CAP are running free budgeting courses to help beat financial blues writes Maria Mackay for Christian Today.

As the Christmas bills start to roll in and the recession continues to put pressure on people’s finances, Christians Against Poverty has announced plans to run 500 free budgeting courses across the UK in the coming months.

The three-week CAP Money course will be run through local churches in February and March and led by trained CAP Money coaches. It teaches people how to budget and save, and use a simple cash-based money system to help keep their personal finances under control.

Participants will have the opportunity to seek advice and tips from the coaches, while those with more acute financial needs will be invited to make use of the charity’s full debt counselling service.

Matt Barlow, CAP UK Chief Executive, said the course was an opportunity to show the love of God to people caught in financial difficulty.

“We’re thrilled that so many hundreds of churches across the UK have decided to utilise a CAP Money course to practically serve those in their local communities,” he said.

“January is such a difficult and financially challenging time of year, when many start to feel the filter-through effect of overspending at Christmas and increased credit card bills.

“Through the course we aim to draw thousands of people, who would benefit from money management education, through church doors and show them the love of God by providing this service.

“Whilst many in the UK are still reeling from the recession, we are convinced that, with the principles advocated in CAP Money, many will be saved from slipping further into debt, whilst picking up excellent financial skills that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.”

CAP has an ambitious plan to open 80 new debt counselling centres this year, in addition to its existing 112 centres. It is inviting churches to consider running CAP Money as part of their outreach within the local community.

Speaking to Christian Today recently, CAP Operations Director Kathryn Foster said the expansion reflected the scale of the need.

“Sadly we don’t see the need lessoning. We would love if it our debt management courses got so in the fabric of society that people didn’t need debt counselling any more but we’re a long way off that,” she said.

To find out where your nearest CAP Money course is running, visit www.capmoney.org or call the CAP Money team on 01274 760780 to enquire.

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