Methodist Church to join major national credit union

• Methodist Council papers here

The Methodist Council, meeting in London this week, has agreedto become a partner to the Churches Mutual Credit Union (CMCU).

The CMCU is an alliance between the Anglican churches inBritain, the Church of Scotland and the Methodist Church inBritain. As well as offering the benefits of credit unionmembership to ministers, trustees and those employed by the Church,the CMCU will continue to show the Churches walking the walk aswell as talking the talk of ethical investment.

Methodist Connexional Secretary Doug Swanney said: "The work thatcredit unions do is essential in helping people to access low-cost,ethical loans and savings accounts. Getting on board with thismovement fits perfectly with the values of the Methodist Church andwe are excited about the opportunity to enthuse people about thework of credit unions and to make their benefits available aswidely as possible."

The Churches are keen that this national body doesn't discouragepeople from joining and supporting local credit unions.

The Revd Dr Malcolm Brown, the Church of England's director ofMission and Public Affairs said, "It is great news that theMethodist Church has agreed to support the Churches' Mutual CreditUnion. They join the partnership with the Church of England and theChurch of Scotland which has brought the CMCU close to viabilityand, thanks to this new ecumenical dimension, the CMCU looks setfair to launch this summer. The CMCU is a strategic initiativewhich will not only serve the staff of our respective churches butconveys the important fact that credit unions are for everybody andnot just about helping the worst off. Together with our partnerchurches, the Church of England is working to support local creditunions across the country and to strengthen the role of creditunions within a more diverse and competitive financial sector. TheMethodist Church's support for the CMCU shows that this importantwork has caught people's imagination and that credit unions' dayhas come."

The CMCU will initially be open to Methodist ministers, but theCouncil has pledged to ensure that over time membership is extendedas widely as possible across the Methodist Church.

Other matters discussed by Council members included ways toextended and enhance joint work between the Methodist Church andthe Church of England and financial matters.