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Archbishop of Canterbury joins Instagram for International Credit Union Day

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17 Oct 13

The Archbishop of Canterbury has joined Instagram with a message urging churches and communities to support their local credit union.

The message comes as bishops throughout England and Scotland mark International Credit Union Day (ICU Day, 17 Oct) by championing credit unions in their communities.  

Speaking ahead of ICU Day, Archbishop Justin Welby says in his first Instagram message: 'Let's begin to make a difference to how families can finance themselves in this country - join and support a credit union'. 

In a personal letter being sent to all clergy, Archbishop Justin underlines this message saying that the one million families who take out payday loans every month can end up in a crippling spiral of debt.

'Our faith in Christ calls us to love the poor and vulnerable with our actions. That is why the Church must be actively involved in supporting the development of real lending alternatives, such as credit unions,' he says.

Churches round the country are supporting ICU Day, with bishops taking the lead signing up to and supporting local credit unions and dioceses and churches opening accounts and investing money. 

Revd Dr Malcolm Brown, director of the Church of England's Mission and Public Affairs Division said: 'The credit union sector is extremely well placed to offer real choice about how people manage their money. Credit unions aren't just for hard pressed communities - all sorts of people could use credit unions to save and to take out loans at manageable interest rates. Archbishop Justin is calling on churches all over the country to work with their local credit unions - and the Church of England is working with the Church of Scotland so that our response runs, literally, from Lands End to John O'Groats.'

Mark Lyonette, Chief Executive of the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL), said: 'We welcome the continuing support of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England for credit unions. With the wide community reach of the organisation, and the skills within its congregations, the Church can help raise awareness of the benefits of credit unions and help them to grow.'

ABCUL is working closely with the Church of England on its plans to support credit unions.  More information on how churches can support credit unions is available here - www.churchofengland.org/creditunions

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