PayWave Giving
PayWave St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne

In a recent post, a throwaway line of mine, that to be authentically Anglican an online service should have a collection and notices, led to an interesting comment from a person whose church hadn’t had a collection for years. The commenter assumed that this was common and that most people give using automatic payments or bank transfers.

I have been advocating for church to move more into the Third Millennium – especially mission and ministry in the digital world. I have written about having a paywave donation point for visitors a they enter the church building (example in the image above). Some churches have indeed been putting these up. Some churches have a machine so you can make a PayWave/card payment donation electronically as you come in or go out of a service.

I was so surprised at the commenter’s assumption that collection plates are a thing of the past that I posted the question on twitter. There was a good, quick response spanning the spectrum. In summary, congregants prefer putting something into a collection plate; church leaders prefer regular digital giving. Even though many assert that, whilst in lockdown, online they are having far more people at their services, there is mostly a significant drop in church income. Very many are, in New Zealand, receiving the government’s wage subsidy – which is only possible if you have had at least a 30% drop in income. Not presenting an online facility to donate in online services is costing.

Two final points. I often find that visiting a church, it seems a deep secret how one would become a regular giver here (yes, there are excellent exceptions to this observation). Secondly, I think that the collection has a theological place in the service. I dislike (note the understatement) those churches that have a complex ritual for the collection that they would never dream of applying to the bread and wine of the Eucharist, but I do think the connection between ourselves and our money (cf. Jesus often talking about wealth and money) makes the offering of our money in a service important. If your church has a digital means of giving money, I think that you should be able to pick up a card as you enter the building (the card can have a well-thought-through statement and even a Bible quote) that you can put on the collection plate as it goes round as your way to participate in this part of a service.

This post really continues Liturgy Lockdown Lessons. Here are the previous ones:

Lockdown Liturgy Lessons 1 (3 minutes reading time)
Lockdown Liturgy Lessons 2 (5 minutes reading time)
Lockdown Liturgy Lessons 3 (4 minutes reading time)
Lockdown Liturgy Lessons 4 (4 minutes reading time)
Lockdown Liturgy Lessons 5 Teilhard’s Mass on the World (4 minutes reading time)
Lockdown Liturgy Lessons 6 Agape Meal (4 minutes reading time)
Lockdown Liturgy Lessons 7 (6 minutes reading time)
Lockdown Liturgy Lessons 8 (5 minutes reading time)

Some of the other resources and reflections on this site for this Covid19 context:
Holy Saturday in a Covid19 World
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter in a Covid19 World
Coronavirus solitude self-isolation and spirituality
Streaming services, online spiritual resources in coronavirus times
New Zealand Prayer Book Daily Prayer
NZ in lockdown
Covid 19 moves churches into the Third Millennium
Spiritual Communion
Carthusians Covid-19 and Communion
Learning from Hermits in a Covid19 World

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