The Sheriff of London
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.