The Methodist Council, meeting in London this week, has agreed to become a partner to the Churches Mutual Credit Union (CMCU).
The CMCU is an alliance between the Anglican churches in Britain, the Church of Scotland and the Methodist Church in Britain. As well as offering the benefits of credit union membership to ministers, trustees and those employed by the Church, the CMCU will continue to show, they hope, that the churches are 'walking the walk' as well as 'talking the talk' on ethical investment.
Methodist Connexional Secretary Doug Swanney explained: “The work that credit unions do is essential in helping people to access low-cost, ethical loans and savings accounts. Getting on board with this movement fits perfectly with the values of the Methodist Church and we are excited about the opportunity to enthuse people about the work of credit unions and to make their benefits available as widely as possible.”
The Churches are keen that this national body does not discourage people from joining and supporting local credit unions.
The Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, the Church of England’s director of Mission and Public Affairs said: “It is great news that the Methodist Church has agreed to support the Churches’ Mutual Credit Union. They join the partnership with the Church of England and the Church of Scotland which has brought the CMCU close to viability and, thanks to this new ecumenical dimension, the CMCU looks set fair to launch this summer.
"The CMCU is a strategic initiative which will not only serve the staff of our respective churches but conveys the important fact that credit unions are for everybody and not just about helping the worst off. Together with our partner churches, the Church of England is working to support local credit unions across the country and to strengthen the role of credit unions within a more diverse and competitive financial sector.
"The Methodist Church’s support for the CMCU shows that this important work has caught people’s imagination and that credit unions’ day has come.”
The CMCU will initially be open to Methodist ministers, but the Council has pledged to ensure that over time membership is extended as widely as possible across the Methodist Church.
Other matters discussed by Council members included ways to extended and enhance joint work between the Methodist Church and the Church of England and financial matters.
* Methodist Church: http://www.methodist.org.uk/