New debt advice service launched at West Hampstead church
The Bishop of London visited and blessed a new debt advice service at St James’s Church in West Hampstead, London.
The Bishop, joined by the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Larraine Revas, met with the Vicar of St James’s, the Revd Andrew Foreshew-Cain, and debt advice workers now based at the church to hear how the service, set to run two days per week, will offer help and support to those in the community.
The service will provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice, information and support to all people in the local community who are experiencing financial difficulty. The service will also assist people facing emergency situations such as eviction, repossession, disconnection of energy supply, bailiff enforcement action and, where appropriate, will attend court hearings to represent clients.
It is entirely self-funding from the profits of the businesses within The Sherriff Centre, a social enterprise based in St James’s Church aimed at placing the Church at the heart of local life in the West Hampstead community.
Inspired by community concerns about the closure of a high street Post Office, The Sheriff Centre was launched by the Revd Andrew Foreshew-Cain in 2014 and now includes a full-service Post Office, a children’s play area, a café and a gifts and card shop. During his visit the Bishop also had the opportunity to walk around the Centre to meet its employees and customers.
The Revd Andrew Foreshew-Cain commented:
“Our new debt advice service is the latest step we have taken fulfill to put St James’s at the heart of the West Hampstead community and deliver on the vision set out in Capital Vision 2020 for the Church in London to be more confident, compassionate and creative.
“My hope is that the Sherriff Centre sets a standard for Church engagement and commercial success that will be followed by other parishes in the future.”
The new debt service at the Sheriff Centre is the next step as part of St James’s commitment and endeavour to innovating and enhancing the role of the Church in the local community. For more information visit: www.thesherriffcentre.co.uk.