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Heaven can't wait: Church of England offers faster way to pay

A Church of England vicar accepts a cashless payment Image copyright Sumup

The Church of England is offering its members a faster way to pay - through contactless transactions or Apple and Google Pay.

Over 16,000 churches will be able to offer the service for events including weddings, christenings, and fetes.

The Church said it should appeal to younger people in the congregation, many of whom no longer carry cash.

Donations to the collection plate will not be included for the moment, as they are still being trialled.

It is hoped to introduce such payments later in the year.

One problem is that traditional ways of taking the collection - by passing round a plate or bag - are thought to be quicker than new technology.

A church spokesperson said that people fishing around for a card could slow the process down.

It follows a trial of contactless payments in around 40 churches last summer.

'21st century'

One of those who took part in the trial was the Reverend Margaret Cave, from Christchurch in East Greenwich.

"It's really great. I'm going to keep it," she told the BBC.

"It makes us feel like we're part of the 21st century, and we can take payments in a safe and secure way. As a vicar, I also know we don't have cash floating around."

However, she said taking a church collection via card readers wasn't yet practical.

"We want all generations to be able to make the most of their place of worship," said John Preston, national stewardship officer of the Church of England.

"Installing this technology does mean that one-off fees can be done via card, as can making one-off donations."

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