Making saving a social thing: Church run savings clubs

Making saving a social thing: Church run savings clubs

20 November 2019 by Alison Tsang in Debt and Financial Wellbeing.

Can churches become places that help people fall into good savings habits?

With 40% of Londoners having less than £100 in savings, many of us are just one crisis away from struggling with money. How can the church respond? What can we do to be Good News to those who have little financial resilience, and who otherwise would be likely to go to a high cost lender?

In this “Talk Money Week”, here is a brilliant example of a church doing something simple to make a difference in their community.

When a young family in their congregation was plunged into debt after an unexpected death, Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Kilburn decided to take action.

They partnered with their local credit union, so they could run savings clubs around their church and community activities. They providing accessible space for people to save small amounts of money, as they meet regularly, and if they need to, to have access to affordable loans.

“It’s something that every parish can help to develop, because it’s a tremendous way to support people”

Father Terry Murphy, Parish Priest, Sacred Heart RC Church Kilburn

Pat and Terry talk about how and why they set up this response, and how simple but effective it has been. As people gather anyway, through their church and community activities weekly, they can save a bit of money and are building good money habits, and some important financial resilience.

It’s a simple response that, as Fr Terry says, any parish could set up.

Is it a response that your church could consider?

“Whether it’s the church coffee morning, or the mothers meeting, or the creche or kids at youth club. All of these things become accessible places for people to save.”

Pat Fernandes, Volunteer & Founder of Sacred Heart Savings Club
Alison Tsang

Alison Tsang

Alison heads up Compassionate Communities for the Diocese of London, particularly leading on issues around Financial Wellbeing, Modern Slavery & Refugees, and the Climate Crisis.

View all posts by Alison Tsang

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