Download Annual Review 2010
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 McDonald's. 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 JustShare 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.
At this point, the organisation took on a more streamlined, but focused, approach to minister much more regularly throughout the year. JustShare developed an ever strong relationship with Fairtrade and was influential in the Corporation of London gaining Fairtrade status in 2007 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. In 2009, these lectures were initiated by former Labour MP Tony Benn and have been running ever since.
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 charity, 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. Learn more about Arcubus here.
Current JustShare Steering Group members are:
Jeremy Martin (Senior Economist, Bank of England)
The Revd Bertand Olivier (Vicar, All Hallows by the Tower Church)
Clare Paine (London Church Coordinator, Christian Aid)
The Revd George Bush (Rector, St Mary-le-Bow Church)
Martin Sargeant (Archdeacon of London's Head of Operations, City of London)
Neville White (Head of SRI Policy & Research, EdenTree Investment Management Ltd)
The Revd Paul Zaphiriou (Bishop’s Adviser for CSR, Vicar Hope Church Islington)
Robert Gordon (Manager, St Paul's Institute)
Simon Perfect (PCC representative, St James’ Church, Piccadilly and Associate Tutor SOAS)
Dr Wilf Wilde (Economist and author, Fellow - Durham University)
JustShare Coordinators: Tricia Howey and Emily Brown
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