Church of England to trial contactless collections in 40 churches

The churches will use contactless payment devices to take payments of less than £30

St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle
St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle

The Church of England has chosen 40 churches around the UK to trial contactless payment alongside the traditional collection plate.

The churches will be equipped with the contactless payment devices to accept payments of less than £30, and will use them to take collections as well as payments for things such as hall hire.

The trial, announced last month, is expected to start in the autumn and run until the end of the year, with full roll-out to all dioceses expected to happen in 2018.

In a statement on its website, the Church of England said: "The trial aims to encompass a variety of churches – urban, rural, large and small – to make sure that the needs of different parishes are considered when the scheme is offered nationally."

Ten of the larger churches chosen for the trial will place the contactless payment devices on a fixed terminal at the entrance and exit, allowing people to donate on their way past.

The other churches will have devices that will be passed around the congregation during the service.

Churchgoers will be able to select from three common donation amounts or key in a different amount in order to donate.

St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle is among those selected to test the fixed-terminal devices.

The Very Reverend Christopher Dalliston, the Dean of Newcastle, told Third Sector: "We are conscious that to maintain the cathedral as an open welcoming space takes a lot of money and we rely on the generosity of visitors.

"Increasingly people don’t carry cash, but they want to be generous, and this is a way of enabling people who are very accustomed to making contactless payments to give gifts in a very easy and accessible way."

The trial is being overseen by the Church of England’s collective purchasing service, Parish Buying, which said in a statement that to take the donations it would use three card readers from companies that came up with the best overall proposals for usability and price for use in the church.

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