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. Last year we sent food from the Harvest Festivals to our local Foodbank and  Advent gifts went to the Bicester Children and Family Centre (which covers Kidlington), and Home Start Oxford (which also covers Kidlington). At Christmas, donations from our very popular Christingle services went to The Children’s Society. Many members of our parish supported members of the community during the Covid-19 lockdown.

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 a Fair Trade parish, committed to using Fair Trade coffee, tea and other products wherever possible. We have now been able to reintroduce our 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. We also established close links with the Fairtrade shop in Headington, and offered a selection of their goods for sale at some of our monthly church sales.

We are aware that the COVID crisis will have a major impact on developing economies, and realise the need to continue using fairly traded products whenever possible.

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 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. 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 has now been running for 10 years and has seen increasing demand over that time.

The foodbank has continued to collect and distribute food supplies throughout the pandemic, dealing with significantly higher demand thanks to generous support from all the local community.

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 has not been able to open “as normal” during the pandemic, but has been supporting those in need in a variety of ways. These now include a free food and drink provision delivery service to anyone who is vulnerably housed, a free remote and bespoke one-to-one service for adults needing emotional and practical support and a free takeaway café for adults who are homeless Monday – Friday 5-6pm and Sunday 4-5pm. Our monthly Gatehouse collections have not yet resumed but many members of the “team” have been contributing in other ways.

We always welcome more contributions and delivery drivers! 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.

If you would like more information about Joel and Fiona’s work, please email Revd Martin Davis.

Find out more about the Church Mission Society here.