings for them.  The North Oxfordshire Community Foodbank was formed, more than 10 years ago, by members of local Christian churches, with the aim of providing food parcels for people within the Kidlington, Woodstock, Chipping Norton and Charlbury area.  The parcels contain essential food for individuals or families in case of emergency, covering the time it takes for other social care infrastructure to come into play. Clients are also able to have “extras” including domestic items, per food etc.

Kidlington Baptist Church provides facilities for the foodbank distribution centre every Friday, where parcels are given out to those coming with vouchers and prepared for transfer to the other centres in Woodstock and Chipping Norton. 

The foodbank continued to collect and distribute food supplies throughout the pandemic and is obviously still very busy, given the current economic situation. They are very grateful for all the generous support from the local community and shops. Their close links with the Oxford Food Hub mean they are also able to offer fresh food such as eggs, fruit and vegetables, bread and cake.

If you would like more information, please email Margaret via the Parish Office.

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The Gatehouse is a drop-in centre in Oxford where homeless and poorly- housed people can go every evening and receive food and practical help, with advisors always available.

St Mary’s Kidlington and St John’s had a food collection once a month, which included made-up loaves of sandwiches, homemade cakes, fruit and store cupboard items for use in the centre. And we had a rota of drivers to deliver the contributions to the Gatehouse on that day. At Christmas we also send gifts of new, warm clothing, together with large bars of chocolate.

The Gatehouse was not able to open “as normal” during the pandemic, but supported those in need with a variety of initiatives. We look forward to finding new ways we can support them in the future. If you would like more information, please email Margaret via the Parish Office.

Our parish supports the work of the Church Mission Society – CMS – and we have a particular link through the work of Revd Martin Davis’ son and daughter-in-law who work in Jordan.

Fiona and Joel Kelling with Nora and Aidan

For the latest newsletter from Fiona and Joel just click here.

As a result of regional conflict, the indigenous and migrant Christian populations of the Middle East are in need of support. A third of Jordan’s population are refugees from Syria, Iraq and Palestine, and Jordan has become a regional hub for the response to ongoing humanitarian crises.

Joel is working with the Anglican Alliance and the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, covering the dioceses of Cyprus and the Gulf, Egypt and North Africa, Iran, and Jerusalem. He is building the capacity of churches within the region and facilitating the educational, health and youth development activities across the province. He is also strengthening relationships between the diverse Christian communities. Fiona is hoping to use her experience in humanitarian response to support refugee and marginalised populations currently residing in Jordan. She is currently volunteering with the Urban Shalom Society in an administrative role.

Find out more about the Church Mission Society here.