Friday, October 25, 2013

Churches challenged over money and ethics

With church investments in the national spotlight, a website launched on 17 October will provide church groups and individual believers with a host of new resources to make ethical and spiritual decisions about their use of money. 

The your faith your finance website – – contains facts, links and case-studies covering issues ranging from banking and shopping to biblical parables about money. 

The new website provides quotes and explains a range of different views on the subjects in question and includes resources for personal reflection and group discussion.

The site is being launched at an Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR) debate on church investment. It has been developed jointly by ECCR and Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW). 

They aim to meet the growing demand from faith groups for help with the complex ethical and practical questions around the use of money. 

Examples and case-studies on the site involve people and groups from a range of church backgrounds and denominations.

Debate on ethical finance and its relationship to faith has become particularly intense in recent months, following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s criticisms of Wonga, the Pope's critique of global economic systems based on "a god called money", and British Quakers' recognition that continuing to invest in fossil fuels is incompatible with their faith commitment to low-carbon sustainable living.

John Arnold, director of the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR), said:
“As Jesus said, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

Between them, the UK’s churches, congregations and individuals own billions of pounds in investments and their bank accounts. 

Many Christians want to use their money in a way that witnesses to the Gospel but lack the information and resources that will help them to do so; ‘your faith your finance’ will help fill the gap.” 

Helen Drewery, general secretary of Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW), said: “Like many faith groups, Quakers try to put our whole lives under the guidance of the Spirit. This includes using our money wisely to work for sustainability and economic justice, but these are complex issues and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by ethical confusion. The ‘your faith your finance’ website will help individuals, churches and Quaker Meetings to explore challenging questions and discern the way forward.”

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