Every church is to a great extent financially dependent on the giving of the laity.   Traditionally, this giving was made every week in cash that was collected by means of a plate or bag passed round the congregation during the singing of the last hymn.   With the increasing use of bank accounts on the one hand and of regular committed giving on the other, the collection has seemed less and less relevant today.   In addition, there has long been a feeling of embarrassment at the passing of a collection plate to casual visitors to a church.   Some churches, therefore, no longer make a collection and, instead, have a plate or other suitable receptacle near the entrance door into which regular worshippers can place their gift as they arrive.   Increasingly, the emphasis is on regular and planned giving with the use of Gift Aid to increase the value of the gift.   It has to be said, however, that the presentation of the gifts of the congregation via collection plates as a part of the worship of the church was a powerful visual image, the value of which cannot readily be overestimated.

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