Basket collections in Louth Parish replaced with QR donations

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Basket Collections In Louth Parish Replaced With Qr Donations
Parishoners in Termonfeckin can donate to the upkeep of the Church and its two Cemeteries via a new QR code on the Parish bulletin.
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Louise Walsh

The days of basket collections at Mass may be a thing of the past, says a Co Louth Priest, whose Parish has introduced a QR code on weekly bulletins to scan for donations.

Mass-goers in the Termonfeckin Parish can now simply scan the code on the bulletin with their smartphone in order to make a donation to the upkeep of the Church and its two cemeteries.

Fr Paul Byrne says the Parish council had to rethink ways to obtain funding after Covid-19's lockdowns closed Churches and decimated collections.

Although the QR code was rolled out before Easter, restrictions on opening for services again meant mass-goers are really only starting to get used to using the system now.

"We had a payzone donate button on our website which was developed into a QR code that is now on our weekly bulletins," said Fr Byrne.

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"We are not the first parish to use this system, others are using it too as a way of funding the maintenance of Churches and cemeteries.

There is still a bag at the back of the church for loose change but the QR system is a more hygienic way of giving money in Covid-19 times.

"We also have other QR codes posted at the back of both Churches in the Parish if people want to give specifically to areas such as the Blessing of the Graves. People can still also donate online through our parish website.

"There is still a bag at the back of the church for loose change but the QR system is a more hygienic way of giving money in Covid-19 times.

"It's still early days, but it seems that many of those who give weekly envelopes anyway are also donating online, so they are, in effect, giving on the double.

Fr Paul Byrne, Parish Priest in Termonfeckin. Photo: Seamus Farrelly

"We have seen a minimal increase in donations from the QR code so far, but everything has its infancy and the QR code is the language everyone is using now - you can't go anywhere without seeing people pay with their phones from whatever app they have.

"I can't see a return to handing around the collection basket or bags at Masses again for a long time, if ever."

Fr Byrne is also preparing for Confirmations in the Parish after the Bishop of Armagh gave Priests in the Diocese the go-ahead for services against Government advice, like many other Bishops across the country.

Children of two schools in the parish will receive the Sacrament in four shortened services in the coming two weeks, with restricted numbers and guidelines in place.

However, Fr Byrne called for consistency in numbers at services which still vary at present.

"There are up to 100 people allowed now to a wedding which is welcome news for all couples and everyone in general. However, numbers are still restricted at the regular weekend Masses when there are no social gatherings afterwards, and at funerals.

"I'd ask where is the consistency in this message?" Fr Byrne questioned.

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