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Churchgoers to launch new charity to help those drowning in debt

by Tola Mbakwe

A group of 15 Christians from a variety of churches in Fareham will launch 'CMA Connect, Fareham' on Monday.

They will offer face-to-face help to people to direct them on how to access free, confidential debt advice.

The centre will be based at St John's Church Hall, Fareham.

Rev Bruce Deans, vicar of the church, said: "Initially, the idea came from me thinking and praying about the community we live in, and I asked God what new way we, as Christians, could share his love with them.
"I was very aware of the hardship that debt can bring to people's lives and began to do some research.

"I discovered that 32 per cent of Britain's workers have less than £500 in savings, and that 19 per cent of children who are part of families with problem debt also face bullying at school."

The need also became apparent when Rev Deans found that parts of Fareham are among the 20 per cent most deprived category in England.

"Problem debt is often a hidden burden with many detrimental implications for people's lives. It can cause great worry and even despair, and it exists here in Fareham.

"We are here to support those worried about debt, whatever their circumstances, background or faith.

"At the end of the day, we've done this because we're a group of Christians who believe that, even in the most difficult times, there is hope for the future. We really believe that." Rev Deans added.

The charity will be affiliated with the national charity Community Money Advice.

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