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CofE invests £1.25m in contactless giving to boost tithing

by Kelly Valencia

The Church of England has announced it will invest £1.25m in enabling digital payments to half of all its churches by 2023. 

The funding will be used to provide contactless devices, helping to set-up online giving, training, and one-to-one support.

Speaking to Premier, Grace Emmet, the national digital giving manager, said they want to see as many parishes as possible embracing different kinds of digital giving. 

"For some churches I think that will look like having a contactless unit and online giving, making good use of QR codes and sources… for other churches, it might be one or the other, particularly if you've got a church that say, got really high visitor footfall, but actually hasn't got many people coming on a Sunday, then a really good contactless donation unit might be the right fit for them."

Rural congregations, where connectivity might be a problem, will be offered units that are able to take offline donations or devices that can run off a mobile sim. 

"There's a bit of a sort of mix of options that we've got at the moment, which hopefully covers most church contexts, but obviously [we are] trying to work with churches to find good solutions and connectivity is a big part of that as well," Emmet continued. 

A first pilot has already begun in the Diocese of Carlisle with more than 100 churches taking part.  

Rev Beverley Lock, team rector of St Mary's, Ambleside, said: "We really welcome the opportunity to help lead this pilot and give thanks that Cumbria has been chosen as a pilot area.

"More and more we are seeing people who worship in and visit our churches turning to contactless forms of payment in their day-to-day lives so it's really important that the church is able to offer them the same opportunity to give financially.

"We are so grateful for all the ways in which people give to our mission, both through action and in monetary ways. During the Covid pandemic, we've really missed our regular visitors for their fellowship and encouragement. We hope this will make their generous giving easier."

Two other pilots are expected to start later in the year before the nation-wide rollout.


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