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Wading in on the Living Wage debate

It has been a difficult week for the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby after it emerged some Cathedral staff are paid little more than the minimum wage. This was despite a high profile statement issued by him and his fellow bishops calling for the widespread adoption of a Living Wage as the best way for employers to treat their workers. It emerged that almost half of the staff at Canterbury Cathedral are not paid the Living Wage of £7.85 per hour, and bosses were advertising for kiosk workers on an hourly rate of just £6.70. The Archbishop admits it was embarrassing for the Church of England to have been caught out, but it’s not the first time the clergy have waded in to the poverty debate. In 2013 they faced ridicule after attacking so called Payday lenders like Wonga.com, only for it to be revealed that the Church had invested in the company. The merits of the clergy engaging in a discussion about low pay and poverty is debatable, especially so close to a general election. They are of course important issues to millions of workers and families who are struggling to make ends meet. But perhaps the Church ought to heed the message of Luke 4:23-30: Physician, heal thyself.

Herne Bay Gazette, February 26th 2015

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