1. ITV Report

Church to help people out of debt trap

The new service will help people in debt. Credit: PA

A Church in Eden is opening a debt counselling service, to help people move out of the debt trap.

Penrith Methodist Church has joined forces with the charity Christians Against Poverty, to help people across the Eden Valley and Alston.

Similar services already exist in Carlisle, Kendal and Whitehaven.

The Church has always been about offering hope and we're really pleased to be able to give a tried-and-tested route out of debt alongside other great free debt advice in the area like Citizens Advice.

There is a lot in the Bible about looking after the poorest. In our society, a lot of poverty is debt-related so the congregation has been working hard to open a CAP centre to help get people back on track."

– Eden District centre manager Jon Cook

Christians Against Poverty are keen to stress that people with debt problems are welcome, regardless of their faith.

Clients are visited at their home, and the charity is able to negotiate with creditors on their behalf, to try to come to an agreement.

They say one in three callers seeking debt help are feeling suicidal.

Typically, debts can build up when a relationship breaks down, or someone loses their job, or through bereavement - so often when people are least able to cope with a financial headache. We're just so pleased to be able to partner the care of the Church here in Penrith with the financial expertise of CAP's head office in Bradford."

– Eden District centre manager Jon Cook

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