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  • Writer's pictureRevShirleyMurphy

Social justice and the need to engage

On 7th February 2019, I was pleased to attend an event in London which focused on women, faith, social justice and the launch of a sustainable range of clothing for women clergy

The event focused on the theme of Christian women and social justice. The keynote speaker was Chine McDonald, the Media and PR Lead of Christian Aid and a regular contributor to BBC Religious & Ethics Programmes. She spoke about her own vision of equipping the UK churches for mission in order to help the world’s most vulnerable women and children. Drawing on her own upbringing in Nigeria, we heard how difficult life is over there for women and children and how much pain, suffering and violence they endure daily.

Chine also spoke about the 19th century reformers Josephine Butler and Jessie Craigen, who fought for social justice, thereby making a difference to the lives of millions of women and children all over the world, even today.

She finally said that we who speak the language of faith must appeal to the hearts and minds of those who hold the power to make decisions in some of those areas that face the biggest hardships. She strongly believes it is our God-given duty to engage with these issues and recognise that we’re called to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. This means we cannot turn away when we hear of children or women facing unimaginable suffering. Our faith compels us to do something.

The evening ended with the official launch of "The Sustainable Collection". Sustainability, traceability and alleviating poverty are at the heart of Watts & Co’s exclusive collaboration with the Church Urban Fund (CUF). This collection features clothing for women clergy, all of which has been made in England using organic cotton jersey. The Global Organic Textile Standard certified cotton was woven and dyed at a mill in Leicester and later sewn by a team of talented craftspeople in Watts’ Westminster workroom.

The work of the CUF essentially revolves around a desire to increase the resilience of individuals and therefore the sustainability of communities. With their collaboration with Watts & Co, and through this collection, they will help bring long-term change to impoverished communities. 10% of every item sold will go towards the work of the CUF.

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