In a time of non-gathered church, many congregations are concerned about their finances. We’re facing a situation where for some time we may not have the income usually linked with Sunday services, hall hirers and op shop income. While there aren’t easy answers to this, here are some initial suggestions.

Be aware that people are concerned about the basics of health, food, transport, work etc. It won’t help you or them to suddenly draw attention to the offering plate. Some people will be experiencing sudden or gradual loss of income themselves.

Be honest about this issue with members and seek their help in the following ways. You may need to provide coaching support for members who are not used to new approaches to banking.

  1. Encourage people to consider automated electronic giving through U Ethical. Download the Direct Offering Form here.
  2. Invite people to give directly to the church by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) on internet banking – provide them with your BSB and account details. Members can choose one-off payments or schedule regular weekly or monthly payments.
  3. Ask people to mail a cheque to the church.
  4. Ask people to make a deposit into your bank account at the church.
  5. Suggest that people have an offering bowl at home and put their offering in it in an envelope each week. You could arrange to collect the envelopes each few weeks. (Not the preferred option)

Some people may indeed want to consider their wills at this time. Synod information about bequests is here.

See Port Phillip East Presbytery’s April 2 2020 letter to church treasurers for further advice.

The Presbytery is keen to hear about your ongoing financial situation and to find ways to help you navigate the challenges that you are facing.