Building an Ethical Financial System: The Role of Credit Unions

November 2013

Credit unions represent a more ethical, community-based approach to banking. For that reason, the Archbishop has called on churches and church members to support credit unions in their local area, helping the sector as a whole to grow.

This briefing paper gives some background to the issues surrounding the problem of payday lending and the role credit unions can play in building a more ethical financial system. It also suggests ways in which churches can get involved with and support their local credit unions.

The increasing problem of debt

One of our key aims is to help create capacity in tackling debt. This is why we are supporting a group of churches in Mansfield, who are working together and partnering with the charity Community Money Advice to increase the provision of free debt advice in Mansfield. This has been severely affected by the funding cuts, at a time when demand is increasing, due to the benefit changes and cost of living rises. I was very interested to read a recent report by Church Action on Poverty which highlights some of the problems people are facing.

Catalyst Leadership Training

The Catalyst programme, working in partnership with St Philip's Centre Leicester and the Centre for Contextual Theology London, is running a young people's leadership training programme in East London.

The course will teach leadership styles and practice skills through role play and problem solving. You will hear from top leaders in their field and be taught by first rate trainers. As a participant you will work with other young adults of faith and learn how to make good decisions in leadership.

Faith in Action

A Survey of Christian Social Action Across Middlesbrough.   

At a time when many people are struggling to find work or to cope with the rising cost of living there is a growing concern about poverty in this country. Middlesbrough faces particular challenges; unemployment here is twice the national average and child poverty the third highest in the country.The Church, however, has a long tradition of supporting the most vulnerable in society, working in a grass-roots way alongside individuals, families and communities.