Episcopal Church Loan Fund
The Irish Ecumenical Church Loan Fund was founded in 1977 and makes loans to a variety of community and church-related organisations and bodies. It is usually known by the acronym 'ECLOF'.
Criteria: the Fund tries to make loans available to those working in the following areas; cross-community (i.e. mixed Protestant and Catholic) contact and peace and reconciliation work; ecumenical developments; church and other social outreach in areas of need; care for marginalised and vulnerable groups; aspects of proclaiming the Christian gospel. Most loans would be towards the cost of purchasing property or building and renovating property.
Recipients: Typical recipients of loans would be; an adult education centre doing some building development; a cross-community (Protestant and Catholic) play group for young children in a rural area; a church residential centre for young people making links across church divides; a community group providing a range of services locally; a church-based community and social service organisation; a Christian reconciliation centre; a local youth group; an organisation working with homeless people to provide support and accommodation; a centre providing a variety of activities for disabled and able- bodied people.
ECLOF in Ireland provides loans both North and South of the border, in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
ECLOF in Ireland makes loans of up to UK£25,000 (c. €35,000) without reference to head office in Geneva, or slightly more if it is ratified there. ECLOF loans are often used to top up available funding to meet the necessary finance required for a capital project to proceed, e.g. for building repairs. Loans are usually for a maximum of 5 years and current interest rates (2007) are around 4%.
The committee of the Fund meets as often as necessary to process applications and is serviced by a secretary based in the Inter-Church Centre, Belfast. An information sheet is available on request and the secretary is happy to discuss potential applications with anyone.
Further information from: