The Church and Occupy London: What Would Jesus Do?

PIRC Alerts November 8 issue carries an article pointing to an increasingly restive Church of England about executive pay and ethics in the City.

The Church has struggled to find an appropriate way of responding to the Occupy London demonstrators (holding camp in front of St Paul’s Cathedral). However, this is clearly in part because the Church is itself concerned by issues the protestors have raised, such as the ever-growing pay gap. The Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, called on shareholders to “step up their oversight on executive pay,” at a recent investor meeting according to Responsible Investor.

Separately, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, suggested that, to attack high pay, in the future the Queen’s honours should not be given to “those who have already rewarded themselves most handsomely.”3 He said this would require people to choose between two forms of honour and prestige. He also suggested that there could be employee representation on company boards.

The article goes on to report on a survey of London bond traders. “An overwhelming majority of financial service professionals believe that City bond traders, FTSE chief executives and stock brokers are paid too much” and that teachers are paid too little. “It also found that 75% of City professionals agree the gap between the rich and poor in the UK is too big.”

What would Jesus do if he were a shareowner?

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