History of JustShare:
In the early 2000s, there were a couple of years of violent, anarchic May Day protests targeting the City, financial services institutions and the representations of “globalization” such as McDonalds. At this stage, there was still the view that globalization could go either way and in particular the impact could be minimized. Within the Diocese of London, there were a group of Christians who while they didn’t agree with the methods of raising awareness of these issues, did feel they had a point and needed to speak up for those who were being marginalised as a result of this growing globalization and losing livelihoods and income . So, they organised a peaceful rally on the steps of the Royal Exchange. While the Corporation of London didn’t offer any direct support, nor did they raise any objections. Over time, other things became attached to the rally such as a debate afterwards but it was felt that a debate on social justice issues once a year wasn’t sufficient.
St Mary le Bow, in the heart of the City of London and near to the Royal Exchange, had always had a debating tradition. Soon after the current rector took up his post he was invited to join the Just Share steering group. JustShare, which was already hosting occasional seminars and debates 2 or 3 times a year was looking for a permanent church ‘home base’ in the heart of the City, and St Mary le Bow was eager to develop and sustain its social justice and debating activities. In this way with the active engagement of all parties concerned, St Mary le Bow became the official home for “JustShare” following which the organisation took on a more streamlined, but more focused, shape to minister much more regularly throughout the year at the heart of the City of London to the financial, business and economic sectors. JustShare developed an ever strong relationship with Fairtrade and was influential in the Corporation of London gaining Fairtrade status and then collaborated with the Diocese Campaign. For 4-5 years, JustShare focussed on debates but there was a growing feeling that there needed to be a stronger voice of Christian Social and Political thought in the City and so then started a lecture series too.
The steering group of JustShare comes from a range of Christian denominations – CAFOD (Catholic Development Agency), United Reformed Church, Anglicans as well as organisations such as Christian Aid. More recently, there has been a push for JustShare to “put its money where its mouth is” and show direct involvement in the lives of those often marginalised by society. So there was a growing feeling to devise a financial product to promote the justice vision. With the support of the Bishops of London, Mozambique and Angola Arcubus - a microfinance fund, was developed to channel investments and donations from City workers to provide small loans and business training for micro-entrepreneurs living in poverty in Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi and Kenya.
The JustShare Steering Group members are:
The Revd George Bush (St Mary-le-Bow), Geoff Duncan (URC), Rob Gordon (St Paul's Institute), Stephanie Hubbard (Christian Aid), Jeremy Martin (Bank of England),The Revd Bertand Olivier (All Hallows by the Tower), The Revd Alison Warner (St John’s Waterloo), Neville White (Ecclesiastical Investment Management Ltd), Wilf Wilde (Author), The Revd Paul Zaphiriou (Bishop’s Adviser for CSR), Alison Warner
Co-ordinator: Rachel Lindley
Communications: Rachel Payling
Download the 2010 Annual Report
Download the 2011 Annual Report