Kensal Green church deposits £10k into credit union to help cash-strapped families

David Ackerman, vicar of St John the Evangelist in Kensal Green and Cllr Jonathon Read

David Ackerman, vicar of St John the Evangelist in Kensal Green and Cllr Jonathon Read - Credit: Archant

A church in Kensal Green has started the New Year and celebrated its 170th anniversary by helping to prevent cash-strapped residents from turning to high interest lenders.

David Ackerman, vicar of St John the Evangelist in Kilburn Lane, has deposited £10,000 into a credit union in its quest to deliver affordable financial services.

Rev Ackerman handed over a cheque to West London-based YourCU, which covers Kensal Green and Queen’s Park, on Monday.

Last month the union launched an outreach programme in a bid to engage with vulnerable residents.

“It is vital churches work with credit unions to enable more people to access local, ethical and reasonably-priced financial services,” Rev Ackerman said.

“Having a credit union in our community gives people in need of affordable loans somewhere to turn other than pay day lenders.

“We’re proud to be putting our money where our mouth is.”

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St John’s, which was consecrated in 1844 at the same time as Kensal Green itself was built, is currently undergoing exterior renovation work.

Rev Ackerman said: “We didn’t want 2014 to be only about the church building and thought a £10,000 investment in YourCU would be a fitting gesture to celebrate the church’s 170th year and our commitment to the community.”

William Rhodes, chief executive of YourCU, said the union was delighted that St John’s has chosen to support local people.

He added: “We need to turn the tables on pay day lenders and ensure a way out for people trapped in an endless and soul-destroying cycle of debt with 5,000 per cent interest rates.”

Wilbert Hunte from Compton Road, Kensal Green, a member of St John’s congregation, who has lived in the area for 40 years, welcomed the church’s decision.

He said: “It’s important for local people to be able to save money safely and to borrow money, if they need to, without being taken to the cleaners by the pay day lenders.”

For more information about YourCU go to , call 0207 605 6341 or visit YourCU at 346 High Street, Kensington.

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