Jonathan and Judith Longhurst are Traidcraft Fairtraders and Jonathan serves as Deanery Fairtrade Ambassador in Chew Magna Deanery.
Jonathan and Judith lived in Ghana for five years when they were first married which gave them an insight into the uncertainty of life in developing countries. For many years living back in the South East of the UK and while working full time as teachers they also gave time to being Area Co-ordinators for Traidcraft, selling and promoting Fairtrade produce at stalls and giving more than 50 talks to inspire students and adults to get involved. They have seen at first hand the difference that fairly traded goods can make by visiting projects in Ghana, India and Kenya. When they retired to Ubley seven years ago, it was only natural that their work would continue.
Jonathan says: “I am motivated to work for a fairer world because of the question ‘Who is my neighbour?’. When I am eating something that someone has grown or admiring the beauty of something that someone has made then that ‘someone’ is my neighbour. We have to respond in a way that shows love to our neighbour.
I have seen at first hand the immense difference that paying a fair price can make to the communities of primary producers. It can mean a roof on a school room or a maternity hospital that is accessible. It means that people live with dignity and respect.
As fairtraders, we enable people in our area to have access to fairly traded goods, we give talks to raise awareness, we use as many fairly traded products as we can at home and we also campaign for fair trade deals by writing to our MP and key politicians. Fairtrade is a really important part of who we are as Christians.”
“The field of the poor may yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice.”
Jonathan’s words and this reading from Proverbs remind us of our core Christian calling to participate in bringing about a fairer, more just world. We are neighbours with those beyond our immediate circle through our dependence on others. By always shopping for the cheapest deals we place immense pressure on the most vulnerable people. Our actions and the decisions that we make in something as mundane as the weekly shop have profound implications for our neighbours across the globe as this short video clip (less than two minutes) demonstrates:
We first shared Jonathan and Judith’s story as part of the Bishops’ Lent Appeal 2017