Annual Report: Money Matters 2009

Money Matters has been running for nine years now. During that time, colleagues and I have been priveleged to help many people to come to terms with their financial confusion. It has always been our aim to put people back in control of their money, since it is a serious and shaming worry for people, both inside and outside the church.

The predicament of debt is,in our experience, less frequently the traditional fecklessness, than an accidental over-enthusiastic selling of loans. People whose grasp of the implications of extremely high interest rates, or the sudden loss of a job or a partner, find themselves trapped and often threatened by the companies to whom they owe money. Even then, the benefit system may inadvertantly make a computer mistake and benefits are suddenly reduced or missing without warning; this leads to overdraft or non-payment of direct debits - these in turn lead to charges which are frighteneingly high for a person living on the breadline already. East Hampshire has its quota of these latter, in quite large numbers.

Money Matters seeks to negotiate with credit card companies and banks, so that interest may be waived; so that payments can be paid (clints DO want to pay) in a way that takes into account fair family expenditure. We help with bankruptcies where it is clear that there is no other way out. Such decisions are never taken lightly, but prayerfully and carefully. Again the aim is to bring peace of mind, along with a changed spending habit. The threatening letters and phone calls to vulnerable people are some of the less attractive issues which we have encountered during our walk with clients towards a healthy money management. It oftentakes years to pay the debts, but there is a real sense of pride and restored dignity.

We believe God wants to set the Captives free. Life Church Petersfield funds us with telephone, postage etc. costs and Sue Farr and I plan to soldier on in 2010 with our relatively small but thorough throughput of clients, since weare aware that C.A.B. operate in the same field, though our processes are different and take longer to see a proper healing...we hope!

We are guided and trained and insured by Frontline, a Registered Charity with offices spreading through churches all over the South. Without their input we would feel quite inadequate. Therefore your prayer support at PACT is asked, so that we may be wise and professional in our work.

See the Money Matters page on the PACT web site

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