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Bishop Christopher joins a credit union
Bishop Christopher at the New Central Credit Union in Coventry

New Central Credit Union welcomed the Bishop of Coventry as its newest member. Bishop Christopher joined the credit union on 17 October to mark International Credit Union Day (ICU Day).

Credit unions in over 100 countries are celebrating ICU Day, and this year’s theme is "Unite for Good – a better way".  It is a day to honour the dedication of all the volunteers and workers and to acknowledge that uniting for the good of consumers truly is a better way of doing business.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is encouraging churches to work with credit unions to enable more people to access local, ethical and affordable financial services.  Bishop Christopher set an example to local worshippers by joining the credit union, which offers services on a not-for-profit basis to local people.  The New Central Credit Union is one of six credit unions that are currently operating in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Bishop Christopher said:

"I am pleased to become a member of New Central Credit Union and to join over 200 million people around the world on International Credit Union Day.

We can all help make our local credit unions stronger by using their services and perhaps volunteering our skills.  I would encourage others to take the time this month to open a savings account or to consider using the credit union if they need a loan.

With successful credit unions in our community, we can be safe in the knowledge that people in need of affordable financial services have somewhere to turn when they may otherwise be tempted into reliance on high cost, risky lenders."

The credit union manager, Navneet Sharma, said at their head office in City Arcade:

"We are delighted that the Bishop has joined our credit union because it will help raise the profile of what we do.  There are around 400 credit unions across the UK with over a million members using their services, but we still struggle to promote ourselves to the people who really need us."

Arthur Biggs, Chairman of the credit union also added:

"A loan of £300 repaid weekly over 52 weeks from a leading home credit provider would cost £246 in interest but a similar loan from a credit union, charged at the current maximum interest rate of 2% a month on the reducing balance, would cost no more than £40 in interest, representing a saving to the member of over £200."