Welby speaks in favour of the Living Wage and tax reform

By staff writers
November 9, 2012

The Rt Rev Justin Welby, who has a strong background in business and finance, has spoken warmly of his support for the Living Wage.

His comments about the issue came at a press conference to announce his appointment to the role of Archbishop of Canterbury in the New Year, and coincide with the inaugural Living Wage week.

Earlier in the week both Labour Leader Ed Miliband and Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson had shown their support for the campaign, which began over a decade ago when churches and other civil society organisations came together under the banner of Citizens UK to campaign for better wages for working people.

The new Archbishop commended the campaign and especially the role that churches have played in winning more than £100 million for the lowest-paid families, noted the Contextual Theology Centre in East London.

After pointing out that his current Diocese of Durham pays staff the Living Wage, Bishop Welby declared: “[It's] an area in which the church has really made a useful social contribution, a really useful one… it’s something we should be shouting about.”

The Archbishop-elect also told Channel 4 television news that he supports ethical banking - he cited the Cooperative Banking as one example - and he said that it was important that taxation was structured so that everybody, notably the corporate sector, "pays a proper contribution to society."

Asked earlier today by the BBC whether he would be 'political', Bishop Welby responded that Christianity meant a strong commitment to social justice alongside presenting the gospel and inviting people to respond to it.

In an interview with the Rev Dr Giles Fraser in the Guardian newspaper earlier this year, Bishop Welby also commented on the global protests about economic injustice, and particularly the camp outside St Paul's Cathedral.

"Occupy reflects a deep-seated sense that there is something wrong, and we need to think very hard about what's wrong... [t]they were right. Absolutely. And everything we are hearing now says that," he declared.

* Contextual Theology Centre: http://faithfulcitizens.wordpress.com/

* Interview: Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, by Giles Fraser: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/21/bishop-durham-justin-welby-i...

* Justin Welby: archbishop amidst fallen idols, by Savi Hensman, Ekklesia - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17342

* More on Justin Welby from Ekklesia - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/justinwelby


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