The Bishop of Hertford, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes invested ?50 of his own money to join Hertsavers Credit Union on International Credit Union Day, during a visit to HertSavers? Hatfield branch.
??The visit, on 17th October, was one of 41 made by bishops around the country, visiting their local credit unions to mark International Credit Union Day. To mark the day, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said: ?Let?s begin to make a difference to how families can finance themselves in this country ? join and support a credit union?.
??Bishop Paul, the Bishop of Hertford, is using the visit to encourage people to follow him in joining their local credit union. With eleven credit unions known in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, there is one near almost everyone.
??Bishop Paul said:
???People who are in financial difficulty can all too easily be ripped off just because they’re poor. Credit unions aim to fix that. In credit unions we have something that benefits the lender and the borrower because they really are all in it together.
???I am happy to have joined the 200 million users of credit unions worldwide by joining HertSavers on International Credit Union Day.
???In the past we used to have a proud tradition of mutual financial institutions in this country ? the building societies. Credit unions aim to recapture some of that spirit. With more active participants, I’m sure they will do just that.?
??The Bishop wants to encourage church members to consider not just saving with them, but borrowing from them for small loans.
??That, he says, will help the credit unions to balance the riskier loans on their book, which could help keep more people away from semi-permanent indebtedness to payday lenders.
??During the visit, Bishop Paul met Hertsavers CEO, Tony Bailey, who acquainted him more with the Credit Union Movement in general and Hertsavers in particular.
??HertSavers has over 1300 members, living or working across Hertfordshire.
??Mr Bailey said:
???We?re delighted to have welcome Bishop Paul to our credit union. Joining HertSavers as a member really showed his desire to support and promote the credit union movement. Christmas is often a stressful time for our members. If you need to borrow please avoid high cost lenders and speak to your local credit union?
??The Bishop of St Albans and the Bishop of Bedford have also visited local credit unions in recent months.