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65 senior faith leaders call for a real Living Wage in Sunday Times

Today 65 religious leaders including senior figures from the Anglican, Catholic and Methodist Churches, Masorti, Reform and Liberal Jewish movements and the Muslim Council of Britain published a letter in the Sunday Times backing the real Living Wage and citing concern at low pay and in-work poverty “which is damaging family life, and robbing future generations of a secure and stable home.”

The letter comes as celebrations are planned with 4700 employers who are accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, which oversees the real Living Wage rate (currently £8.75) and the London Living Wage (currently £10.20) which are set to rise tomorrow in line with the real cost of Living. The new rates will be announced by the Living Wage Foundation in coordinated ceremonies in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Edinburgh and Cardiff tomorrow with hundreds of business, faith, political and charity leaders who are part of the real Living Wage movement.

New research, released by accountancy firm and Living Wage employer KPMG today, found that one in five workers is paid under a real Living Wage, meaning millions of workers are struggling to stay afloat financially as their wages don’t meet the real cost of Living.

Unlike the Government minimum wage rates, the real Living Wage is independently calculated by economic experts to meet the real cost of living, taking into account multiple factors like transport and housing costs and geographic differences between London and the rest of the UK. Employers who accredit with the Living Wage foundation pay at least the real Living Wage to all workers over 18, including third party contractors.

The letter organised by charity Citizens UK , the founders of the Living Wage campaign has been signed by 65 senior faith leaders. Signatories include 20 Catholic and Anglican Bishops including the RC Archbishop of Birmingham, 30 Rabbis from Liberal, Reform and Masorti Jewish movements, the President and Vice President of the Methodist Church and The Director General of the Muslim Council of Britain Harun Khan.

The Rt Revd Roger Morris, The Bishop of Colchester, a letter signatory said:

“A real Living Wage is put simply, the best route of poverty for working families and all employers should look at paying it if they can. Our churches and community organisations can provide relief to those who reach crisis point, but a far better solution would be for everyone to join in the effort to end poverty and catch people before they fall in the river rather than waiting until they are in real financial trouble to help them out.”

The letter published on the Sunday Times reads as follows:

Dear Sir,

The harm caused by poverty in our country should be a source of national shame. There are now millions of people who work every day but are unable to afford even the basics. This is damaging family life, and robbing future generations of a secure and stable home. 

Our different faiths provide a common teaching, that we cannot turn a blind eye to injustice, and that everyone deserves a chance to live in dignity and security. This is also true of our businesses. The jobs they provide allow many to derive purpose and meaning in their daily lives, but too many are paying their workers too little and leaving them struggling to stay afloat. This hurts everyone. 

One solution is the Living Wage, which will rise today to meet the real cost of Living. Good businesses can do the right thing and tomorrow we join in celebration with the 4700 real Living Wage employers who pay staff a wage they can live on.


Rt Revd Rob Wickham, The Bishop of Edmonton

Archbishop Bernard Longley, RC Diocese of Birmingham

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism

Qari Muhammad Asim MBE; Senior Imam Makkah Mosque, Leeds

Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi and Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism

Revd Michaela Youngson, President of the Methodist Conference

Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, The Bishop of Croydon

Matt Plen, Chief Executive, Masorti Judaism

Harun Khan; Director General of The Muslim Council of Britain

Imam Abid Khan, Cheadle Mosque

Rt Revd John Arnold, Catholic Diocese of Salford

Imam Abdul Bassett Muhammed, Newcastle Central Mosque

Rabbi Harry Jacobi, Vice President Liberal Judaism

Major Nick Coke, Salvation Army, Raynes Park Church

Rabbi Warren Elf, Faith Network for Manchester

Rt Revd Terence Patrick Drainey, Bishop of Middlesbrough

Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild, Reform Judaism

Rt Revd Roger Morris, The Bishop of Colchester

Captain John Clifton, Salvation Army Ilford

Rt Revd Seamus Cunningham, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle

Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen, Manchester Reform Synagogue

Rt Revd Richard Moth, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton

Rt Revd Richard Jackson, Bishop of Lewes

Rabbi Rabbi Dr Robert Ash, Lancashire & Cumbria Liberal Jewish Community

Rt Revd Peter Hill, The Bishop of Barking

Rt Revd Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton

Rt Revd Peter Brignall, Bishop of Wrexham

Revd Bala Gnanapragasam, Vice President of the Methodist Conference

Rt Rev Paul McAleenan, Bishop of Westminster

Rabbi Paul Freedman, Radlett Reform Synagogue

Rabbi Oliver Joseph, New North London Synagogue

Rabbi Nathan Godleman, South London Liberal Synagogue

Rabbi Naomi Goldman, Kol Chai Hatch End Reform Jewish Community

Rabbi Miriam Berger, Finchley Reform Synagogue

Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi, Birmingham Progressive Synagogue

Rabbi Larry Tabick, Reform Jewish Community

Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, New London Synagogue

Rabbi Janet Darley, Liberal Judaism

Rabbi Jackie Tabick Reform Beit Din and West Central Liberal synagogue

Rabbi Howard Cooper, Finchley Reform Synagogue

Rabbi Fabian Sborovsky, Cheshire Reform Congregation

Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah, Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue

Rt Revd Dr. Woyin Karowei Dorgu, Bishop of Woolwich

Rabbi Dr Rabbi René Pfertzel, Kingston Liberal Synagogue

Rabbi Dr Michael Hilton, Reform Judaism

Rt Revd Dr John Perumbalath, Bishop of Bradwell   

Rt Revd  Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Loughborough

Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham

Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, Reform Judaism

Rev David Butterworth, Methodist Birmingham District

Rabbi Daniela Thau, Liberal Judaism

Rabbi Daniel Lichman, Reform Judaism

Cantor Zoe Jacobs, Finchley Reform Synagogue

Rev Alison Richard, Birmingham Methodist Circuit

Rev Andrew Dart, Superintendant Minister, Lambeth Methodist Circuit

Rabbi Alexandra Wright, The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London

Rt Revd Alan Williams, Bishop of Brentwood

Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue

Rabbi Roni Tabick, New Stoke Newington Shul

Rt Rev. Paul Hendricks, RC Bishop of Southwark

Rt Rev Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds

Rt Rev Patrick McKinney, RC Bishop of Nottingham

Rev Dr Karl Rutlidge, Kindston and New Malden Methodist Churches

Rt Rev Declan Lang, RC Bishop of Clifton

Rev John Howard, Superintendent Minister, Bangor and Holyhead Methodist Circuit.

Revd Rosemarie E G Clarke, Superintedent Minister, Buckley and Deeside Methodist Circuit

Posted on 4 Nov, 2018