In the first meeting of its kind, Rabbis from seven Liberal Jewish communities met with Methodist and Catholic Ministers to discuss plans for the Living Wage to be rolled out across faith communities in the UK.
Rabbis from Liberal Judaism, on Thursday 27th February, met with Methodist and Catholic Ministers to plan the next steps in their shared commitment to the promotion of the Living Wage in a brunch meeting hosted by Methodist Central Hall, location of the first General Assembly of the United Nations. They were hosted by Rev. Martin Turner, Superintendent Minister.
The Living Wage campaign, described by PM David Cameron as ‘an idea whose time has come,’ calls for businesses and organisations that can, to pay the Living Wage, which is an independent and robust calculation aligned to the basic cost of living in the UK. In London the Living Wage is £8.80 an hour, while outside London it is £7.65.
Christian communities have long been instrumental in its success. In 2012 the Church of England General Synod decided to “strongly encourage all Church of England institutions to pay at least the Living Wage”, whilst the Roman Catholic Church Conference of the Bishops of England and Wales “fully endorsed the principles of the Living Wage” and are working with all communities to implement it. All Methodist churches, districts, circuits and projects have been required to pay the Living Wage since 2010.
2013 marked the first British synagogue to become Living Wage accredited, and Liberal Judaism has been the first synagogal movement to commit to the campaign. Today is the first time that Christian and Jewish leaders have come together explicitly to learn from each other’s work.
Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism, said:
“The demand for a living wage is a practical method to create a society where every individual is valued. We are trying to make sure all our communities sign up to adopting the living wage by our next biennial meeting in May. How could a Liberal synagogue committed to the social justice of our founders not do so?”
Sam Grant, Liberal Judaism’s communities youth coordinator, said:
“Liberal Judaism has a proud history of fighting for fair labour wages. It is a historical commandment as well as a modern moral imperative. We were delighted to work together with Citizens UK on this and hope the campaign will inspire Liberal Jews to act.”
Liberal Judaism is working in partnership with Citizens UK, a charity which works to develop the capacity and skills of communities so they can improve their neighbourhood and participate more fully in society.
Charlotte Fischer, Citizens UK’s community organiser with the Jewish community, said:
“Ten years ago the Living Wage campaign was being built on the backs of Citizens UK member churches and mosques in East London, and as it enters a new stage with the backing of the Prime Minister, the Mayor of London and the Leader of the Opposition, it is wonderful to see the Jewish community add their voices to the campaign.”
Reverend Paul Regan, Chair of the Social Responsibility Commission of the London Methodist District, said:
“Today’s meeting was a great opportunity for us to share our learning about the Living Wage, and the positive impact we know it has had for communities and for businesses. Working together we can spread the positive message about the Living Wage and help tackle in-work poverty and the problems this causes for hard-working families.”
For more information or photographs please call Charlotte Fischer, Citizens UK community organiser on m: 079000 65941 or Gillian Owen, Citizens UK head of media on m: 078762 46150.
Citizens UK works to develop the capacity and skills of socially and economically disadvantaged communities so that their members are better able to identify and help meet their own needs; improve their neighbourhood; and participate more fully in society.
- Has trained over 7,000 community leaders in the art and practice of community organising and leadership.
- Supports 35 professional Organisers working with over 300 local institutions – schools, colleges, faith groups, trade union branches, diaspora communities, health centres and traders associations.
- Co-ordinates major campaigns like the Living Wage Campaign now delivering £200m in higher wages to 45,000 families across the UK; Citizens for Sanctuary which has persuaded the Home Office to invest more than £750,000 in the renovation of the UK’s largest immigration centre; CitySafe, an urban project linking community-rooted organisations with youth and shopkeepers, which has created 600 CitySafe havens across the capital; and an Olympics Legacy campaign which has negotiated a series of Peoples’ Guarantees including a £2m local academy for construction workers.