Jesus came proclaiming the “acceptable year of the Lord” or the “year of jubilee”.( Luke chapter 4) The year of jubilee meant release for slaves and an end to debt. Loans were cancelled and property restored to the original owner. So an initiative to help people get out of debt or escape the clutches of those who would exploit them, is in the same vein of what Jesus announced. Just as the church was at the forefront of the provision of schools and hospitals when our society needed them, I believe now is the time for us to serve the poor and vulnerable with money management advice, help with budgeting and, where necessary, one to one support when the debt has become unmanageable.
CAP money courses have been run by Colchester churches for several years, but we want to offer more to those in greatest need. The government is making big changes to the benefit system this year which will result in less income for many poorer families. The local authorities are aware of the hardship this is likely to cause and welcome of our offer to work in partnership with the church in order to help people who are affected.
Some churches and individuals have already made a commitment towards funding the CAP Centre in Colchester. A Cap Centre is not a building but means that a centre manager visits people in their homes backed up by specialist support from CAP staff in Bradford. For the “customers” the service is and always will be completely free of charge.
Cap Centre Opened in May 2013 in Colchester. The church has a great opportunity to serve our town in a relevant and practical way, bringing the message of Jubilee to people in great need of hope.