Making giving easy
People appreciate the church being open at Christmas and want to give, but many of us are out of the habit of using cash and may be ‘caught short’ at collection time. If you don’t have any form of digital giving, you might want to think about some of these suggestions (this short video summarises the three ways to encourage generosity this Christmas):
1. Set up online giving
Parish Buying offers an affordable and simple online giving service called Give A Little which gives people the opportunity to give to your church via your website. There’s plenty of guidance and step-by-step videos to help you get set up. Once you’ve set up your online giving page either on your church website or on A Church Near You, you can share the link to the page widely.
2. Try a QR code
If you have a Give A Little online giving page, you can create a QR code that sends givers to your giving page.
QR codes are images that, when scanned on a phone or tablet, take a person directly to a website page. They are easy to use and people are becoming more comfortable using them as they appear in restaurants and on trains. Once you have created your QR code, you can add it to anything you print such as a pew card, an order of service or Christmas cards. You can also display it on the screen if you are streaming your service.
3. Go contactless
There are a range of contactless units available on Parish Buying to suit the different requirements of churches. As well as giving people the opportunity to make a gift, they are useful for making donations for candles or refreshments – in fact anything where cash would have been used a few years ago.
Making 'Give a Little' look festive using Canva
If you use Give a Little on your contactless device and like using Canva, you might want to download one of the templates below to make your device seasonal. Using the Church of England Christmas graphics (click here for other resources in the range) and with space to personalise the template, you can instantly make your device much more eye-catching and festive.
Downloads/videos to help you get started:
How to edit and download a Canva file (download in Word).
Watch the supporting video for this file. (opens in Vimeo)
How to create a Christmas App Campaign (download in Word)
Watch the supporting video for this file (opens in Vimeo)
Generous Christmas Poster to encourage donations
Download this poster to draw attention to either a contactless device, or a collection plate in your church this Christmas. You can edit it with your church name, and add a QR code to make it your own. With thanks to the Birmingham Giving Advisor Lou Bayliss whose work this is.
Free Generosity logo to download
Feel free to download and use this winter-themed Generosity logo on any of the materials you produce to encourage a generous church this season.
Download the image here - open the link then right-click on the image and choose 'Save image as' in order to save it into your own files.
There's lots of inspiration and ideas for a Generous Christmas in our special edition newsletter. Download it here.
St Augustine’s College of Theology and the Diocese of Rochester have teamed up to offer a lectionary-based resource to help you preach confidently not just about money, but about generosity in every sense. For weekly inspiration delivered direct to your inbox, subscribe to their newsletter here.
Ensuring our welcome is warm
It’s a great feeling to see people come to church at Christmas and to know that Christ is still a key part of their celebrations. But in 2022, with the cost of fuel and just about everything else increasing daily, it’s that bit more challenging to live a mindset of plenty and not one of scarcity.
- Many churches are opening their doors to help people struggling with their heating bills this winter. See the Warm Welcome Space website for how to register your church.
- While holding onto the spiritual truth of abundance, there are still things we can do to ensure we steward our resources carefully. Heating your church this winter brings together resources to help parishes manage their heating bills. This includes a really helpful booklet of Practical Tips, written by the Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division. It contains 12 pages of ‘quick wins’ that don’t cost a lot or need an engineer to implement.
- Some churches are doing more outdoors celebrations where there isn’t the expectation of physical warmth. Campfire church with a fire pit, toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate can be a great attraction, as can nativity trails around the neighbourhood, the Christmas story in libraries and carolling in community venues.