Cross and credit

07 February 2014

THEY spent such a lot on the repairs to their church, generously helped by English Heritage, that the PCC of St John's, Kensal Green, in west London, agreed that they should also re-commit themselves to its local community, and invest in a newly founded credit union.

The Vicar of St John's, the Revd David Ackerman (left in photo), seen here during the blessing of a newly replaced stone cross, said that they would "invest £10,000 in January at the beginning of our anniversary year, as well as looking at how the church's facilities can better serve the local area".

This came after the Archbishop of Canterbury urged churches to work with credit unions to compete with pay-day lenders, and, if possible, put them out of business.

Fr Ackerman thought that the £10,000 from their fabric fund, invested in the west-London-based YourCU, would be a fitting gesture to celebrate the church's 170th anniversary. It was vital "to enable more people to access local, ethical, and reasonably priced financial services, and we are proud to be putting our money where out mouth is".

The irony, though, he has told me since, is that the church has also gained, in that the one-per-cent interest it receives from the credit union "is more than we have been getting from Barclays".

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