It is not surprising that Archbishop Justin Welby believes that the terms of the high margin, high risk pay day loan sector can be transformed by the action of the Church. As an oil executive, he attended Holy Trinity Church in Brompton from where the Alpha programme - a ground-breaking education initiative - was rolled out globally, attracting close to 200 million participants. Subseqently he trained for the ministry at St John’s College in Durham University, one of whose claims to fame is to have been the launchpad of the ethical trade business, Traidcraft, which itself founded the global fair-trade movement.
Strange, then, the breadth and potential for his own striking announcement - that he wanted to ‘compete’ Wonga.com and its like out of existence - was suddenly overshadowed by a very traditional ecclesiastical call: namely, to give more local support to Britain’s small credit union sector. It was as though the experienced oil executive had for a moment been captured by a committee of earnest local community workers. Just as a revolution for the poor and cash-strapped flickered into sight, it seemed that it might slip away again.