The chief executive of Mary’s Meals has said the charity will not pay large salaries to its staff because it works with some of the poorest people in the world.
Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow, founder and CEO of Mary’s Meals, spoke after it emerged that Cafod and two other Catholic charities in the UK paid their chief executives more than £90,000.
No one at Mary’s Meals was paid more than £60,000.
He told The Tablet: “We have a conviction that those who are paid to work for Mary’s Meals should never be paid high salaries. This is because we work with some of the poorest people on earth, as well as tens of thousands of volunteers all over the world, and we would find it hard to do this that while paying ourselves high salaries.
As we have grown, this has sometimes been a difficult thing to manage, and there have been times when potential candidates have been unable to accept paid posts with Mary’s Meals because of our salary policy. However, we feel very blessed to have a team of good, talented people with a very deep vocational attitude to this mission.
Of course, it is one thing to say ‘we will not pay high salaries’, but it is another to work out exactly what that should mean in practice. Our staff have to live and bring up their families like everyone else.
This is a complex issue that sometimes is used in the wrong way to hit good charities over the head. We have chosen a particular way with Mary’s Meals but that doesn’t mean we think that charities taking a different approach are necessarily doing something wrong.”