The Christian debt counselling charity that was forced to resign its membership of Advice UK after it emerged that it offers to pray with its clients, has secured a new licence that will enable it to expand its work with churches around the country.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has obtained a Group Consumer Credit Licence from the Office of Fair Trading, putting it on a similar footing to Advice UK in that it will be able to act as an umbrella body and grant consumer credit licences to other groups.
CAP's chief executive Matt Barlow said the licence would allow the charity to accelerate its growth into more geographical areas: “It will mean our charity will be able to partner in new ways with churches around the country to provide excellent debt counselling that truly changes lives. In a recent survey 94 per cent of clients described the service as ‘life-transforming’ or ‘a great help’.”
Last summer, CAP was forced to quit its membership of support network Advice UK after the umbrella body was made aware that it offers to pray for people who come to it with debt problems. Advice UK said that praying as part of the advice process was not compatible with its membership criteria, because “praying is not advice”.
CAP is a national charity with a network of 190 centres based in local churches.
As well as Advice UK, other organisations that hold a Group Consumer Credit Licence include Citizens Advice, the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Law Society.