Quakers in Britain and the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR) have launched a new website to help ‘individual believers’ and church groups tackle ethical and spiritual decisions about their use of money.
The site, Your Faith Your Finance, covers issues such as banking and shopping and uses tools such as case studies and parables from the Bible to help people think about the relevant issues.
â€œLike many faith groups, Quakers try to put our whole lives under the guidance of the Spirit,â€ explained Quaker Peace & Social Witness general secretary Helen Drewery. â€œThis includes using our money wisely to work for sustainability and economic justice, but these are complex issues and itâ€™s easy to feel overwhelmed by ethical confusion. The â€˜your faith your financeâ€™ website will help individuals, churches and Quaker Meetings to explore challenging questions and discern the way forward.â€
ECCR hopes that the new website will empower Christians to make decisions on who to bank with and to engage with their denominations regionally or nationally on their ethical investment policies. It will be a key part of ECCR’s Ethical Money Churches project, which will help a pilot group of churches to explore these issues in detail over the next three years.
â€œAs Jesus said, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,â€ said John Arnold, director of ECCR. â€œBetween them, the UKâ€™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; â€˜your faith your financeâ€™ will help fill the gap.â€ ECCR leads and collaborates with others in advocacy and awareness raising on issues of business, human rights and environmental stewardship.
This is not the first time that Quakers have made resources available online to help people consider ethical and spiritual choices around use of money. In 2000, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust published a book, Is your money working for the world? Written by Jennie Levin, the book draws on case studies and reflection questions to help Quakers and others to thing through the ethical and spiritual decisions they have to make about how to use their money. The book is available as a free download from http://www.quaker.org.uk/sites/default/files/Is-your-money-working-for-the-world.pdf.
Faith and ethical investment issues have been in the spotlight in recent months. In 07/2013 it was revealed that the Church of England had invested in funds that provided finances for payday loan company, Wonga. And earlier this month the Quakers announced that they are disinvesting from fossil fuel companies.
The Quakers and ECCR are not the only faith group launching new resources during National Ethical Investment Week from 13/10 to 19/10/2013. The Church of Scotland is among the churches publishing new resources: http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/speak_out/poverty_and_economics.