I am just back from the United Reformed Church's Youth Assembly. It took place over the weekend close to Lichfield. It was hugely enjoyable but very full on. I was asked to comment on a news story of relevance to young people and its Christian implications. As economics, austerity and recession are very much around these days it seemed appropriate to comment on a story that hit the headlines about the massive bonus (almost £1m) being paid to the boss of the Royal Bank of Scotland. I noted one comment reported by The Guardian - 'even my parents think I'm overpaid'.
I also offered a reminder of Jesus's comment that 'the love of money is the root of all evil' and that, after the Kingdom of God, money was the topic on which he spoke most often. On the one hand, it seems obvious that such bonuses should not be paid. The money is surely better with Christian Aid or something like that. On the hand, this amount is significantly less than the amount that he could have been given and represents the deal was done with him - and we do need good and competent people looking after our money.
I suggested that the key thing is not this particular payment, but how we tackle the issues that need to be addressed to get society's structures on the right track.
The comments led to a number of questions about how we use money, where we invest, how the church uses its resources - and we need to keep asking these questions.