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9 13

A rare instance of a church doing something very, very good indeed...

British users will be aware of Wonga. For the benefit of those from other parts of the world, Wonga was a bunch of evil vampires which specialised in "pay day loans" - that is, small loans, often of £100 or less, usually made to desperately poor people who needed some cash to pay for things like food for their children and other essentials until next pay day. If they paid it off when agreed, they would pay a relatively small amount back along with the loan. However, being poor it was entirely possible that they might not be able to do so, which meant they'd pay back more.

That's what banks do too, of course, it's how lending money works. However, Wonga's repayment rates were massive - just before the company went into administration recently, the average repayment rate was 1509%. A couple of years back, before new legal regulations were brought in to stop them, they charged 5853%. So, thanks to them, a lot of people who were already in desperate financial hardship ended up much, much worse.

With the company in administration, its loanbook is going to be put up for sale at a bargain price. The most likely purchaser would have been another bunch of evil vampires operating a similar payday loan company... but an unlikely champion has stepped in, namely, the Church of England.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has been severe in his criticism of Wonga in the past, accusing them of trading in misery. Next week, he and church commissioners will meet at Lambeth Palace in London to discuss using part of the Church's £8.3 billion investment fund to buy out Wonga and ensure that all those who still have outstanding loans with the firm will now pay them back at a fair and reasonable rate, which will alleviate a great deal of worrying for many thousands of people.

Proof that, sometimes, religious people and organisations do very good things.

[bbc.co.uk]

By Jnei8
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9 comments

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1

That's a new one, LOL!

1

Because of some comments I received I had to reread the article here (I cannot access the BBC website).

"Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has been severe in his criticism of Wonga in the past, accusing them of trading in misery." ... but the church didn't act before the business became insolvent (I guess).

Now the church investment fund is looking into buying Wonga out. So the church is investing into a business offering a financial service. The new owner will make sure the loans will be repaid.

There is no indication the church might just cancel the debt.

"With the company in administration, its loanbook is going to be put up for sale at a bargain price."

So the church is a bargain hunter ... if they buy the debt at the fraction of the nominal value ... of course they can be generous.

Will they employ debt collectors?

The problem with this article is that it primes the reader into thinking of the "goodness of the organisation".

I am sure that the meeting at Lambeth Palace will not be as cheap as meeting at a McDonald's joint.

3

Would be cool if the church kommisars looked at the Lambeth Palace ... and came to the conclusion: “That place would be great for the homeless. While we are at it ... we have fewer bums on pews ... perhaps we can convert a few churches into homes for the needy rather than selling them of to turn them into Yuppie playgrounds!"

2

That's great. Yes, sometimes they get it right. It would be nice if they would simply forgive the debt.

2

I have mixed feelings about this topic.

Holysocks Level 7 Sep 15, 2018
1

Obviously it's a PR exercise ... otherwise the church would just have done it quietly.

From the article, I see no PR. I see the BBC reporting on events and them reaching out to the church... not the church reaching out to the BBC.

@TheMiddleWay Obvisously it was publicised ... real charity is discrete and silent.

@PontifexMarximus
A deal like this is a matter of public record and could never be discrete or silent. If it where PR, then the church would be actively promoting said motions and I see nothing in the article to suggest anything more than the BBC got wind of this transaction and reported it.

@PontifexMarximus I don't buy that. Even if it was done publicly, which @themiddleway just refuted and you ignored, why should one hide one's good deeds?

@TheMiddleWay OK ... here the title is
"A rare instance of a church doing something very, very good indeed..."
It's a business transaction buy a religious organisation.

@ghettophilosopher I was too hasty in my reaction ... I now realise this is just a business transaction ...I was lured into this topic because of the headline here

"A rare instance of a church doing something very, very good indeed..."

There is actually insufficient nformation in relation to any tangible befinit to the debtors ...

My apologies for my reaction ...

@ghettophilosopher Why should one only commit good deeds ostentatiously?

@PontifexMarximus
On the broader philosophical topic brought up, a good dead done in public is still a good deed and in terms of the charity no different than a good deed done in private.

If I give a hungry person a loaf of bread and draw no attention to the fact, is that loaf any less nutritious or useful to the person I'm giving it too if I draw attention to the fact?

Yes, it may reflect poorly on a person if the only reason they do charity work is to garner attention for themselves... but the charity act itself is no less diminished by that fact as I see it.

@TheMiddleWay I am just a grumpy old cynic. Once I attended a the general annual meeting of a sister city committee in a city in the deep North of Australia. One of those boring meetings ... all heads of the various committees had to give their annual report. When it was the turn of the committee in charge of the relations with Lei in PNG the committee secretary or president or whatever said: " We took the outdated supplies from the Base Hospital to the local hospital !“ 。。。 Applause
So I asked why. My "silly question" was met with consterned faces and the explanation that these supplies are still perfectly good and safe.
"OK .. so why don't you use them and send new supplies to the hospital in PNG?" I didn't wait for the answer ... before adding: ”You would not send outdated supplies to other sister cities in more civilised countries 。。。 or would you?"
According to Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
Charity is the drowning of justice in the craphole of mercy.

Instead of quietly packing the things and handing them over these bourgeois people wanted to receive accolades for a relatively mean act.

Sorry I am just a miserable shit stirrer. A few days ago I saw a guy in real rags ... the rips in his pants had been organically inflicted and not tailor added. His hair had probably not seen the intervention of a hairdresser in decades. I just left a little money in his bundle. I didn't think that he saw me. This guy rushed to his bundle grabbed the money and ran after me to hand it back.
That is dignity! In his way he told me to "Fuck off" Amazing gesture.

2

Sometimes heroes wear robes. Now if we can get them to keep the robes on when they're around little boys.

2

But let us not forget: It is easy to be generous with other people's money! All church funds come from the outside ... all too often from modest sources.

2

Wow, good to hear about a church doing the right thing for poor people.

well ,,, so far the church owned investment fund is just considering ...

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