Credit unions in over 100 countries are celebrating International Credit Union Day (17 October) and this year’s theme of  ‘Unite for Good − a better way’.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is encouraging churches to work with credit unions to help more people to access local, ethical and affordable financial services; and there is a whole raft of information about credit unions on the Church of England website to help parishes and individuals find out more about how they can be involved.

John Hayworth, secretary of Kernow Credit Union, writes: “In simple terms a credit union does two things − savings and loans. All UK credit unions are regulated by the Bank of England (PRU and FCA); and members’ savings are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Kernow Credit Union (KCU) is for everyone who lives or works in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It is a ‘not-for-profit-company’ − a co-operative − and is the only community based credit union in Cornwall. As with all credit unions, the KCU must be sustainable.

It has over 2,000 members, £0.8 million of savings, nearly £0.5 million of loans and only three-and-a-half staff paid staff. So it is dependent on volunteers. Volunteers are the backbone of KCU − from staffing service points through to supporting the Board of Directors.

The KCU needs more premises as office points and more volunteers ¬ people with basic numeracy skills and if possible, as a real bonus, computer skills too!

Training is provided and there will be two special Information Days (including some training) on on Thursday 7 November at Camborne Parish Church and Saturday 9 November at Bodmin Methodist Church.

Both events will run from 10am to 3.30pm and if you wish to attend, contact Rosey Sanders on 01872 274 351 or at


Related links

Credit unions in general:

Kernow Credit Union in particular: