The Archbishop is calling on churches to support Credit Unions in their areas.
'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. It is also a chance for us all to redevelop and stimulate local, relational forms of banking focussed on serving the whole community.'
The Most Rev. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
#TOYOURCREDIT Canterbury’s initiative to create a fairer financial system focuses on serving the whole community.
What is a Credit Union?
Credit unions are a type of local, community bank. Like banks, they offer a range of financial services, primarily focusing on savings and loans. Unlike banks, though, credit unions operate as a financial mutual, so people’s savings are lent out to other members at low interest rates. Any profit is redistributed among the members or re-invested in the credit union.
Credit unions have a number of clear aims and values:
• Encouraging members to save, as well as borrow
• Offering loans at fair and reasonable interest rates
• Training and empowering members to use money wisely
• Using members' savings efficiently and for the mutual benefit of members and the local community
Currently, less than 2% of the population (and 6% of regular churchgoers) are members of credit unions.
How to support Credit Unions?
In addition to joining and investing, there are many ways to get involved and support your local credit union; raise awareness, promote the credit union within the church and local community, volunteer, open an access point, become a credit champion.
How do I know which Credit Union Area I am in?
Find your local credit union
Listed below are some Credit Unions in the Diocese of Chester
Who do I contact for more information?
We have a number of excellent examples around the diocese of churches engaging with credit unions and with other financial inclusion projects.
Important Information for your PCC:
If you are thinking of investing in a credit union please read this
The Association of British Credit Unions Ltd (ABCUL) is the leading trade association for credit unions in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Theology Centre Equipping churches to transform their communities
Money speaks louder than words: Credit Unions and the role of the church in tackling financial exclusion. January 2014