Inverness Churches bring help to money issues
For some time Christians in the Inverness area have been exploring the possibilities of assisting people handle personal finance and also those who are struggling with money issues. Now a fresh impetus has been given to the process of establishing a support network in the area.
First published 23/01/10
OVER a period of time investigations have been underway to see local churches in the city come together with national Bradford-based organisation Christians Against Poverty (CAP) to bring help and advice on domestic budgeting.
In May 2009 a small group from Culduthel Christian Centre and four other churches came together to consider the way forward. It was agreed that CCC would take the responsibility for moving the project along and church worker Gordy Mackay was appointed as Project Co-ordinator.
Since then Gordy has received training from CAP and CCC has run two courses consisting of 10 and 15 people. (He is shortly – Jan 2010 – to embark on a third course.)
By November 2009 two ‘information sessions were hosted in CCC to allow other interested churches to come and learn more about the project and Gordy assisted Smithton/Culloden Free Church to run a course.
The ‘CAP Money’ courses are run on an informal basis and each consists of three one-and-a-half hou sessions on money management based around course material provided by CAP. The first session explores budgeting, with session two looking at ‘cash rather than credit’ issues and the last session focusses on developing the habit of personal saving.
Every CAP Money course is run by members of Culduthel Christian Centre who have been trained by CAP as Money Coaches. These Money Coaches lead each session and are also available to help delegates work through individual budgets.
Since it was established in 1996, CAP has developed a professional expertise and is now recognised by, and working together with major banks and finance houses. In this context the organisation is very well placed to assist those who have been caught up in the debt trap.
CCC and the other churches see the project not just as a help to those within the church but principally the focus is to provide a service to the wider communities within which they are based.
Gordy is highly enthusiastic about the project and stated: “We’re very much encouraged by the number of churches who recognise the need in our communities and would like to work in partnership with the project. We all have financial pressures in our lives, so we need to balance income against expenditure. The sessions are designed to be a resource to anyone and everyone who wants to get a better grasp of handling their finances.”
Speaking about the project roll-out and plans for the future, Gordy continued: "We are working towards the possibility of opening a full CAP Debt Counselling Centre in Inverness, but meanwhile it is hoped to expand the number of CAP Money courses being run. The project is also seeking to increase the number of churches involved, and further develop links throughout Inverness.”
Personal debt has a massive impact on family cohesion, marriage and personal relationships, personal health, work performance. One in nine households in the UK are experiencing debt problems.
Have a look at a short video which outlines some of these situations and how one couple was helped through their difficulties.
Interested in becoming involved?
Any individual or church wishing to know more about the CAP project and what is involved in joining the scheme should contact Gordy (details below).
Christians Together interviewed Gordy Mackay the Project Coordinator at the end of 2009. You can listen to this interview and learn more about the background, nature of and plans for the development of a CAP centre in Inverness.
The next CAP Money course are planned to run on Monday nights at Culduthel Christian Centre, Inverness: 8th Feb, 15th Feb, 1st March all commencing at 7.30pm.
The course is free and open to anyone wishing to improve their money management.
However, registration is required either by contacting Gordy or via www.capmoney.org.
Gordy Mackay who grew up in the Black Isle has degrees in both business accounting and theology.
Following his first spell in university he spent a couple of years in Australia before returning to Scotland to study theology. Gordy is married to Julie who hails from Fife. The couple now live in Inverness.
Inverness CAP Project Co-ordinator
Culduthel Christian Centre, Inverness IV2 6AS