YORK churches are moving further towards contactless payments as they roll-out 70 devices to take donations.

The Diocese of York plans the move as part of a national Church of England programme.

In 2022 alone, churches across the country received digital donations and payments of almost £10m.

This has led the Church of England’s National Giving Team to fund a three-year project to help thousands more churches get started with digital giving.

This year, it is the turn of The Diocese of York to be involved. Phil McBride and Jan Grey of its Generous Giving Team will be working with the church nationally on the project.

The team’s May newsletter has details of the various devices available and advises individual churches on how to apply for them.

Churches will be invited to apply for devices from late May. From July, the allocation process starts, with training and the units arriving at the churches in late September/ early October.

The diocese will supply the units free of charge, though there may be a small subscription cost to pay. Some devices are likely to be shared between multiple churches as it says the number of devices it has to give away are limited.

Initially, the Church of England trialled 60 ‘tap and go’ devices in 2017, before encouraging their use nationally.

Since 2018, the Diocese of York has also been urging parishes buy their own devices. It has also been running online training sessions on them.

The diocese already accepts online gift payments through a system called Parish Buying.

By 2019, York Minster and other venues started trialling a plate-like device called GoodPlate. It is made by a company called GoodBox, which specially-developed its products for churches and the religious sector, launching them earlier that year.

Both the Archbishops of Canterbury and York attended a General Synod service at York Minster on July 7, which was attended by more than 1,000 people.

Four GoodPlate devices were used, taking default payments of £5 and £10, though it could easily be adjusted for other amounts. Payments were made in seconds.

St Chad’s Church in Campleshon Road, York, also reported success with a contactless payment system early in 2021.

A diocese spokesman told the Press: “Currently nearly a quarter of the 579 churches in the Diocese of York (the Church of England from the Tees to the Humber and A1 to the Yorkshire coast) already have a digital contactless giving unit installed.

“The ‘rollout’ is a national scheme run by the Church of England centrally to encourage further adoption. The units are becoming the modern equivalent of the collecting box, particularly in those churches which attract a high ‘visitor’ footfall.”