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Money Talks: Christian Responses to Debt in the North East and London

Barclay, D.; Orton, A.

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D. Barclay


Debt has become increasingly significant in the UK over the last decade as a high profile issue which is having profound personal, social, economic and political consequences. This significance can be seen in the attention being paid to increasing levels of individual debt, and related figures for those encountering difficulties with repayments. For example, 371,000 people per quarter are being supported by Citizens’ Advice Bureaux with debt-related issues and the one person every five minutes and twenty eight seconds is being declared insolvent or bankrupt.1 This significance can also be seen in terms of an increased political focus on the national debt and deficit levels, and the impact of debt on the international financial system. Within this context, there has been substantial debate about broader issues of financial inclusion and services, particularly as these affect those in poverty, including debates over the regulation of parts of this market including forms of high cost, short term (‘payday’) lending. The role of faith-based responses to these issues has played an important role within these wider debates.2 This report considers the findings from research into Christian responses to these issues, in a context where many churches are engaged in everyday work with those experiencing debt in local communities alongside broader work tackling poverty. This local work by churches has been further supported and given public profile through interventions by religious leaders including the Archbishop of Canterbury and the work of several national Christian charities in organising responses, developing a supportive infrastructure, and campaigning on these issues. These interventions are taking place in a wider social contexts where the impact of religious faith in the public sphere (including through social action) is highly contested. Research to further explore Christian responses to debt in this context offered a significant opportunity to consider how such work is developing and how the Christian faith is shaping the responses that are being developed. The Leech Research Fellowship therefore agreed to fund research in this field as part of its broader work to carry out research projects engaging with churches that will “nourish Christian hope and have impact in the North East”

Report Type Project Report
Publication Date 2018
Deposit Date Jun 1, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 2, 2017
Publisher Durham University
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Department Name: School of Applied Social Sciences
University Name: Durham University
Publisher: Durham University
Type: monograph
Subtype: project_report


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