Speaking about Church Finances
Communicate the Need for Funds
Michael Phillips, Sedgefield – The problem of parish finances is partly one of communication.
From my own experience, it seems that parish council members or the parish priests do not like to get into the pulpit and preach money. Maybe that would be unpopular and church attendance might fall further.
Because of this, parishioners are probably not aware of financial needs.
From my experience, placing an annual financial summary on the notice board is not sufficient. It may be that the reason for spending, which is much larger than most household costs, is not understood and the use of collection money is questioned. There is also parishioner apathy.
The various ways of determining the monthly payment will not always be fair. For example, they could discriminate against people with children.
Lastly, parishioners need to be motivated to pay. Explain why the church is so important to society and parishioners, and explain how that it is often possible to become more of a saver and less of a consumer of non-essentials.
Good Finance Advice to Follow
Ani Schneider, Cape Town – I am faithfully reading The Southern Cross weekly and enjoy all the articles and photos I find in it. Thank you for an excellent newspaper—which on top of all is a Catholic one. I feel very proud that we can show this paper and say it is from our Church.
So I found Sheldon Vandrey’s article incredibly interesting and clever. He employs an incredible logic and if we would follow his suggestions I believe our parishes would grow in beauty, because the money will be there to help the needy.
All the extra collections, which irritate many parishioners, would not be necessary.