Just after publishing a notice from Hythe about their new effort at recycling, Kent Bylines received a Press Release from Sam Angel at TerraCycle recently about their new collection point in Faversham.
Virtue-signalling radiates in the wording. “hard to recycle items…not included in kerbside collections…keeping them out of landfill”. Having published an article on the Allington incinerator last year, Kent Bylines is puzzled how TerraCycle is going to get enough of these items when according to KCC all the items we put in the grey bins (which include unrecyclable floppy plastics) goes to Allington where the waste generates electricity. However, read on below the notice…there might be more to this story from Mr Angel.
National Shrine of Saint Jude raises money by recycling the “unrecyclable”
- The National Shrine of Saint Jude is encouraging local residents to help them raise money by recycling “hard to recycle items”.
- The Shrine collects items that are not included in council kerbside recycling collections to send them to TerraCycle for recycling, keeping them out of landfill.
- Local residents are encouraged to bring their items to the Shrine Office (part of the National Shrine of Saint Jude) on Tanners Street, Faversham, to help raise funds that go towards the work of the Shrine.
The National Shrine of Saint Jude in Faversham, Kent is raising money by collecting and recycling “unrecyclable” items from the community. The Shrine has signed up to several free recycling programmes which enables residents and visitors to bring everyday items to the drop-off point to be recycled.
The items collected include cheese packaging, Pringles tubes and Lavazza coffee capsules. These items are not included in council kerbside recycling collections so have traditionally been destined for landfill or incineration. Once dropped off at the Shrine Office, the items are sent to TerraCycle, the world leader in recycling hard-to-recycle waste.
Wheer theer’s muck…
For every item collected, TerraCycle points are earned which are redeemed as monetary donations which the National Shrine of Saint Jude donates to the upkeep of the site, its Garden of Hope, and maintenance of public facilities – as well as helping communities around the world.
The drop-off point can be found at 34 Tanners Street, Faversham, Kent and is open to the community between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Local residents are encouraged to bring their “unrecyclable” items to the location to be recycled and help support this 68-year-old Shrine’s fundraising efforts.
Nichola May, administrator of the drop-off location commented:
“The money we raise through these recycling programmes is hugely important. Since 1955, donations received at the Shrine of Saint Jude have enabled the charity to support the presence and ministries of the Carmelite Friars in Great Britain and worldwide.”
The collected items are sent to TerraCycle and are recycled by shredding, cleaning and turning into plastic pellets which can then be used by manufacturers to create new generic plastic products, such as outdoor equipment – reducing the need to extract new resources from the planet.
“We encourage everyone in the area to get involved and sort, save and bring the items we can recycle to the Shrine. It’s a great way to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill, and it also helps raise funds for a great cause. Thank you.”
The National Shrine of St Jude has signed up to programmes including the Cathedral City Cheese Packaging, Babybel, Pringles Tube and Lavazza Eco Caps Free Recycling Programmes. You can find a full list of what the Shrine can accept on their website: https://www.stjude Shrine.org.uk/other-ways-donate.
For more information about TerraCycle, or to get involved and help the National Shrine of Saint Jude with their recycling efforts, head to https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB.
Now read on about St. Jude, the Shrine and the Carmelites
Why are these friars getting involved in recycling? Admittedly “recycling the unrecyclable” is a good PR phrase, with religious resonance. St. Jude is known as the patron saint of lost causes and hopeless cases …the unrecyclables. He was one of the 12 apostles, probably Judas Thaddeus.
The shortest epistle in the New Testament is by Jude, “brother of James”. Its 23 verses are mostly hellfire warnings against people who have wormed their way in to the Christian community. However, it ends with a rather beautiful prayer to “the One who can keep you from falling and set you in the presence of his glory.”
Legend has it that Jude Thaddeus healed the ruler of Edessa, and also that he was martyred around AD 65, hence often depicted holding the axe that killed him. Both the Eastern Orthodox churches and Western Catholics have a day in their calendars for St Jude. Along with St Bartholomew, he is a patron saint of Armenia, in legend the first Christian missionaries there.
In the list of dedications of historic churches in the Church of England, Jude comes far down the list at only 32. Actually, the notion of St Jude as the patron of the hopeless only started to grow in French and German Catholicism from the 18th century, and it has become very popular. I used to encounter drink-ravaged individuals in shelters for the homeless who would reverently display their St Jude tokens.
I now know the source of those tokens – the National Shrine of St Jude at Faversham, which was started there in 1955 by a Carmelite friar, Elias Lynch.
Who are the Carmelites, and why do they have charity status?
The name comes from Mount Carmel in Palestine, where, at the site of the fountain of Elijah, a group of ex-combatant Crusaders changed tack and became devout hermits in about AD 1155, building their chapel dedicated to Mary, and serving pilgrims in the Holy Land.
Forced to relocate by renewed wars, they then spread to other countries – Cyprus, France and then England by 1242, at Alnwick in the north and at Aylesford in Kent. Like their medieval contemporaries, Franciscans and Dominicans, they became mendicant friars, not dependent on gifted estates like the Benedictines, but relying on the alms of the people where they served.
They became known as the Whitefriars, and of course they did start to accumulate property from the wills of the pious. This property, including the London house near Fleet St and the Aylesford friary, was confiscated under Henry VIII.
However, among English recusants, vocations to join the Carmelites persisted, including English women travelling to the Continent to become “discalced” nuns (ie nuns wearing sandals). From the mid nineteenth century there were several attempts to re-establish Carmelite houses in Great Britain. They finally succeeded in coming back to Kent in 1926, to help with local RC parishes.
There was also a yearning to re-establish a centre at Aylesford, and finally in 1949 the order was able to gain back the very same friary property that had been confiscated in 1538! They also took over Allington Castle as a Retreat Centre at the same time. So very much in the vanguard of Roman Catholic expansion in England.
New lamps for old?
So, would I give my plastics to this charitable cause? My view tends to be that any religious faith should be financed by its own believers. In the Church of England, this means mainly financed by the faith of past believers, now dead, who have bequeathed to us hundreds of very beautiful churches and cathedrals that are expensive to maintain.
There is a difference between giving to the Salvation Army at Christmas because you know the service they do among the homeless and giving to sustain the mission (preaching) or the religious structures. But, in practice, it is difficult to separate them: the people who do the service are inspired by the spirituality and need some modicum of structure and buildings from which to do it.
Roman Catholics, especially Carmelites with their strong Marian devotion, are rather good at gaining income from religious trading in souvenirs. A quick glance at what can be bought at the Shrine of St Jude, Faversham, reveals a catalogue of pious paraphernalia, from pocket images to wearable tokens.
Archaeology of ancient religious sites shows that this instinct to craft prayer into tangible, wearable objects pre-dates Christianity. Such trade is essential to the economy of any pilgrim site – including medieval Canterbury as much as the modern Faversham Carmelites.
One can mock such Disneyfication of religion, but it is important to realise that Carmelites have included some leading intellectual and theological leaders including women like St Theresa of Ávila and Edith Stein. During the Nazi period in Europe, there were a number of outstanding Carmelite priests who resisted Nazism and perished in the death camps. For £267, one can take a five-module course at St Patrick’s Maynooth, Ireland, about these Carmelite thinkers.
Coming back to the National Shrine of St Jude in Faversham, there is a beautiful account of a recent visit there by Marguerite Cooke at www.stjosephsbedford.org who reports “The Church and Shrine are under the expert care of the Carmelite Order. The fine church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel looks unusual outside as it was once a Quaker school and then became a cinema.” Beside this, there is a spacious attractive garden beside a stream. She writes, “A visit here brings peace and contentment to all the pilgrims, many of whom are seeking help with distressing problems.”
So, thank you, Mr Angel, for bringing our attention to this place of pilgrimage in Kent. But I am still puzzled as how the friars hope to get enough plastics for TerraCycle when the local refuse trucks collect the same for the Allington waste centre.