At the launch of this year's Fairtrade Fortnight celebrations, more than 1,000 people from many denominations squeezed into Canterbury Cathedral for an evening of African music, drumming and dance on Saturday. At the heart of the celebration was a performance of the Congolese Mass - the Missa Luba - by the Maridadi singers and drummers, local churches & school children and soloist, Angeline Kanagasooriam. The festive spirit of African music filled the ancient cathedral, as singers and dancers from 'Music for Change' engaged the audience in African rhythm and song. Speaking on behalf of Christian Aid, Holly Ellson said: "Every time you choose to buy Fairtrade, you may be adding a slight cost to your shopping budget. But because of your decision, somebody on the other side of the world has just received a fair wage for their hard work. Your purchase speaks of your refusal to exploit the poor." She continued: "The bishop may lead us and encourage us, but he can't do our shopping for us! We all need to respond individually and, as part of this movement for justice, change the world in our own shopping baskets." Canterbury's Anglican Diocesan Synod voted overwhelmingly last May to support the campaign for Canterbury to become a Fairtrade Diocese. Over 50 parishes have already pledged to use exclusively Fairtrade tea and coffee. Only 35 more parish pledges are required to attain Fairtrade status. "Put your Faith in Fairtrade" 'is the key message of the campaign. Canterbury has excellent reasons to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight. Canterbury District has just been declared as the 150th Fairtrade Town in the country and the first Fairtrade District in Kent. The University of Kent has recently attained Fairtrade University status and Canterbury Cathedral has also been recognised as a Fairtrade Church.
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