It’s a long time since the collection plate was the main source of parish income in England. The vast proportion of the £580 million the church receives each year comes in cashless forms, particularly bank standing orders.
Now, after trials in 40 parishes during the summer of 2017, the Church of England is rolling out portable card readers. So far 1,600 have signed up for the scheme, The readers can process contactless payments, Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as chip and PIN transactions.
Card readers will be especially useful to collect cash from visitors at events such as weddings, funerals, christenings, church fetes, and concerts.
“How we pay for things is changing,” said John Preston, the church’s national stewardship officer, “and we want all generations to be able to make the most of their place of worship.”