Friday 26 March 2021


This is a long post - but I've spent a week debating whether or not to share it, and It is something that I feel strongly about...


This is Debt Awareness Week. This past year has wreaked havoc with the financial plans of thousands of families across our nation. Business have folded, people have been furloughed, lost jobs, had reduced hours and paycuts, others had to stop work because of contracting covid19 …it’s been really tough [conversely others have made vast sums of money through “greed and capitalism” – the rich get rich and the poor get poorer, as the old song goes] My immediate family have been ok, but I know others who have struggled. 

And there is still huge stigma about being in debt. People feel it is their fault, their bad choices – but that is not always the case. People hide their shame, and the unopened bills, and the situation gets worse and worse. I’m not judging anyone; I just want to say there is help available, and it is free and confidential and it can literally make all the difference. What follows is a true story…

A decade or so ago, on the Friday one week before Easter, I went upstairs to switch off my PC before going to bed. An email pinged in the inbox. I stopped and read it [despite telling myself ‘this can probably wait till morning’] It basically said

“You don’t know me, but I read your blog everyday. My life is a mess, I am in debt, my rent is overdue, I cannot pay the bills. I’m a carer for my disabled spouse. My only child lives on the other side of the world, and she is pregnant – she doesn’t know my situation. I can’t go on. I’ve put my affairs in order, and packed all my clothes for the Charity Shop. On Good Friday, I plan to take my life. I know that then my husband will be properly looked after by Social Services. I know that you are a Christian – so I am asking you to pray that God will forgive me for this. Thank you”

I called Bob – “I’ve got to help. Perhaps I could go and see her?” He wisely suggested I found out where she was. I sent a brief reply, saying I would pray, begging her to reconsider [how will your daughter explain to her child that her Grandma chose to die before she was born?] and asking her where she lived, and promising I would do all I could to help. The reply came back instantly simply naming a city hundreds of miles from Leicester.

Oh the miracle of Blogland! I had a friend in that city. I immediately emailed “Can’t go into details – but this is a life-and-death matter. Please give me the names of 4 debt agencies, in the N,S,E and W of your city” She was still at her PC – and by midnight, I’d been able to send these details to the woman in distress, saying “I promise you that any one of these will help, they won’t judge And I heard no more.

I prayed, I shared the briefest of details with church friends, they prayed. Good Friday came, and went... and I prayed, and wept…and I heard nothing. Then three weeks later – another email

“Sorry for the delay- my internet was cut off. A friend is letting me send this from her computer. I went to the debt people. They’ve sorted things out with my landlady, and helped me get everything back on track. Things will be OK now. Thank you so much. This has saved my life

That was so wonderful to read. Then a few years later, a second email out of the blue. The lady told me she and her spouse had been moved into an adapted wheelchair friendly bungalow. People had helped furnish it, and others were tending the garden and growing vegetables for them. She thanked me again for my help and my prayers. I've heard no more since.

I was just a small link in the chain that pulled her out of the quagmire of debt. I think of that lady every year when it gets to Holy Week.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – and don’t be afraid to offer help. Don’t let debt be a death sentence.


  1. This is an inspiring story. You made a difference. Debt IS made all the more awful because of the stigma as you say. CAP and other organisations really can help and I am so glad God put the pieces in place for you to help. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I'm glad you were able to help that lady, Angela. You are a great example of someone who is ever ready to offer a helping hand, someone who truly cares.

  3. How brilliant that you were there just at that moment to help and knew how to help.

  4. So good that she kept in contact with you later. It would have been hard not to know what happened. Poor lady.

  5. What a wonderful story. You clearly helped someone in a desperate situation,offering prayer and practical support as you always do when you are able. I know you and Bob will continue to do this as you move into the next phase of your lives.

  6. How lovely that you were able to make such a significant difference x

  7. That is a wonderful story, Angela! Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus!

  8. Thank you for sharing this.

    Often the people struggling the most are the ones least likely to ask for help. I remember throughout my teaching career when trips were organised and 'donations' asked for as payment. People well able to afford wouldn't send in the money and their children were paid for from 'school funds'. Others who were struggling financially often went without in order to send in the money as they were too proud to ask for help. We teachers have our own ways of helping these children and families, but they often fall through the official safety net- net is a good way of describing a system which isn't very robust and full of gaping holes for those in the most need!

    Your message is one of faith in action. Your blog friend certainly reached out to someone who was able and willing to help.

  9. This was a lovely ending. How great that she reached out to you and that you had a friend in her area. Miraculous really.

  10. This is wonderful to read. Thank you for being there then and sharing now.

  11. Amid the doom and gloom, this post stands out turning a negative into a positive. Thanks to you and your friends for acting so quickly and to the lady for accepting help. As we know prayers are a powerful tool which I believe played a large part in helping. Fiona

  12. I am sure there are many others who can share stories like this. In these difficult days let us go on loving, praying and sharing...and yes, JanF, miracles do happen


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