The Scandal of Faithworkers

Posted on 11 February 2010
Stephen recently had the opportunity to attend the Annual Conference of the Faithworkers branch of the UNITE (formerly Unison) Trade Union at Esher House.

Some might be surprised that Church workers, ministers and others need a Union. However, the two campaigns in which the Branch are currently involved reveal how necessary they are. Firstly, ministers of religion and other Christian workers do not, in law, have any employment or workers rights. Secondly, bullying by senior ‘clergy’ of junior personnel appears endemic in all denominations and often Christian workers are isolated, under attack and unsupported.

Stephen’s reflections on the Conference were,

‘I found the Conference inspirational, salutary and reassuring:
* inspirational on account of the evident vision of the Executive and the obvious impact the Branch is having in changing attitudes;
* salutary in discovering how many have shared a common road of abuse at the hands of both congregation and senior clergy;
* reassuring that there is a raft of skills, knowledge and expertise ‘out there’ to help those who can feel isolated and helpless.’

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