Supporting the church, supporting community

Published on: 4 May 2021

When lockdown began our first thoughts were how we could meet the pastoral needs of the church and wider community and provide worship. We soon had systems in place to keep the church running while our buildings were closed.

As the days turned to weeks and it looked like the weeks were going to turn into months it became apparent that not having the building open for visitors and not meeting face to face for worship was beginning to have an impact on our finances. It was becoming increasingly clear too that we would not be able to hold our summer fete which is our major fundraiser for the year as well as a brilliant way to engage with the people of the town.

In Attleborough we were relatively early adopters of a contactless card machine. We have one which is linked to a mobile phone so we can’t leave it out during the week when the church is left unattended. In truth the machine doesn’t get used very much but after the initial set up it doesn’t cost us anything. The payments are handled through ‘Give a Little’ who use ‘Sumup’ to process the payments. When ‘Give a Little’ emailed to say that they could now take online payments it seemed like an opportunity which was too good to miss. You can set up a campaign page where donors can choose to click a button with the amount they would like to give or decide their own amount. We put a ‘Donate now’ button on our website which would take people to the campaign page and, now the buildings are open again, we use QR codes on service sheets and displayed next to the wall safe for people to scan to take them to the website.

For the basic service there is no cost other than the small percentage handling fee on each transaction. In June we upgraded to the Premium Service which costs £10 per month but for that Give a Little collect the data to claim Gift Aid and you’re allowed more than one campaign page.

We set up an additional virtual fete page and asked the wider community if they would make a small donation equivalent to something they had not spent money on during lockdown; a takeaway coffee, their commute, a haircut! We promoted it widely on Facebook and Twitter, and through posters around the town. Amazingly we raised £1300, somewhat short of the £4000 we usually make at the fete but a big help nonetheless. We’ve also raised roughly £1000 during lockdown through general donations.

We’re very grateful for the support from members of the congregation and the wider community to support the work of the church in these difficult months.

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