To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to change the way parish donations are collected in response to reductions in the use of cash.
24 March 2020
The Church recognises the need to adapt to the move away from cash towards contactless payments. A large and fast-evolving range of contactless solutions is available through the Church’s own Parish Buying service, with over 1,900 churches now having the means to accept payments or donations by card or mobile phone. The Church aims to have over half of its 16,000 churches able to take contactless payments and donations in the next three years.
The Church of England in partnership with the Church in Wales is working through its Parish Buying programme to negotiate competitive prices for churches. More information on that can be found at the Parish Buying website: https://www.parishbuying.org.uk/categories/giving-and-payments
The Church of England has also been encouraging congregations to move to electronic planed giving schemes. This is primarily to reduce administrative burdens on volunteers, but at a time when churches have closed for public health reasons, electronic planned giving ensures continuity of a regular income.