Anybody can write an IOU.
In the distant past, that’s more or less how local trade worked - the big landowner wrote (in effect) a post-dated cheque that would be passed from one person to the next in payment for goods and services, till eventually somebody cashed it, and the landowner wrote another.
Already today, many people are using that kind of note as a cashless currency in barter networks - not just groups of hippies (I mean no disrespect) in Local Exchange Trading Schemes but also small and medium sized businesses in commercial networks like Bartercard, which serves 75,000 small businesses in several countries.
That’s because small and medium sized businesses that provide vast amount of employment are typically paid slowly but expected to pay suppliers and tax bills quickly. Consequently they are always short of the working capital that provides life to small businesses. Banks are not generally interested in providing that.
A solution is to use barter, or trade within a network that accepts IOUs, usually denominated as a form of currency.
Thus, a hairdresser might pay “barter pounds” to an accountant, and earn them back by giving haircuts to other members of the network (again, for barter pounds). People in these networks say they experience a great increase in new business - helping them thrive at a time when others complain that trade is falling off.
It seems to me that the Church of England, hoping to move on from the current awkwardness at St Pauls, could become a useful pillar of support to a similar network run by, say, the Cooperative movement. There are many different co-ops around the country, who could create a lot of trade with each other while saving hard cash.
Why involve the church? Because that could widen the awareness of the network very quickly, and make it available to people who are not (yet) working for co-ops. It needn’t be exclusively the CofE that does this, of course.
(It’s worth remembering that Fair Trade came out of the faith movement and was vigorously supported by co-operatives.)
It’s just a thought, but I would like very much to know what you think.