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Cathedrals to trial contactless donation boxes

Sun 22 Oct 2017
By Alex Williams

Donation boxes accepting money via contactless bank cards are to be trialed at a dozen Church of England cathedrals in an attempt to boost giving.

Bristol, Guildford (pictured below), Liverpool, St Paul's and St Edmundsbury are among twelve landmarks participating in the pilot scheme, due to start later this year.

Andy Beecroft

 

Rev David Potterton from Romsey Abbey, which is also taking part, told the Sunday Telegraph: "We hope that giving everyone, particularly people who aren't carrying cash anymore, the opportunity to donate will increase the abbey's visitor donations substantially."

The announcement comes after a report by UK Finance last week concluded that charities missed out on £160 million during the past twelve months because fewer people are carrying coins and notes.

Guildford Cathedral in Surrey said its 30,000 visitors annually offer donations of £10,000 per year - an average of 30p per person.

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Like most other cathedral, the landmark is free to enter but secure containers, dubbed 'honesty boxes', encourage guests to make a suggested donation.

Matt O'Grady from Guildford Cathedral told the Sunday Telegraph: "We definitely don't want to impose a fee; in our case, we think that would be a barrier to people coming here."

Tony Harrison/Flickr
The church at night

 

During the summer, contactless payment terminals were passed around with traditional collection plates at approximately 40 Church of England congregations, as part of a separate pilot scheme.

National stewardship officer at the Church of England, John Preston told the Financial Times at the time: "We're aware that younger generations - and there are many people now who don't carry cash - want to give in different ways".

"Enabling them to give in a way that suits them is something we'd like to try."

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