At each Sunday Mass there are two collections. Unless advertised otherwise, these contribute to covering the considerable costs that are incurred in running this, or any, parish – electricity, gas and water cost the parish just as much as they do to any business or domestic user. There is no discount because the parish is part of a registered charity. Occasionally the second collection is taken for a specific cause such as an appeal to help one of the Catholic missionary orders, to help a national or diocesan charity such as the Johnson Fund for sick and infirm clergy or Father Hudson’s, or for a specific parish need such as offsetting the cost of the Christmas flowers. Although it is customary to put something in the collection there is no obligation to do so. A number of parishioners Gift Aid their donations. Because the Catholic Church is a registered charity it is possible to claim back any tax that may have been paid on your donation. Full details in Gift Aid.
Every week, the money taken in the collections at the Sunday Masses needs to be counted, logged and bagged up ready to be taken to the bank. In addition, for those parishioners who use Gift Aid envelopes instead of an arrangement with their bank, the amounts contributed have to be logged on a weekly sheet which confirms that they are contributing the agreed amount. These figures are then passed, via the Parish Financial Secretary, Trudi Preston, to the diocesan authorities.
There are currently seven teams of two or three people who take it in turn to count the collections and compile the required figures. All that is needed from any volunteer is the ability to count money, to be trustworthy, and to work in an ordered and logical manner. The ‘counting time’ can be varied and arranged to suit the member of the team.
As is customary, the Christmas and Easter collections are considered to be personal gifts to the parish priest.