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ministers in debt... tackling the taboo

By Bethan Walker | 6 January 2012

CAP money ministers


"As a chartered surveyor in Local Government, I enjoyed a good salary and loans with preferential rates. Then God called me into the ministry. Living by faith in Bible College was somewhat different!”. Restructuring debts and taking on a second job, whilst working for the church, seemed like the only option. “We ended up using credit cards to buy groceries, we felt we had no other choice; we chose more debt rather than allow our children to go without.”

This is how Julian’s story begins; one of a number of Church ministers who have found themselves reaching out to Christians Against Poverty’s debt counselling service in recent years. And Julian isn’t alone. Our own anecdotal research suggests that debt amongst senior church leaders and ministers is rising, with many feeling forced to suffer in silence.

“Being in debt is a massive taboo subject especially for a church leader – who can you confide in? You worry that your ministry will be affected if people in your church learn of your struggle and not everyone has a family friend they can turn to.”

Which is why this week we are celebrating the launch of CAP Money Ministers - a new, confidential service for senior church leaders experiencing personal debt issues, working in partnership with Christians Against Poverty.

Mike O’Neill, Stewardship’s Chief Executive, adds “We often hear from church leaders who lack confidence in their own finances and in their ability to speak confidently about money with others. That’s why we are so thrilled to be partnering with CAP to launch CAP Money Ministers; a service which we hope will release hundreds of church leaders from financial worry and, in doing so, free them to do the same for their congregations."

For Julian, the lifeline came when a friend referred him to CAP, who quickly worked to turn his situation around.

“The great thing that CAP did for us was to give us hope: hope that we could sort out the debt, hope that it wouldn’t last forever. There is a way out of debt.” Read the rest of Julian's story here.

Anyone can struggle with their finances and fall into debt, particularly in the current economic climate; those that lead churches are no exception. Even those leading churches, who are expected to be perfect all the time!

If you are in a ministerial position and need help with money management, contact CAP Money Ministers’ confidential helpline on 01274 760780, or click here to find out more.

Posted by Bethan Walker

Bethan is a marketing and communications executive at Stewardship. Bethan has worked in marketing for seven years and now enjoys working in the not-for-profit sector having previously worked in Professional Services. 


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