Church helps people save themselves

A CHURCH will soon be helping local people to save themselves – by becoming a hub for the Northumberland Credit Union.

St James’s Church Centre on Pottergate in Alnwick has offered to be a paying-in point – somewhere where credit union members can come along every week to pay money into their accounts.

The minister, Rev Joan Grindod-Helmn, said: “I am delighted that the church can offer itself to the community as a paying-in point for the Credit Union. This is a service that is vitally needed in these difficult times when so many are trying to figure out how to make ends meet.

“It is also a great idea that junior members have the opportunity to learn how to save and manage money. I wish that was around when I was a teenager.”

Credit Union chairman Nic Best added: “We are very grateful to the church for their generous offer and hope to have the paying-in point up and running as soon as possible. But we do still need volunteers to run it. The paying-in point will be open for two hours a week and we need two volunteers to staff it, so ideally we need six-to-eight volunteers to fill a monthly rota.”

A credit union is a community savings and loans cooperative which encourages members to save – and by saving regularly, the members build up a credit rating which makes them eligible for low-cost loans. In the run-up to Christmas, the credit union loaned out a total of £22,000 at an average of just under £600 a loan.

Credit union members can already pay in using the cash machine at the county council office on Greenwell Lane, but the new PiP in the Embleton Room at the church centre will be much less formal and will allow members to meet others, ask questions and find out more about the credit union.

For more information or to volunteer to help at the new Alnwick paying-in point contact Northumberland Credit Union on 01670 503666 or