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Credit Unions in the Diocese

Good news for poor people and rich people:

gloomy outlook for Pharisees

You Pharisees are in for trouble! You give God a tenth of the spices from your gardens, such as mint and rue. But you cheat people, and you don’t love God. You should be fair and kind to others and still give a tenth to God. Luke 11:42

What are Credit Unions?

· Mutual membership organisations, members linked by something in common- usually a place of work or where they live and work (paid and unpaid).

What do they do?

· Offer savings facilities for their members

· Work for the benefit of members, not shareholders

· Offer mainly small and affordable loans to members

· They may offer members a dividend (interest) on savings

Are they secure?

· They are regulated as any other financial organisation

So what has that got to do with being fair and kind?

Credit Unions are mutual local organisations. They are an important part of the solution to Financial Exclusion in the Diocese. People who can’t access affordable

credit or basic banking services can be excluded in many different ways Christians have a duty to resist joining in blaming them as individuals but to struggle with them towards a mutual solution.

For most Christian people hearing a story changes our attitudes.

‘Poverty is depression, hopelessness…shame, humiliation…[it] erodes the human spirit. ..

This sense of shame is mirrored by an attitude that blames individuals most likely to be in poverty for causing poverty.’ [i]

Many people are finding saving money difficult (26% adults run out of money before the end of the month). Unexpected financial difficulty can arise from high interest or illegal loans but also events such as bereavement, divorce or redundancy. Credit

Unions can help people when they are in need. Individuals and organisations who become members and save money allow Credit Unions to make loans to members. Through making loans Credit Unions generate income (capped at 3% a month).

Maybe you feel some sense of injustice over recent history of investment banking or the practices of banks who are free to customers but charge the poorest who get overdrawn or miss a repayment deadline. You could do something to help. Your parish could use a Credit Union instead of a Bank, you could join one yourself, or even consider volunteering to help – most Credit Unions use volunteers in a variety of ways.

If the argument for social justice hasn’t satisfied you, what about what is in it for you? Joining a Credit Union is a simple way to give and therefore improve your wellbeing, Research tells us that almost all social problems which impact everybody in a negative way have a relationship with inequality: by decreasing inequality,

they decline.

‘The steeper the social gradient a problem has within a society, the more strongly it will be related to inequality’.[ii]

As we engage in our communities we can blame or we can be practical. I suggest supporting the local Credit Union is one practical way in which we can all become richer and fairer.

‘We must help credit unions to become bigger, better known and easier to access if we want them to compete with high interest lenders.’

Archbishop Justin



[i] What citizens say about poverty in Greater Manchester- an update Nov 2014.

[ii] The Spirit Level. Why equality is better for everyone. Wilson,R and Pickett,K 2010

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Credit Unions in the Diocese

District

Credit Union

Address

Phone

Web

Blackpool

Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Credit Union

13 Birley Street

Blackpool

Lancashire

FY1 1EG

01253 478827

http://www.bfwcu.co.uk/

Blackburn

Jubilee Tower Credit Union

5 Bolton Road Darwen, Lancashire BB3 1DF

01254 776611

http://www.jubileetowercu.org.uk/

Burnley

Pennine Community Credit Union

Calico Homes Ltd

Centenary Court

Croft Street

Burnley

Lancashire

BB11 2ED

0800 050 9747

http://www.pccu.co.uk/

Chorley

Unify Credit Union

21 Crompton Street,

Wigan

WN1 1BN

01942 245656

http://www.unifycu.org/

Fylde

Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Credit Union

13 Birley Street

Blackpool

Lancashire

FY1 1EG

01253 478827

http://www.bfwcu.co.uk/

Hyndburn

First Choice Credit Union

15 Greenfield Street

Haslingden

Rossendale

Lancashire

BB4 5TG

01706 215082

www.firstchoicecu.wix.com/fccu

Lancaster & Morecambe

Morecambe Bay Credit Union

75 Queen Street,

Morecambe

LA4 5EN

01524 411240

Rossendale

First Choice Credit Union

15 Greenfield Street

Haslingden

Rossendale

Lancashire

BB4 5TG

01706 215082

www.firstchoicecu.wix.com/fccu

Ribble Valley

First Choice Credit Union

15 Greenfield Street

Haslingden

Rossendale

Lancashire

BB4 5TG

01706 215082

www.firstchoicecu.wix.com/fccu

Pendle

Pennine Community Credit Union

54 Manchester Road

Nelson

Lancashire

BB9 7EJ

0800 050 9747

http://www.pccu.co.uk/

Preston

First Choice Credit Union

15 Greenfield Street

Haslingden

Rossendale

Lancashire

BB4 5TG

01706 215082

www.firstchoicecu.wix.com/fccu

South Ribble

Unify Credit Union

21 Crompton Street,

Wigan

WN1 1BN

01942 245656

http://www.unifycu.org/

West Lancashire

Unify Credit Union

21 Crompton Street,

Wigan

WN1 1BN

01942 245656

http://www.unifycu.org/

Wyre

Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Credit Union

13 Birley Street

Blackpool

Lancashire

FY1 1EG

01253 478827

http://www.bfwcu.co.uk/

 
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