Coping with debt - new course for pastoral workers

 Personal debt is rising rapidly in the UK. The average student leaves college owing thousands, and many older people are coping with much larger debts than they would have ten years ago. Unemployment, the increasing availability of hire purchase, credit cards and loans are leading more and more people into serious financial trouble. A free course aimed at priests, religious and others working with people who have debt problems, starts up next month at St Vincent's in Carlisle Place, Westminster. Organised by the Vincentian Millennium Partnership (VMP) and the Zaccaheus Trust, the first two-hour session of the McKenzie Friend training course begins on October 1 at 7pm. The name 'McKenzie Friend' was chosen after a man named McKenzie won the legal right for people facing court appearances for debt to bring a friend. Subjects covered will include court procedures, enforcing local taxes and rent, state benefits and means statements and Administration Orders & Juridical Reviews. The last session, on 19 November, will be given by Rev Professor Nicholas Sagovsky, Liverpool Professor of Theology and Public Life at Liverpool Hope University College, on 'The Theology of Friendship' For more information call: Sr Maureen Tinkler - VMP Co-ordinator Tel: 020 7535 5824 or e-mail:

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