Pentecostal Credit Union celebrates 40-year anniversary
A key organisation founded by a member of the Windrush Generation to provide financial services to Britain's black community is getting ready to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020 with a series of major events.
Shane Bowes, the PCU's Chief Executive Officer is spearheading the celebrations which will include:
• A Reception at the House of Commons
• A special celebratory service at St Martin-in-the-Fields
• A Gala Banquet at a 5* hotel hosted by the BBC's Clive Myrie
Shane shared, "The PCU is proud of its many achievements during the past 40 years. We have come a long way since it was founded in 1980 when Rev Carmel Jones launched the PCU, opening the first account with just £1.
“Since then we have provided finance that has enabled congregations to buy churches, individuals to purchase property and set up businesses, and also offered personal loans and savings accounts. We are proud of that legacy because we have seen how doing so has impacted both churches and the wider community."
The Pentecostal Credit Union was founded by Rev Carmel Jones (pictured right) in 1980 after reading an article in The Sun newspaper about credit unions.
Rev Jones recognised that a Credit Union would provide the perfect vehicle to provide the black community with financial services like loans and savings accounts, as they were unable to access these services from major financial institutions at the time to finance their businesses, buy churches or get loans for their own personal use.
Fast forward to 2020 and the PCU is now one of the strongest credit unions in the country and is becoming a well-known name amongst its main audience the black Pentecostal community.
Since 2015, as well as providing a range of financial services, the PCU has focused on raising awareness of what it does and running initiatives to engage with and empower the wider community, as well as increasing financial awareness.
The PCU now provides free financial workshops for Pentecostal churches and church groups throughout the UK. It runs a leadership and personal development programme for members of their Youth Shadow Board and a course for member business start-ups and entrepreneurs who want to take their business to the next level.
It has also hosted a number of events which has included Solomon's Room, held at the Royal Society in 2018. The event gave students on their business development course the opportunity to make a pitch to established business owners for funding and support. Dragon's Den winner Levi Roots was the guest speaker.
The celebrations are taking place at an opportune time. Shane shared, "The PCU has a lot to celebrate, hence the fact that we will be hosting four very distinct events throughout 2020. All events will give the public the opportunity to hear how the PCU has contributed to the development of the black community over the years, get insight into our plans for the future and simply enjoy and applaud an organisation that can be considered a black business success story.”