The Archbishop's Task Group on Responsible Credit and Saving was launched in January 2014 with a two year remit to identify specific, deliverable initiatives which could contribute to the overall aim of putting the Church at the heart of a movement for a fairer financial system
John Davis, Together Liverpool Development Officer, welcomed the release of the final report this week with the following words about the impact of the task group’s work in our Diocese.
“We were pleased when Together Liverpool was asked to run the pilot of the Church Credit Champions Network in the Diocese, an area with a rich heritage of credit union work with almost half of them originally started by Churches. This followed conversations with the Centre for Theology and Community and the publication of their Booklet ‘God and the Moneylenders’ and the visit to the Diocese by Sir Hector Sants, the Chair of the Archbishop’s Commission on Credit and Debt.
Since Julia Webster, our CCCN development worker, started last year the collaboration between churches and their local credit union has increased considerably with more Christians investing their money in them. This has given them more leeway to make low interest loans and hopefully replace payday lending or other high interest loans for more local people. The Diocese and Nugent care have joined other organisations in offering payroll giving to their staff allowing them to make savings in their local credit unions this is something we wish to encourage across the wider Church and Business Community.
Some churches have created outreach facilities for their local credit unions in their buildings and others have had the Money Talk and are considering how they can get more involved. This is now becoming a mechanism for churches to talk about money and to offer pastoral and practical support to people as well as adding to the growing lifelong movement for local low cost finance and the better management of money by us all.
The Schools of the Diocese are also hopeful that they might join in with the movement as the ‘Lifesavers’ programme of saving in schools is rolled out following pilot schemes in London, Bromley, Nottinghamshire and Bradford.
This is a long-term project set up to bring a seed change in the way people handle money in the wake of Archbishop Justin’s Criticism of high interest payday lenders.
The movement continues! For further details contact Julia Webster, Credit Champions Network Co-Coordinator Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org”