City churches lend a hand to credit unions
churches are helping a city Credit Union
to expand its work saving and lending money to local residents without the crippling cost of excessive interest rates.
St Francis on Heartsease and Oak Grove Chapel in Catton Grove will be acting as agents for the Kett's Credit Union so it can expand its operations into the northern parts of Norwich.
Anyone who lives in the postcodes NR1 (north of the river), NR3, NR6 or NR7 may join. After paying an entrance fee of £1, a member becomes a co-shareholder in the Credit Union Co-operative. This entitles them to vote and have a say in the running of the credit union and the right to stand for election at the AGM and to be on one of the committees. The entrance fee also covers some of the administration costs.
Doreen, from Kett's, said: "Among the reasons why such arrangements are beneficial to both community and church are that it offers a safe and secure local means of both saving and borrowing money; it gives opportunity for the church to serve the community and offers a unique way of saving ethically and supporting your neighbours.
"The aim of the credit union is to help people and reduce worry. Interest is set by law at 1pc a month or 12.7pc Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and charged on the outstanding loan balance at the end of each month. So for every £100 paid back in a year members pay £6.50 in interest. The Loans Committee can reschedule loans so members pay less, if payments are difficult, or work out a way to assist."
Oak Grove Chapel's collection point will operate during the Friday Morning 'Coffee Stop' between 11am and 12 noon beginning on September 21. The second collection point at St Francis Church, Heartsease will start on Wednesday October 3 from 10:30am to 11:30am.
Kett's Credit Union is supported by Norwich City Council and is regulated by the Financial Services Authority following a stringent set of rules. Ian Leather from Norwich City Council supports the scheme which already operates in the Heathgate and Pilling Park areas of the city. Contact Ian Leather on 01603 222187.