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Welby and rapper slam bad lenders

13 June 2014


Campaigners: Delilah and Question Musiq tell the stories of young people who have taken out payday loans. The song can be heard and downloaded for free from:soundcloud.com/the-church-of-england/we-need-a-union-on-the-streets

Campaigners: Delilah and Question Musiq tell the stories of young people who have taken out payday loans. The song can be heard and downloaded for f...

BAD lenders were criticised by an unlikely duo this week. On Tuesday night, the Archbishop of Canterbury told a reception in the House of Lords that their victims suffered "a particularly unendurable form of slavery". The next evening, at All Saints', Peckham, a rap artist, Charles Bailey, launched a new single with lyrics that suggest that their profits should be "illegal".

Mr Bailey approached the Church of England with the idea for the rap after being inspired by Archbishop Welby's campaign for responsible lending. The single, "We Need a Union on the Streets", featuring the rapper Question Musiq, and a singer, Delilah, tells the stories of young people who fall into debt because of payday loans with high interest rates. "It should be illegal, the money they earn," the song suggests.

On Wednesday, the national adviser on minority-ethnic Anglican concerns, Dr Elizabeth Henry, said that she was "thrilled" by Mr Bailey's approach, which would "help the Church to extend its reach, and engage with people on issues that affect their everyday lives".

The reception at the House of Lords, which was addressed by the Archbishop, was organised by the Association of British Credit Unions, which acts as the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions.

Referring to the parable of the two debtors, the Archbishop said: "Debt to a bad lender is a particularly unendurable form of slavery. And the credit unions are trying to be the merciful lender, the one who has a clear system of values and ethics, and builds what they do around a value of the common good."

He paid tribute to the "labour of love" of the credit-union movement over the years; and, while highlighting progress such as an improved regulatory environment, gave warning that expanding the movement was "a marathon, not a sprint".

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