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Ron’s Reflections Money Matters At the end of July the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

was widely reported in the media for his comments about pay- day lenders and his strong support for Credit Unions. As usual it is those who can least afford it who find themselv-

es dependent upon supposedly short term loans at extortionate rates of interest. Someone borrowing £200 for a month from the pay day lender Wonga will typically pay back £270. Many people

end up owing many thousands of pounds as they fail to pay back one loan, and take out another to pay the balance to have enough to live. Although Wonga has received extensive publicity recently, it is by no means the worst such lender. Some may say it is all the fault of those who use these companies; however things are not that

simple. It is undoubtedly true that some find themselves in difficulty because of reckless living or poor financial management skills. However many do not have access to, or are not aware of, any other form of credit and when they find themselves in a financial crisis payday loans appear to be the only solution. I am really pleased to say that here in Harlow we have two excellent organisations which can help

people who are under severe financial pressure: Harlowsave Credit Union (which you may have already noticed mentioned on page 3) provides an excellent way of helping people to manage their finances and enables access to low interest loans; Harlow Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a free debt counselling service open to all (see page 17). If you are struggling with debt, trained counsellors can help and support you in your journey to become debt free. Some people are reluctant to talk about finances, believing it to be an intensely personal thing. In

His three years of ministry Jesus often spoke about money, because He recognised money matters. He was not primarily concerned about money itself, but rather our attitude towards it and the power it can have over us. It is worth pondering on a couple of verses from the Bible that speak about money:- Matthew Chapter 6, verse 21 reads ‘wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will

also be’ (NLT). Another way of putting this would be what we really value, or love, we invest in. In 1 Timothy Chapter 6, verse 10: ‘For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And

some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.’ (NLT). You might agree this is a very relevant warning to those who pursue profit at the expense of the poorest in our communities. Whatever you financial situation I hope you may be interested in a gift that money can’t buy – in

the words of Romans Chapter 3, verse 23 ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.’

Ron Kingsmill – Pastor, Freshwaters Christian Fellowship Email:

Freshwaters Gathering Place Update August 2013 Since our last update in March no further progress has been made in identifying a suitable site for

Freshwaters Gathering Place. The only site we have so far identified as suitable (the old Council Social Club at the top of School Lane) has been transferred by the Council to a Housing Association to build 5 new homes. Although this was disappointing, we continue to explore ways of serving the Netteswell Community without a permanent venue. If you would like to be kept up to date with progress on establishing Freshwaters Gathering Place, you can register you interest on the website, or by emailing or writing to us:

Webpage for Freshwaters Gathering Place: E-mail:

Freshwaters Christian Fellowship Unit F10 Peartree Business Centre South Road, Harlow, CM20 2BD.

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