ALEXANDER Stafford called for support for churches losing out on offertory collections — fearing a financial “black hole” hampering building repairs.
The Rother Valley MP raised the issue during a session in the House of Commons on lockdown church attendances on January 21.
He said: “Many churches have adapted during these times by holding online services, such as the many wonderful services at the Wales parish church and St Joseph’s, Dinnington.
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“However, Rother Valley’s churches have lost a great deal of income from the in-person offertory collections and fundraising events, putting church maintenance and repairs at risk, including the much-needed repairs to St Simon and St Jude church in Thurcroft.”
He asked if Andrew Selous, second church estates commissioner, shared his concern about the “black hole” in budgets, and whether he would “work with churches to ensure that they have what they need to survive”.
Mr Selous said: “My honourable friend raises a really important point. I draw his attention to the parish giving scheme, which people can do by direct debit, and to various online giving options.
“Of course, the commissioners have provided tens of millions of pounds to help churches.
“I would also say that perhaps people who are not paying for a season ticket might want to pay a little bit more to their local church, given that they have made a saving in that area.”