WORKING TOGETHER WITH LOCAL CHURCHES
Churches are community hubs with great networks across their community and are often a safe place to discuss difficult issues. They have an established tradition and reputation of working in their communities, with members who are keen to use their skills and expertise in helping and supporting their community. Many also have multipurpose venues and resources to run activities, events or house centres.
Some credit unions have already discovered that local churches are keen to work with them and can offer skilled volunteers, premises, new members and links into the community. If you run a credit union or debt advice centre your local church might be interested in hosting drop in sessions as part of other community outreach activities.
Every church is different so if you don’t already have a local contact try getting in touch with your local diocese who will be able to help.
The Church of England is divided into geographic regions called dioceses. Download a spreadsheet of national contacts and get in touch your local diocesan officer who will be able to help connect you with local churches.
Get in touch directly with a church local to you by using the simple post code search facility provided by the Church of England.
If you are based in the London or Liverpool area, then please get in touch with the Church Credit Champions Network by contacting their Director, David Barclay.
- Be proactive: don’t wait for churches to approach you. Vicars are usually very busy, but will normally welcome opportunities to work with other local community organisations.
- Listen: don’t just tell them about who you are and your plans.
- Think about their motivation for supporting you, especially around meeting a local need in the community.
- Consider what can you offer them e.g. savings products for their church members, new skills for volunteers, or a new way to engage with the local community
- Have some specific asks, including some small things that can get as many people involved as possible (not just the faithful few)
- Vicars are important ‘gatekeepers’, but not necessarily the people who are going to make things happen, so try to identify other key contacts within the church