Celebrating Living Wage Week 2023!

We’re marking Living Wage Week 2023 in two ways:

  1. Saying THANKYOU to all our churches that currently accredit to pay the London Living Wage. If you’re an accredited church, please look out for a personal letter from Bishop Sarah!

  2. Encouraging all our churches to accredit as Living Wage Employers. We know many churches already pay at least the London Living Wage if not more. So why not become accredited to celebrate that?

Q: How many churches currently accredit as London Living Wage Employers?

A: Not very many! Currently 14 Diocese of London churches and church organisations are accredited. The map from July 2023 is here

Living Wage Churches July 2023

We know a lot more churches than this already pay the London Living Wage, providing a dignified income for their staff.

If that is you, but you aren’t yet on our map of Living Wage Employers…why not consider it for this year?

Q: What is the London Living Wage?

The real Living Wage, set by the Living Wage Foundation, remains the only wage rates independently calculated based on what people need to live on.

This year the rate increased by 10% in the UK, reflecting persistently high costs for low paid workers. It is voluntarily paid by over 14,000 UK businesses who believe their staff deserve a wage which meets everyday needs - like the weekly shop, or a surprise trip to the dentist.

The new rate was announced on 24th October 2023.

  • the London Living Wage is now £13.15 per hour.
  • outside of London The UK Living Wage is now £12 per hour.

These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in the UK and in London. 

Q: Isn’t accrediting a big faff, expensive and lots of paperwork?

The quick answer is NO!

It involves filling in an application form, (a licencing agreement) that needs to be refreshed each year. For small or medium size churches, the cost is £60. The Living Wage Foundation will help you along the way, with advice and support.

However, we’d encourage accreditation to be a journey to be taken by the whole PCC, rather than tick box exercise! That way it’s embedded into the mission and ministry of the church and something that everyone sees the value of. So the first step is to put it on a PCC meeting agenda.

We’ve put together a guide for PCCs for the 5 steps to accreditation for churches, along with some FAQs. Download it below.

Revd James Hughesdon, vicar of St Marys, Islington, talks about why it was so important for the churches he has led to be Living Wage Accredited, and how they went about it:

Q: Why should we accredit to the Living Wage? isn’t it enough that we pay a decent wage?

A: yes of course paying a dignified wage to those we employ is of utmost important. But letting others know this is something that is of value to you as a church is also important. It’s an act of witness and worship; it’s a way of communicating our Christian values & mission, of “walking the walk” in tackling poverty, and in playing our part in building the more just world that God desires.

Revd Canon Dr Angus Ritchie explains the biblical imperative and history of churches involvement with the Living Wage movement:

Q: where do we go to start?

A: The Living Wage foundation are there to support all organisations that are seeking to accredit.

Lydia Reddyhoff from the Living Wage Foundation explains a little of the background to the Living Wage, the practical benefits of accrediting, and what accrediting looks like

St Katherine Cree, a church in the heart of the City of London that is a real champion of the Living Wage has put together this simple guide for churches- download it here:

Want to get more involved?

During Living Wage Week, churches and other Living Wage employers will be celebrating their impact.

  • This includes a special celebration service at St Katherine Cree church in the City of London on Saturday 4th November at 5pm. All are welcome join. More details are here.

  • A Toolkit for Churches around the Living Wage including prayers and reflections has been compiled by Revd Dr Canon Angus Ritchie, with forewords by Bishops of London, Southwark and Chelmsford. This can be downloaded here
  • “How the London Living Wage Could Lift 50,000 Londoners out of Poverty”

A talk from 2018 from Tim Thorlby, who was at the time CEO of “Clean for Good”, London’s first Living Wage cleaning company on the collective impact of the Living Wage.