The Provident Club

Stuart Billington

The Provident Club was a Christmas Savings Club run by St John’s Church. It started in 1945, and ran successfully until 2012.
Each week, a faithful band of collectors would call on subscribers to collect their savings contributions.
The contributions were invested in a bank Deposit account, and in November each year the subscribers were repaid their contributions in a lump sum. Many found this a great help towards the expenses of Christmas.
The agreement with the subscribers was that the interest arising each year from the deposited subscriptions would be contributed to  Church funds – so it was in fact a way of giving to the Church, which suited some people.
Subscribers did not have to be members of the Church – in fact very many were not – so the regular visiting by collectors therefore provided an opportunity for the Church to keep in contact with the local community.
During periods of high interest rates, the accrued interest for the year provided a substantial contribution to Church funds – for example in 1988 it was over £1000 (about £2,700 today).
Although the number of subscribers in 2012 was 45 (of which only 5 were church members), the Club was wound up in that year due to lack of collectors and low interest rates – the total collected in 2012 having been £33,235, and the interest was only £16.22!

This page was added on 08/07/2018.

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