On Sunday 24th February, KMAC held a Thanksgiving Service to mark 10 years of debt advice in Southend. As the Borough’s first and longest running Christian debt advice service, this was an appropriate milestone at which to collectively give thanks to God. There wasn’t even an offering taken for the work.
“This is about being grateful to God, not an opportunity to raise support” said Gavin Dixon, Manager of KMAC and also leader of King’s Church. At the evening event (alongside members of King’s Church) there were leaders from LifeStreams, and also from Westcliff Elim and Westcliff Free Church (both of whom also serve on the Love Southend Servant Team). There were representatives from other churches – even as far as Southminster on The Dengie. Also present were Borough Councillors from 3 main political groups, prospective Councillors, and Sir David Amess (who has long been a supporter of the work that KMAC do). Subsequent to his visit Sir David mentioned the event as part of a question in the House of Commons on Thursday morning regarding excessive interest and fees being charged. Steve Bolton from Community Money Advoce (who is the Regional Operations Manager who support KMAC) shared about the vision of CMA, and shared the delight at seeing KMAC celebrate 10 years service.
With the number of families and individuals struggling with debt growing in Southend, it looks like KMAC will be around for a few more years. Alongside the more recent local CAP addition, Southend is better served than many areas….but there will be more need for the service.
” We have no shortage of clients, ” said Gavin, ” We serve 3 local school areas in the Borough, and other support services from Southend Council also refer their clients to us. We have a waiting list too. Being authorised by the FCA we can actually offer debt advice there and then, we can contact creditors and negotiate on our clients behalf. This makes the Community Money Advice model unique in Christian circles. Each of the 150 centres has it’s own FCA authorisation. We felt from the outset that this would suit our clients needs best, and it has proven to be the case time and time again.”
The evening also took time to pray for ALL the ministries from ALL the churches in Southend. The prayer was for the fruitfulness and effectiveness of all the churches in the Borough to bring change. Those attending were reminded of the Borough motto, which includes “by the church” as part of the cause of the town. Prayers were prayed that the whole church in the Borough would be the cause of blessing for the Borough with the Gospel, as well as with ministries supporting those with more visual needs – to see the evidence of the complete love of God for the people in the Borough..spiritually and physically.