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Home  >  News  >  Assembly Calls for Improved Pay for Carers


Assembly Calls for Improved Pay for Carers

Tuesday May 23 2023


The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland this afternoon endorsed calls from the Social Care Council (CrossReach) for improved pay in the care sector.

Convener, the Rev Thom Riddell, told the Assembly that staff in the voluntary sector are now paid 19% behind ‘their counterparts in other agencies’; “That is not right. That needs to change.”

Mr Riddell drew the Assembly’s attention to the Scottish Faith Leaders Declaration, signed by the former Moderator and the Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, and urged commissioners to sign it.

Karen Gillon said: “Raising the pay of care workers will cost money, but surely those people deserve to be given the same dignity they give to the people they care for.”


Concluding the Faith Nurture debate, the Assembly agreed to the creation of an apprenticeship programme for youth and children’s ministry, to review the pay and conditions of people who serve as locums, and to an increase in the amounts paid to ministers undertaking pulpit supply.


The National Convener of the Church of Scotland Guild, Helen Eckford, said the church should see it as a partner in mission planning. She said: “The Guild is an opportunity for mission, an opportunity to support spiritual growth in our churches and in our communities.”

The Rev Doug McRoberts, former minister of St Andrew’s Church in Malta, praised the Guild’s project work. He said that the Out of Africa Into Malta project, supported by the Guild 10 years ago, was still going strong, and conveyed the thanks of one person helped by the project, to ‘the miracle ladies in Scotland’.

The Guild also introduced the new Young Adult Guild, a group of young people which is currently meeting online. One of the steering group, Matthew Philip, said: “We are passionate about young people, mission and fellowship. We are keen to see how this grows and develops, hopefully becoming something local. I encourage commissioners to spread the word among congregations, Guild groups and Presbyteries.”


Giving his final report as convener of the Legal Questions Committee, the Rev Dr Grant Barclay said it was church law that had enabled the Church to move quickly but carefully through unforeseen circumstances. He said: “Church law is one expression of faithful obedience and is one way we express our care for others as we all live to an agreed set of principles. Church law promotes equity, for all stand under the same law with no special treatment for those who are particularly well resourced, well connected or articulate. Church law can be a tool to preserve good practice and capture wisdom gained over years of experience and reflection.”


In two separate motions, the Assembly Business Committee and Legal Questions were instructed to review representation of ministry candidates in training and youth representatives at the General Assembly, including consideration of voting rights.


The convener of the Trustees of the Housing and Loan Fund, the Rev Dorothy Anderson, announced that the Fund would take a more proactive approach to improving the energy efficiency of the homes owned by the Fund. She said this would ‘make the houses more comfortable places for those who occupy them, should help with fuel bills and will play a part in the Church’s Net Zero Agenda. With over 180 houses, it’s not going to be possible to do it all at once, but equally, because it is going to take a while, it is important to get started’.

General Assembly 2023: full coverage


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