British Columbia

Victoria church joins digital age, takes donations by plastic

Parishioners at an Anglican church in Victoria can now donate to the parish using plastic if they don't have cash when the collection plate passes by.

Christ Church Cathedral installs kiosk so parishioners can donate with debit and credit cards

Christ Church may be the first Anglican parish in Canada to have a kiosk where church-goers can use a debit or credit card to make a donation. (Google Streetview)

Parishioners at an Anglican church in Victoria can now donate to the parish using plastic if they don't have cash when the collection plate passes by.

Dropping cash or a cheque in the plate as it's passed along the pews is a familiar tradition for the faithful, but staff at Christ Church Cathedral realized not a lot of people carry cash these days. Now those cash-less church-goers can use a kiosk to donate with debit or credit card.

Ed Hayley, director of finance and facilities at Christ Church, said the idea was presented by a staff member who noticed donation kiosks in many churches in Europe.  Many of those churches are also tourist destinations, as Christ Church is, and the kiosks are also a way for tourists to pay for church tours.

Staff had some concerns about how the kiosk would look in the cathedral — which was built in 1896 in a thirteenth century style — when the idea was first pitched. 

"Gosh, you know, how will this fit with out Gothic-looking church?" Hayley told On The Island host Gregor Craigie.

An interior shot of Christ Church Cathedral, built in the Gothic style of the 13th century. (Facebook/ Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC)

But Hayley said the machine is subtle and off to the side in the building's entrance area.

Hayley said he thinks Christ Church is the first Anglican parish in Canada to have one even though they are popular in Europe and at "mega-churches" in the United States.

It was hard to find a company in Canada that could supply the unit, but Hayley said donations have increased since the kiosk was installed.

"A lot of people don't carry cash these days," said Hayley, who is happy parishioners can now pay by card, "rather than being embarrassed by not having cash."

To hear the complete interview with Ed Hayley and Gregor Craigie click on the audio link below:

Ed Hayley, director of finance and facilities at Christ Church cathedral in Victoria on the church's new donation kiosk that takes credit and debit card. 7:31

On The Island