Friday, August 17, 2012

Is the end of the collection plate nigh?

According to a recent report from JustGiving, which raises cash for charities online, donations to religious causes have increased by 128 per cent over the past five years. Older donors have led the trend and are choosing the email inbox over the collection box in ever larger numbers.

Direct religious donations by the over-60's outstripped those of any other age-group, nearly trebling over the period, according to the report.

Harnessing the internet to benefit from the generosity of the faithful muts now become a priority for churches if they are to survive, the report shows.

The Right Rev Stephen Lowe, retired Church of England bishop for urban life and faith was quoted as saying: "We have not got the gear to receive the donations. How much longer can we keep passing the plate when people have not got the cash?".

So, are we going to see the day when mobile phones will be permitted - nay - encouraged in church during services so that the congregation can donate by text? It's clear we are increasingly becoming a cashless society, so at the very least, churches need to start thinking of alternatives to the traditional collecting plate.

What do you think?