When the Archbishop of Canterbury issued his call for church involvement to change the way in which the very poorest amongst us experience finance, he called on all of us, these were his words:
“Our faith in Christ calls us to love the poor and vulnerable with our actions. That is why the Church must be actively involved in supporting the development of real lending alternatives, such as credit unions. This is not an optional activity, but a fundamental part of our witness and service to all God’s people.”
You may think that your church has no need to host a money talk, perhaps you are based in an area of high deprivation where debt and financial difficulties are a daily fact of life – you don’t need a discussion to know what the issues are. Maybe your parish is in a fairly affluent area, money isn’t really an issue and your parishioners don’t need financial information. Alternatively it could simply be that you don’t know what a money talk is – whatever the reason for your reticence it is important to remember the Archbishops words – this is not an optional activity.
The Church Credit Champions Network (CCCN) can help you to engage with the thorny issue of finance, its affects upon people and communities and the impact it can have on the local economy.
Money talks are a simple way of getting your church community involved in the Archbishop’s ‘To your Credit’ project which aims to link church communities with local community finance providers, advice services and money education programmes.
Holding a money talk in your church is the best way to get everyone involved, no-one has to reveal any personal details about their own finances, it’s more about getting the conversation started. What is the reality in your area for people who need to lend money to get them through tough times? Do you have a credit union operating in your area – can you engage with them to enable them to grow? Could your church host a debt advice service? These are the types on subjects discussed in a Money talk, together you can then decide on what actions you as a community would like to take further. Simple actions such as joining a credit union as a saver, offering a church hall for the credit union to work from once a week, training as debt sign-posters or hosting an advice service can make a tremendous difference for the people in your area and involve minimal cost and time.
Julia Webster, Church Credit Champions Network Coordinator would be happy to come out and chat with you about holding a money talk and about the many other resources which are available to help your church to answer the Archbishop’s call.
For further information contact Julia.Webster@togetherliverpool.org.uk
or call 0151 705 9142 or 07947 210 811.