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Westminster celebrates becoming a Fairtrade Diocese

17 February 2021

Wednesday 17 February 2021

The Diocese of Westminster has something to celebrate this Fairtrade Fortnight! More than 50 per cent of the Parishes in the diocese have completed the Parish Fairtrade Award, qualifying as the first Fairtrade Diocese under the benchmark. 

In honour of the award, the international development charity CAFOD – who helped found the Fairtrade Foundation in 1992 – has helped organise an online ‘Celebration and Social’ during Fairtrade Fortnight and all are invited!

CAFOD’s local representative in Westminster, Tony Sheen, said:  

“We are incredibly pleased to receive a Fairtrade Diocese Award and will be marking the occasion throughout Fairtrade Fortnight (22 February – 7 March).

“We’ll be inviting supporters to join events with the Fairtrade Foundation and others, and to host their own wherever possible, as Fairtrade Parishes do every year - although things will inevitably be very much more restricted this year.” 

The Diocese of Westminster first began to work towards the Fairtrade Diocese Award in 2008, with the active support of the Bishops, Justice and Peace Commission and CAFOD.  

In a video message congratulating Westminster parishioners, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said:  

“We know that many of the goods and food that we eat are produced in places where poverty is widespread. So, this sense of having these principles, that the trade should be fair and just is a challenge to all of us. I thank the Fairtrade movement for the way they have highlighted these principles." 

To date, over 500 Catholic parishes across England and Wales have been certified Fairtrade and more than 1.65 million farmers and workers in 74 countries get a better deal because of the scheme.

Sheen concluded: “Fairtrade Fortnight will culminate in our very own online ‘Celebration and Social’ on Friday 5 March at 11 am.

“We will be showing the video by Cardinal Vincent Nichols to mark the occasion, with guest speakers congratulating all those involved, as well as encouraging those Parishes not yet signed up, to complete the Award. 

“Every single person in the Diocese is welcome. We especially want to invite everyone who has been a Fairtrade stallholder or priests, administrators, catechists, parishioners and others involved in gaining the award for their parishes.” 

Notes to Editor: 

For further information and interviews with spokespeople, please contact: Elouise Hobbs,, Mobile: +44 (0)7954 077426, Or, CAFOD’s 24-hour media hotline on +44 (0)7919 301 429