The Church is involved with several campaigns and organisations working to address economic inequality in Scotland and the UK. We encourage our churches to take part in campaigns such as Good Money Week and to learn more about credit unions, welfare reform and universal credit.
Good Money Week
Good Money Week is a campaign to ensure that everyone knows that they have green and ethical options when it comes to their finance and investment decisions.
Good Money Week brings together advisers, charities and churches, financial organisations, faith groups, and community groups to spread the word about green and ethical investing.
Christian Aid Big Shift Campaign
The Christian Aid Big Shift Campaign calls on the UK's largest high street banks (Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, and RBS ) to ensure that their lending is in line with global climate ambitions. This should involve setting ambitious and measurable targets to increase lending renewable energy projects, while decreasing loans to fossil fuel projects and companies.
Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility
Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility works for economic justice, environmental stewardship, and corporate and investor responsibility. ECCR builds awareness of these issues in the Church, links responsible investment and mission and uses international church networks to hear and give voice to the experience of communities impacted by companies' behaviour.
Money Makes Change isis ECCR's programme for individuals and churches to help themexplore their financial decisions in the light of their Christian faith andbuilding a community of people passionate about connecting faith and finance.
A Right Relationship With Money
We are all consumers. However, we often don't realise that every choice we make as a consumer affects other people. So our choices should be made in the light of Christian ethics, church teaching and our own conviction.
The Right Relationship with Money report from the Commission on the Purposes of Economic Activity examined what had gone wrong with the economic system and how it might be improved.
Carnegie UK Affordable Credit Project
The Carnegie UK Trust is seeking to bring new solutions to this area with a focus on identifying alternative options to the commercial high cost credit market. The Affordable Credit Action Group is chaired by the Very Reverend John Chalmers, former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
The Living Wage
We believe that people who work full time should be valued enough to be able to afford to live a full and happy life. The Living Wage currently stands at £9.50 an hour (November 2020). This is the minimum amount a person needs to earn in order to have a basic standard of living. Anything less than this will result in what is known as in-work poverty. Unfortunately the National Living Wage (£8.91 an hour) and the Minimum Wage (£8.36 an hour) both fall short of the real Living Wage.
The Living Wage Foundation has plenty of information on ways you can be involved in making sure that in-work poverty becomes a thing of the past.
The welfare system is designed to act as a safety net for all who find themselves in financial difficulty. This stops people from ending up in a situation where they are unable to pay for food and the things we need to live a comfortable life. Our Welfare system is currently in a period of transition. Universal Credit is being rolled out across the country. Unfortunately, as it stands, Universal Credit seems to cause more problems than it solves.
We work together with the Joint Public Issues Team to make sure we are speaking out effectively on this issue. Child Poverty Action Group, the Poverty Truth Commission, and the Give Me Five campaign are all great places to find further information on welfare in Scotland.
The Church is actively engaged with the credit union movement and recognises the positive role it plays in Scottish Society. The Church welcomes the growth and development of the Credit Union Sector and the affordable financial products credit unions offer communities and families.
Churches Mutual Credit Union
The Churches Mutual Credit Union is a collaboration between seven denominational churches in Great Britain.
Membership is initially to clergy and ministers, licensed lay ministers, elders and trustees, and employees of churches and church charities, many of whom will be able to transact by payroll deduction.
Churches Mutual currently offers a Premier Investment Account, a Regular Savings Account, Corporate Savings Account (open to church councils, sessions, and presbyteries) and a variety of loans, including personal loans and car loans.