Blog by James Henderson: TCT Development Worker

This is a question we are thinking about a lot at TCT and is why we are delighted to be partnering with the Just Finance Foundation.

Jesus talks more about money than anything else, second only to the Kingdom. Why is that? Why are people in our churches and communities not talking about it?

I often open Cash Smart Credit Savvy courses, when I am training people from churches to become trainers of others, by talking about how much Jesus talks about money! Even with people who have been in church for many years, they are often surprised by this, explaining that they haven’t heard clergy talking about this, unless of course the roof needs fixing! Why are we not talking about it?

When we boil it down, every choice we make, every dream we have, revolves around money in some way. Not many things in life are black and white, but we say on the course that with money it is - 'You control your money or it controls you!'

I have been involved in money and finance for most of my adult life, either as a debt centre manager or through coming alongside homeless people who are deemed “intentionally homeless” due to their rent arrears and subsequent eviction. 

As a Development Worker, meeting with Clergy across the Black Country, we hear two things regularly:

The first is a loud plea for”no more initiatives” - someone (how ever well meaning) coming from outside and telling them what to do!

The second is a deep sadness for the sheer scale of suffering they see in their Parish on a daily basis - the lack of money for food, gas and electric; the person with no savings waiting 6 weeks for their first Universal Credit payment; the person saying yes to a high cost doorstep loan at 90% APR who has been told - “it’s only a tenner a week” but not realising they are paying double the amount of the loan with all the interest charges. These are the problems clergy and churches face and they want solutions. They know the people in their area and what can help and they need a range of easily accessible resources and solutions that they will allow them to do this - ranging from simple (such as understanding alternatives to the doorstep lender and sermon outlines) to something as complicated as setting up a debt advice centre. 

The Just Finance Foundation is able to help with these resources, as well as developing new resources such as UCReady, to prepare everyone for the major changes that Universal Credit will create.