Rich or poor, or just middle of the road? I was told yesterday that I am in the top 20% of the population for affluence, as I’m part of the clergy. That was a shocking stat. as I always assumed I was somewhere below the middle of average! My “affluence” means that I will live longer, be far less likely to be on anti-depressants, and I have choice in relation to my home, schools and health. My children will be born into this affluence and are more likely to achieve at school and join the higher ranks of society with regards to income. This information isn’t guess work but born out of evidence gleaned from government statistics.
I am concerned that my privileged position will stifle the policy decisions of the church in fighting poverty and injustice, a church that has the social gospel message within its DNA. I know that affluence doesn’t stop good policy decisions, yet ignorance of the situation can impede it. Only 2% of people know they are in the top 20% of wealth. I need to sit with this news for a few days but I think it has the ability to re-orientate my position and action in relation to fairness.