Communities Secretary links with evangelicals on debt

By staff writers
February 4, 2009

UK government Communities Secretary Hazel Blears will be the keynote speaker at a 'Life Beyond Debt' event run by the Evangelical Alliance on Thursday 5 February.

Speaking ahead of the conference, she said: "The Government is working hard to get real help to people in these tough times: advice about debt, new options for people struggling to pay their mortgage, better support for retraining."

Blears added that "the role of charities and community groups is vital too. They bring comfort and reassurance to many through practical advice, advocacy and support for people when they need it most. Faith-based groups and charities have an unwavering dedication to the people they serve, and I'm committed to making sure that government listens and works with them in the months to come."

The conference will feature experts talking about the positive role churches can play in money education and dealing with debt. There will also be a focus on examples of effective church action and resources.

Representatives of several denominations and leaders of Christian debt and money agencies will sign a public statement to be issued at the conference. In it they will commit to encourage and challenge the church in the community to contribute generously towards building "a just society which cares for the poor".

Dr Don Horrocks, head of public affairs at the Evangelical Alliance, said: “This conference brings together Christian leaders who specialise in dealing with debt at a practical level, to reinforce our shared commitment to caring for our neighbours."

He continued: “We want to unite in encouraging and resourcing churches to reach out to their communities during a time of national and social economic crisis and to help make a real difference to peoples' lives.”

The Evangelical Alliance will also launch a new website on 5 February to provide advice and resources for churches and Christians who want to help people in their communities struggling with debt.

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