*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Kent first with ‘bank’ in a church

24 January 2014

PA

Behind the counter: the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott and the Revd Lesley Jones open the Murston Community Bank

Behind the counter: the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott and the Revd Lesley Jones open the Murston Community Bank

ONE church that has taken Archbishop Welby's credit-union plea to heart is All Saints', Murston, in Kent. The church opened a branch of the local credit union, Kent Savers, on Monday, and the Assistant Curate, the Revd Lesley Jones, said that the need for such a scheme in the parish was obvious.

"We are into the seventh year of the recession, and people say 'Nobody is listening and we are drowning in debt,'" she said. It has taken All Saints' less than four months to establish its credit union since agreeing the partnership with Kent Savers.

Mrs Jones said that hearing Archbishop Welby champion local finance initiatives six months ago had been encouraging. She said: "It was great to have the Archbishop speak out about payday lenders, having worked for many years with families who are facing issues of debt.

"People were saying: Why on earth is the Church doing this? Jesus did not shy away from the tough issues, he embraced them. He came to bring life in all its fullness, and, if you're in debt, that's not life to the full."

As well as being a place for parishioners to put their savings, the Murston Community Bank, as the scheme is known, will offer loans at reasonable rates. As with all credit unions, it is owned and run by its members as a not-for-profit enterprise.

Alongside financial services, Mrs Jones said that the credit union could become a hub for the church's outreach.

She said: "If people can't afford to heat their home each day, and want to come in for a few hours, or if they want a bit of company, they are welcome to come. We have got stacks of volunteers [to help]."

The next step for the church is to begin using the bank in maths lessons in the local primary school, with the eventual aim of establishing a branch of the credit union within the school.

The director of the diocese of Canterbury's communities and partnerships framework, Canon Caroline Pinchbeck, said: "We hope that Murston Community Bank will become a model to replicate."

 

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available

 

Inspiration: The Influences That Have Shaped My Life

September - November 2024

St Martin in the Fields Autumn Lecture Series 2024

tickets available

 

SAVE THE DATE

Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website

 

Visit our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times

 

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)