Credit Unions and Responsible Credit

We fully support Responsible Credit: for upcoming Workshops and Events please click here:

Stop Loan Sharks

We support the work of the Illegal Money Lending Team and will be signing the Zero Tolerance To Loan Sharks Charter with our Partners on 27 February 2018.  This is part of our HOPE 2018 Campaign: Setting the Captives Free: freedom from Addictions; freedom from Slavery; freedom from Debt.

The Illegal Money Lending Team:

The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) is a National Trading Standards team, hosted by Birmingham City Council and working across England to identify, investigate and prosecute illegal money lenders, commonly known as loan sharks. The team are currently funded from central Government via a levy placed on the consumer credit industry. The team consists of Investigators, Intelligence staff and LIAISE Officers who engage in awareness raising and intelligence generating activities, and provide holistic and intensive victim and witness support.

What’s a Loan Shark?

A loan shark is someone who lends money without the correct authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Loan sharks charge extremely high levels of interest, which are often almost impossible to calculate. Loans from illegal money lenders are often unenforceable so these criminals use threats, fear, intimidation and sometimes violence to get the money back.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a loan shark, contact the IMLT:


Credit Unions and Responsible Credit

We support the work of the 4 Credit Unions in our Diocese, and fully support Responsible Credit.

What’s a Credit Union?

Credit Unions are financial co-operatives, owned and controlled by their members and running on a not-for-profit basis. Their main aims are to promote saving and provide their members with loans at reasonable rates, so that they feel in control of their own money.

Credit Unions consider themselves to be a safer and cheaper alternative to other money lending sources, including payday loans, doorstep lenders and loan sharks, and more accessible than high street banks, who can make it difficult for people with a poor credit history to borrow money.

Every credit union must have a common bond, such as the London Borough of Bromley, Kent etc., and they are there for everyone living and/or working in that area:  to be eligible to join, people must live or work within the common bond.

Credit Unions in our Diocese:

Lewisham and Bromley Credit Union:  for more information visit

Kent Savers Credit Union: for more information visit

Medway Credit Union: for more information visit

Greenwich and Bexley Credit Union: for more information visit

The Churches Mutual Credit Union: for more information visit


Lifesavers Project For Schools

LifeSavers is an initiative of the Just Finance Foundation and is delivered by Young Enterprise. The programme offers values-based financial education for state-funded primary schools and support to set up savings clubs in partnership with local credit unions.  We currently have a LifeSavers SchoolBank at Keston CofE Primary School, and are recruiting for more in the LBBromley.

LifeSavers offers two years of in-school support at no cost in order to develop a ‘whole-school’ approach to financial education.

This support includes:
•    training, curriculum planning support and resources for teachers to embed financial education into classroom teaching, as well as assembly/collective worship materials about money;
•    setting up a savings club for pupils, partly run by pupils, in partnership with the local credit union;
•    a ‘whole community’ approach where parents and carers can get involved in their children’s financial education.

Lifesavers takes a ‘values-based’ approach to financial education, exploring money through the values of: generosity, wisdom, thankfulness and justice. Classroom based teaching resources for KS1 & KS2, the ‘Five Big Questions About Money’, are complemented by whole school assembly/ collective worship materials, ‘Values for LifeSavers’.

Within the Diocese of Rochester, limited places remain on the full two-year programme for schools in the London Borough of Bromley.

For more information visit:  email: call 020 7330 8335.


Money Advice in the Diocese of Rochester

Christians Against Poverty (CAP)

CAP is a national award winning charity releasing people from a life sentence of poverty, debt, unemployment and addiction.  There are CAP Debt Advice Centres in Penge, Bromley, Dartford, Erith/Thamesmead, Medway and Gravesend.  We also have CAP Money Coaches, CAP Job Clubs and CAP Life Skills: these provide free debt counselling, job seeker support, help with life controlling dependencies and free money management courses.   
For more information visit:  T:  0800 328 0006  E:

Community Money Advice (CMA)

Community Money Advice is free face to face money advice, reaching anyone in need with unconditional, quality advice from form filling to personal insolvency.
For more information visit:  T: 01743 341929


Crosslight (formerly West Kent Debt Advice)

Crosslight operates throughout West Kent from its centres in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.  Crosslight Advice is an independent charity which works to combat poverty and hardship caused by the burden of unmanageable debt and lack of financial capability. For more information visit:


Free expert debt advice.  Talk to an advisor, or use Debt Remedy, the online debt advice tool. For more information visit:   T: 0800 138 1111


Just Finance Fundation

Just Finance Foundation works locally and nationally through churches and other community groups, to increase the supply of fair and affordable finance and to empower poor and low-income consumers by building their financial capability.

We train volunteers so that they can run budgeting courses, encourage saving, and help people take control of their money. Through our local networks, we promote and support credit unions and other community finance providers as we work to improve access to free debt advice. For more information visit:



CreditWise was established in 2014 to help and support churches and communities to enable access to responsible credit for everyone living and working in our diocese.  The CreditWise team can support and provide training to enable churches and their partners to achieve this.

We have engaged with Credit Unions, CAP advisors, schools and churches and have been involved in projects to help local communities. If you are thinking about such a project, do contact Caroline Clarke.

For further information about Responsible Credit, please contact Caroline Clarke, diocesan community engagement and social responsibility adviser:

Page last updated: 29th Jan 2018 10:52 AM

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