Personal debt worries weigh heavily on many across our diocese and taking the first step to solve money problems can be painfully hard.
But one woman’s story from Wakefield should give hope to all.
Mother-of-three Joyce Bloomfield found herself owing thousands in legal fees after a drawn-out child custody battle and more in unpaid utility bills.
Joyce, then a worshipper at All Saints’ Church, Normanton, was told by a friend to contact Christians Against Poverty, the ecumenical charity which offers holistic support and advice to those with money troubles.
“It wasn’t because of spending on luxuries, but the debts just grew and grew,” Joyce said.
“I never spent on myself, it was always on my children and trying to help other people, but then I broke up with my partner and ended up with nowhere to live.
“I didn’t have enough to raise a bond on renting a new home and my youngest son and I had to return to live with my family.”
Joyce was also made redundant from her job as a packer at a supermarket warehouse and felt she had nowhere to turn.
“Then the friend who had brought me to faith at All Saints told me about Christians Against Poverty.
“It was a hard step to take, but I knew people would help and that those people would be praying for me.
"It was actually a very exciting feeling just picking up the phone. And the people who then came to help and befriend me were just amazing.
“I never felt judged and could tell them everything. My life changed from that moment.
“The befrienders lifted my spirits and it just showed the love of Christ in action.
“I felt truly blessed and from that point things began to get better as they helped me sort out my debts and I even managed to save money and be able to pay a bond on renting a new house for me and my son.
“I felt so overwhelmed with support I was even able to give up a 30-year smoking habit.”
As her finances stabilised, Joyce then joined a job club run by CAP and is currently working as a catering assistant at Wakefield Cathedral’s popular café.
“I am happy again thanks to Jesus and being shown so much love by people - the sort of love that can move mountains,” Joyce said. She now worships at St Helen’s, Sandal Magna, Wakefield, which is where the local CAP debt centre is based and which has a 200-strong congregation.
CAP’s Mick Read promotes the work of the Bradford-based charity in the Wakefield episcopal area and said:
“Nationally we help some 16,500 people tackle debt problems every year, with at least a thousand of those turning to Christ,” Mick said.
“One of the issues is helping those people stay debt-free by finding employment and we run 175 job clubs, like the one which helped Joyce.”
Mick said CAP depended on the generosity of “Life Changers” who sign up to make regular donations ranging from £10 a month.
“If anyone needs our help in tackling personal debt problems or wishes to support our work, I’d ask them to go to our website for contact details,” Mick said.
The charity can be contacted at: https://capuk.org/