DIGITAL HELP:  Revd Sarah Cliff with the contactless collection box
DIGITAL HELP: Revd Sarah Cliff with the contactless collection box

ST MARY’S 

PARISH CHURCH

OVER the past 17 months church leaders have had to adapt to challenges posed due to the pandemic and lockdowns.

Many churches have increased their web presence providing live-stream services to parishioners, as well as becoming proficient on social media.

And now St Mary’s Parish Church, in Barnard Castle, has installed a new hi-tech gadget that will help ensure the coffers don’t run dry.

A digital collection box, called a CollecTin, is allowing visitors to make a donation to using a contactless payment system.

Revd Sarah Cliff, curate at St Mary’s, said: “It is great because it pays straight into our bank account and removes the need to have to go to Bishop to bank money.

“One thing we found many people really want to make a donation when they are here for say a baptism but have forgotten to put some cash in their pockets, but they will have their phones or cards.”

Using mobile technology, the CollecTin allows visitors to select the donation amount, then simply swipe their cards or phones, much like making a payment in a shop.

She added: “For a relatively small parish we are quite advanced in terms of putting in this technology.

“We have had to learn as we have gone along and get to grips with technology such as Facebook and streaming. We do try to have the church open every day but it does cost quiet a lot to heat and light it.”