Alexander Stafford, the Conservative MP for Rother Valley, called the House of Parliament to support churches that are losing out on offertory collections.
The issue was raised in parliament on January 21 during a session on lockdown and church attendance.
Fearing a financial “black hole” that could hinder churches in carrying out vital services for their community, the South Yorkshire MP said: “Many churches in Rother Valley 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. 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. Does my hon. Friend share my concern regarding the black hole in local churches’ budgets and potential delays to repairs, and will he work with churches to ensure that they have what they need to survive?”
The strain on church finances is becoming a big issue for all whom it may concern, as churches begin to feel the financial impact of the UK-wide lockdown. Income from hall bookings and fees from weddings and christenings have disappeared, and many churches have experienced a fall in weekly offerings. Help seems to be available for many sectors, but what help is there for churches?
By helping churches during this difficult time, the government will be directly and indirectly addressing the needs of vulnerable people in various communities. There is an urgent need to offer financial support to churches in order to ensure vital community services such as food banks, youth clubs, and more are offered to people in need after the current lockdown.