When I heard about CAP at a conference, what struck me was that this would suit the area where we are. We’re in a deprived area and we were dealing with people for whom debt was a big issue. I liked that CAP was not just about sorting their finances, but about looking for God to sort out their whole life. I wanted to offer what CAP was providing in our town, because there was a gap in what the churches were doing there.
Our first ever client and her husband became Christians; they also became debt free and they got married in the church on Valentine’s day. There are many stories like this, and we would never have connected with these people if we hadn’t started up a debt centre.
It’s helped us as a church to focus outward into community, not inwards to what the church is doing. If you chat to people on a Sunday morning, they are keen to identify this as a core part of what our church is about. We’re connecting to people outside the church, being politically active and involved in current issues. I believe churches need to be rooted into the issues of their local community. CAP has helped us to be relevant and effective.
Revd. Peter Lewis is vicar at St Catherine’s Church in Pontypridd, South Wales. His church partners with CAP to run a debt centre, job club, release group, life skills and the CAP Money Course!
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