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Contactless transactions: making inroads to church giving

Retail transactions are going increasingly cashless with payWave and mobile payment apps on smartphones. Not surprisingly, these trends are also making inroads in church giving. Even the somewhat staid Church of England is testing different systems. "We're aware that younger generations no longer carry cash and want to give in different ways," said John Preston, national stewardship officer. "Enabling them to give in a way that suits them is something we'd like to try." Offertory collections, by passing around a plate or a bag, developed in the days when people were paid weekly in notes and coins. Today, our salary or income comes via our bank account, including pensions and social security

Candles are powerful symbols of light

Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas as well as the return of Jesus at the second coming. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning "coming". On Sunday we lit the first of five candles on our Advent wreath. One candle is lit on each of the four Sundays in Advent, and at Christmas the white central candle is lit which represents Christ, “the light of the world”. The candles on the wreath shed light into our path as we journey through Advent. But since they are made of perishable material (wax), the Advent journey is a costly one for them. In the process of shedding

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