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The Living Wage Campaign – started over a decade ago by religious and civic groups in East London – has had a huge impact on the lives of low-income families, raising the wages of over 300,000 workers, and putting over £500 million into their pockets in London alone. From being dismissed as 'unrealistic', it has grown into a national movement supported by political leaders, implemented by the Mayor of London, and recognised as having a robust business case by companies like Barclays Bank and KPMG.

It is important to recognise the central role of churches and other faith communities from the very start of the Living Wage Campaign. There would be no Living Wage without the thousands of people of faith who have organised together for change. Faith communities have provided the majority of organised local people who made the Living Wage possible. Christian social teaching is a key motivation for the campaign; the Bible is clear that the earth belongs first to God and that its fruits need to be distributed in a way that ensures everyone has dignity and the material as well as spiritual means to flourish.

Why accredit?

Churches that take the step to accredit as Living Wage Employers are not only ensuring that those working in the church are paid a wage that can meet the cost of living at a time when this is more important than ever: accrediting is also a public symbolic action, positioning the Church as a force for good in the community that it serves, and as an organization that is ‘walking the walk’ in tackling local poverty. It is an expression of solidarity with low paid workers, and also commits ourselves to continuing to ensure we pay our employees and contractors a living wage in the future and not only today.

How do we accredit?

The cost of accreditation for Churches starts at just £60 annually. In order to accredit as a Living Wage Employer, the Church must:

  1. Confirm that its directly employed staff are being paid the current Living Wage rates;

  2. Have a plan in place to extend the living wage to include any third-party staff;

  3. The final step is to complete a Licence Agreement which will be shared after enquiring about accreditation, which sets out your commitments.

Once accredited, the Church will appear on the Living Wage Foundation’s website as a Living Wage Employer, as well as on a localised map, and will be able to proudly share the Living Wage logo and take part in celebrations in Living Wage Week and beyond.

To begin the accreditation process, visit the Living Wage Foundation.

Typically, smaller Churches can expect to be accredited within one month of applying.

You can also encourage your local Church of England School to pay and accredit as a living wage employer. Through accreditation, schools are making a commitment to tackle in-work poverty in their communities. They are ensuring that all staff are paid at least the Living Wage and are independently calculated.

To read more about the Living Wage from a Christian perspective, last year's Citizens UK and CTC guide to celebrating Living Wage Week in your church is available to download:

Living Wage week church toolkit
Download PDF • 640KB


This week the new Sheriffs of London were admitted to office for 2023-4. This ancient office was historically responsible for maintaining order in the City of London and enforcing justice. You can read more about them here.

This year, one of the two Sheriffs elected is Alderwoman Dame Sue Langley DBE of Aldgate Ward where St Katharine Cree is located. Like the team who came to restart St Katharine Cree's ministry as a Guild Church to Workers in recent years, Sue comes originally from the East End of London. She has had a successful career in insurance - one of the main industries in our part of the City - and public service. Sue is passionate about widening opportunity in the City, and has set herself a target of reaching at least 1,000 young people who otherwise would not consider a City career.

Each Sheriff appoints an Honorary Chaplain for the year, a role which combines civic responsibilities and pastoral ministry as part of the Sheriff's team for the year. The Revd Josh Harris, Priest of St Katharine Cree, has been asked to serve as Sue's Chaplain and we, as a Church, will be praying for her and supporting her over this coming year. Josh's role will take around a day a week, both for the civic events the role involves (a lot of saying Grace and processing!) but more significantly working to help Sue achieve her aim of making a difference for those on the margins of the City.

We share with Sue her priority of extending opportunity to as many as possible - and we know from our own community of workers and worshippers here how this has to go hand in hand with promoting fairness and justice, so that everyone is free to take the opportunities available.

One of the ways we will work together with Sue is raising the profile of the Living Wage in the City of London. There is no place more capable of paying every single worker a wage they can live on than here in the most successful and prosperous business district in the world. We look forward to convening civic and business leaders during Living Wage Week in November to discuss ways of promoting the Living Wage.

One of our goals at the Guild Church for Workers in the City of London is raising the profile of significant parts of the City workforce who are essential for the City's prosperity and success but are often overlooked. As Josh explained in his Lion Sermon, St Katharine’s ministry recognises the place of workers who are socially and economically marginalised within London's economy, but on whose work our collective prosperity and success depends - like cleaners, security guards, and carers:

Prosperity is sustained not by building walls around our own kingdoms of comfort, but weaving together the many diverse strands of the modern City into seamless and strong relationships of trust and dependability. We all have our different vulnerabilities; but we all have strengths to offer; we all have a part to play. On the foundation of solidarity we can build a better future beyond crisis.

We look forward to working with Sheriff and Alderwoman Sue Langley, and all people of peace, as we seek together the shared prosperity of this City.

Please pray for Sue, her husband Gary, for Josh as he serves as Chaplain, and for our ministry and community here at St Katharine Cree.

Dr Claire Moll Namas, one of our chaplaincy team, reflects on the development of worship in other languages at St Katharine Cree...

St. Katharine Cree has begun celebrating a Spanish language mass occurring on the first Saturday of each month. From 12noon to 1pm the church echoes with the joyous sounds of the song "Pescador de Hombre". However, this initiative was not led by the clergy or staff. In the winter people from across our life at the church, from our ESOL students, to members of the union, to participants in our women's leadership course, all who had first arrived to the building of St. Katharine Cree ostensibly to benefit from our more secular programming, began to ask if we celebrated mass in Spanish on a Sunday. We explained that we didn't, but if mass is something that they might be interested in, we could explore options. Taking a lead from the community, we began a listening campaign focused on exploring the spiritual needs of those coming into the building for any sort of activity. Overwhelmingly the feedback was that people wanted a Bible Study and a mass in their first language.

The Bible Study took place over lent after our morning ESOL class and had a very dedicated group of women. They discussed forgiveness--what the Bible has to say about it, how God and Jesus exemplify it, and how we might implement that sort of forgiveness in our everyday lives.

As for the mass, it quickly garnered 20-30 regular participants. People from across Latin America, all migrant workers in London, gather to receive communion or an anointing of the sick. Many of the congregants are returning to the communal practice of their faith for the first time in years. We know that shift work, often managing multiple jobs, plus the cotidian struggles of family life mean that many low-wage workers have to forgo weekly gatherings like this. Keeping unsociable hours often means a forced separation from partaking in the sacred meal of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. But now, at least once a month, those coming for ESOL or the union meetings can once again access this intimate communal moment.

One woman remarked after the first Spanish language mass, "I finally knew the words to the mass again!" There is very much a spirit of returning to faith happening at St. Katharine Cree in this moment of time. It is a joy for the team to be accompanying so many in this re-encounter. We all have a language of our hearts, and it is in that language that we long to connect with God.

At St. Katharine Cree, we are looking towards the future, and as we partner with more people who have first languages other than Spanish, we hope to build up worshiping communities in those languages as well. Stay tuned for the mass in Albanian or the Ukrainian language Bible Study! As we continue to work to build the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth, we expect our building to become filled with many types of songs of praise--all united in the mission to worship God, welcome our neighbours, and challenge injustice as the Guild Church for Workers.

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