“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3.16)
This is the outrageously good news at the heart of the Christmas celebrations we’re preparing for. God, overflowing in love, generously gives His Son, His very self, to offer life so abundant that even time can’t contain it.
The Christmas season is founded on God’s generosity.
The culture of giving that surrounds it has become twisted into a commercialism that can put stress on the financially stretched. But there’s a generous instinct in the air in this season, even when times are hard – 34% of people in the UK gave to charity at Christmas.
In the Giving Team, we’re privileged to enjoy stories of people’s generosity within Southwark’s parishes. We want to encourage churches to make it possible for people to show generosity at Christmas – many visitors to Carol Services, nativities, and more will want to be generous, if we give the opportunity.
Christ Church Gipsy Hill received nearly 100 donations via their contactless machine at their carol service, a total of nearly £700.
- Top Tip: at busy services, switch your giving machine to ‘quick mode’, which removes the response screen asking people to fill in details for Gift Aid, so people can just tap and go.
- Top tip: share a QR code linking to your online giving page via posters, projector screens and pew cards at your services, and use your newsletter or other community news to share the link too. You’ll find some templates here. Research shows that people giving online tend to be more intentionally generous than via cash, so ensure that you include some prompts to give larger donations than via your contactless machine.
Two neighbouring parishes in December services with similar demographics received generously via their contactless machines at Christmas. One received £365 from 35 donations, and one received £425 from 24 donations. Notice how the first church saw most people give £10, and the second saw many people giving £20. Often people are able to be – and want to be! – more generous than we expect.
- Top tip: include suggested amounts on your contactless machine that might feel like a stretch to you! Some of your visitors will be eager to give more.
More top tips for Christmas Contactless Giving can be found here: Christmas Contactless Checklist.