New Parishioner Database

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new parish database called ChurchApp. Each parishioner can now have their own login which allows them to access and update their own information online and to keep up to date with parish news.

To get going ChurchApp could not be easier. Just go to the parish website and open the ‘Parishioner‘ tab and follow the instructions online. We promise it will only take 2 minutes to register. The parish office will then send you details on how to set up your personal password allowing you to access your own St Edmund’s MyChurchApp parishioner website.

In addition, if you are a smartphone user, then you will be delighted to learn that St Edmund’s now also has its own App. Instructions on downloading the App will be included in your joining email.

We all benefit from the introduction of ChurchApp, including:

Manage Parishioner Data

The last time we did a parish census was in 2010 and the next census is overdue. This time round we want to conduct our census online using ChurchApp. It’s faster and easier for you and the Parish Office. Don’t worry if you don’t use a computer you can complete a blue paper census form, available at the back of the church. If you use ChurchApp you will be able to manage your contact details, making updates where necessary.

Make Donations Electronically

Every week it takes two people to lift up to 40kg of coins from the week-end collection to take it to the bank! We have long had a Standing Order process in place but we only have 40 out of nearly 6000 parishioners who donate in this way. We want to reduce the coins and notes we handle and also want to make giving easier for you. Instead of placing money in the collection basket every week, you can now make a regular donation electronically, paying by direct debit or debit/credit card set up in your MyChurchApp. If you choose to donate electronically you can pick up a card from the back of the church and pop it in the basket. After the collection we recycle these cards ready for the next mass.

Making GiftAid easier If every parishioner who donates regularly signed up for GiftAid the parish would receive an additional £40,000 of income from HMRC, wiping out our annual deficit. With MyChurchApp we will also be able to process GiftAid electronically – if you do this you will not have to use the envelope system in the future. In future you just tick the box on the donate page in MyChurchApp and you’re done. And you can get a print-out of your donations at any point, very useful when you come to do your tax return.

Keeping up to date

There is always a lot going on in the Parish. With ChurchApp we now have a central calendar which allows us to manage every church event including Masses and other activities. This is updated daily and accessed via the MyChurchApp website or by using the App on your phone. Now you will always know what is going on.

Improved communication

Until recently our only means of communicating with parishioners was via the newsletter and from the pulpit. The task of sending a letter to everyone was a logistical nightmare. With ChurchApp we can now also use email and text message to communicate with you. We can get you news quickly and cost effectively allowing us to keep you up to date on events and activities, electronic distribution of the newsletter and much more. Any communication we send you will be stored in your record in MyChurchApp and you can access correspondence at any time. This is a very important initiative on our journey to become a more connected parish. I do hope you will embrace ChurchApp as a way of keeping you in contact with the parish.

Frank Beechinor-Collins
Chair, Finance Committee

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