Coronavirus ‘has hit church income hard’ – Stewardship

(Photo: Unsplash/Nick Fewings)

Many churches have experienced a drop in income since the start of the pandemic, says Stewardship, which is encouraging them to consider online giving as a way to reverse the decline.

While many churches have started to re-open for Sunday worship in the past few weeks, Stewardship said that the months of lockdown have taken their toll financially, with many of the churches in its network reporting increasing financial challenges due to the lack of collection plate offerings over 12 weeks.

This continues to be a challenge for churches that do not have an online giving platform in place and which rely on cash offerings at a time when many worshippers – especially the elderly – have continued to stay at home. 

Stewart McCulloch, CEO of Stewardship, said: “In our conversations and webinars with church leaders over these past three months, it became very clear to us that literally thousands of churches are losing usual donations from members, simply because they don’t have the resources or expertise to set up safe, user-friendly, online donor options.”

Stephen Moss, Stewardship’s Giving Services Church and Charity Lead, is encouraging churches to create a give.net church page to receive online donations.

The page can be customised for individual churches and a link sent out to members through which they can give online. 

Some churches and charities have already been utilising the service, with existing users seeing the amount of donations made through the platform triple in the first two months of lockdown alone. 

Mr Moss said: “Stewardship’s mission is to make it as easy as possible for churches to raise and receive money. Covid-19 has hit church income hard.

“Many churches are struggling after a huge drop in income over the past three months, and unless they provide easy-to-use, online options for regular giving, their income for the rest of 2020, and into 2021, will continue to fall significantly.” 

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