Somerset Savings and Loans, the credit union for the county, has seen a massive increase in business since the Archbishop of Canterbury declared that people should turn to credit unions for short term borrowing.
But, although the comments have been welcomed, the organisation says the credit union system can only work if savers as well as borrowers use the service.
Paul Urch, Treasurer of Somerset Savings and Loans said:
“We have seen demand soar since the Archbishop of Canterbury made his statement. His offer that the church would throw open the doors of church halls and buildings so that credit unions fully engage with communities is very helpful.”
“In Somerset we have identified a further £100,000 of potential loans since the Archbishop of Canterbury made his statement but the credit union movement cannot be seen as a the single answer to the problems of doorstep lenders and payday loans.”
“We must not lose sight of the true identity of credit unions as a financial co-operative operating for its members and providing an ethical savings opportunity for members funded by interest secured by sound and affordable lending to members.
“We need the support of the community, including local businesses and those who support the Archbishop of Canterbury in his statements. Savers are needed to help us expand our resource and to provide the financial strength for us to provide loans.”
There has been unprecedented interest in Somerset-based Somerset Savings and Loans in the last few weeks, coinciding with the statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Credit Union is a co-operative organisation where all money is invested locally, keeping money circulating within the local economy. At www.somersetsavingsandloans.org.uk people can join online and learn more about the loans, savings accounts and other credit union services. Or they can contact someone about their savings or borrowing needs on 01275 390649.
As a Credit Union Somerset Savings and Loans is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is also a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and Ombudsman schemes.
Service: 10:00 am Holy Communion
Preacher: Revd Dennis Cavaghan
Readings: Hebrews 13: 1-8, 15-16 & Luke 14: 1, 7-14
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We will also be preparing to launch Christianity Explored, our new basic Christianity course which begins on 30th October.
Look our for the new banner and display on the mission board.
The Reading: 1 Kings 3:5-14
“I give you also … riches …” (v.13) RSV
Money and riches are not filthy. They are gifts from God to be used wisely and generously. They are gifts, whether inherited or earned. Today’s reading describes Solomon’s dream and the promise of God to give him not only wisdom, but also riches. Hopefully Solomon kept in mind the words of his father, David, who said, “All things come from thee, and of thine own have we given thee” (1 Chronicles 29:14).
Everything we have is to be received as a boon and a blessing. God has given us health and strength, brains and talents. And if we use these, then the likelihood is that we will make a living, and maybe a lot more besides. But we couldn’t earn anything if he didn’t enable us to do so.
Consequently nothing that we have or earn is ours. It all comes from God who gives us richly all things to enjoy, but it also comes with the responsibility to share it with those who are poor and in need. Indeed, our money is a blessing to us because it enables us to be a blessing to others.
Solomon spent a lot of money on himself, perhaps too much. For instance, he built many houses and he kept many wives. However, he also amassed an army and erected stables for thousands of horses for the benefit of the nation. His primary contribution was the building of the first Temple in Jerusalem. In other words, his riches were used to benefit Israel.
Unfortunately, his great wealth was achieved at the expense of the taxpayers; a fact that was going to cause the country to split in two when his son Rehoboam came to the throne. It seems that Solomon tried to achieve even more riches than God had legitimately blessed him with.
Nevertheless, our wealth if we have any (!) is always to be received with thanksgiving. While we have it let us use it not only for our enjoyment, but also for the benefit of others.
Thank you, Lord, for your promise always to provide food and clothing. Thank you that I am blessed with so much more than that! Amen.
1 Besides Job’s faithfulness, why else was his prosperity restored?
2 What did Jesus do with his riches?
2 Corinthians 8:9