Award winning debt counselling charity that is lifeline for many in Burnley and Padiham set to re-open

An award winning debt counselling charity, which was in the process of helping hundreds of people across Burnley and Padiham before it had to close due to the pandemic, is to re open.

By Susan Plunkett
Friday, 29th May 2020, 3:45 pm

Although it usually operates on a face to face basis with clients visited in their own homes CAP, which stands for Christians Against Poverty, has switched to offering advice and support over the phone due to social distancing requirements.

The free service was launched in February when St Leonard’s Church in Padiham, with the support of a team of other local churches in the area, joined forces with CAP to help 48 people and families across the borough by offering home visits for those affected by debt problems.

News that the service can now re-open will be a welcome boost amid the financial hardship that many people may be facing with the economic downturn caused by Covid 19.

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John Graver, pictured with his wife Wendy, is manager of the Christians Against Poverty debt centre which is helping people in Burnley and Padiham

Burnley debt centre manager John Graver said: “The Church has always been about offering hope and we're really pleased to be able to give a tried-and-tested route out of debt alongside other great free debt advice in the area.

“There is a lot in the Bible about looking after the poorest. In our society, a lot of poverty is debt-related so our church has been working hard to open a CAP centre to help get people back on track.”

CAP offers people a uniquely in-depth, caring service to people with spiralling personal debt. The charity does all the negotiating with creditors and local volunteers offer support to each person until the day they are debt free.

John added: “Debts can happen when a relationship breaks down, or someone loses their job, or through bereavement – so often when people are least able to cope with a financial headache.

"We’re just so pleased to be able to partner the care of our church with the financial expertise of CAP’s head office in Bradford.”

The charity has around 300 centres around the UK helping people regardless of their income, age, gender, sexuality, background or faith. The free debt counselling has won a string of accolades including being described as 'unsurpassed' by TV’s money saving expert Martin Lewis.

● To find out more please go to or call 0800 328 0006