During Living Wage Week (November 11 - 17), we’ll be featuring of a few of our Certified Employers. Learn how you can get involved here.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, located near Capitol Square in downtown Richmond, is a metropolitan community welcoming of all people. The church serves as a dynamic assembly focusing on the mission of spreading the love of Christ and his teachings in the heart of the city of Richmond.
As a church that shares resources of hope and faith, St. Paul’s is also a church that makes it a priority to pay their employees a living wage. They believe that all people deserve to be treated with respect, and want to have good staff that attracts and retains talent in all positions. Paying a living wage is one way that can be accomplished.
As an institution, St. Paul’s believes in social justice. “If we say we are about something, then we need to actively do it and show that we really are,” says Rich Wolkiewicz, Director of Administration & Finance. Employees of the Church benefit from vacation days, pension plans, and flexible work hours, in addition to a living wage. The staff make it a constant priority for everyone at the church to be treated with kindness and respect, basic values that all humans deserve. Through their employee policies, it is evident that they care about all of their workers. Mr. Wolkiewicz said “Jesus was all about hospitality, so why would we not do the same? One of the most important things we do here is encourage each other and build each other up”. Rich went on to say how difficult it was to understand how some employers don’t respect their employees or pay them well and how quickly people just become accustomed to the disrespect.
The leaders of the congregation who were the driving forces behind St. Paul’s Living Wage Certification (including former VICPP Director Fletcher Lowe) knew that the question was always how they could become certified and better their employees – it was never a question of why. They wanted to show that they are living their values and the Living Wage Certification Program provided a measurable scale to do so. “I don’t know if we would have done this without the program,” ponders Wolkiewicz.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church became a Silver Living Wage Certified Employer in 2018 and has now raised their wages so that they qualified to become a Gold Living Wage Certified Employer! Thank you, St. Paul’s, for your commitment to your employees and the mission of your church!