Church Safety and Post-COVID Worship
March 3, 2021 by Tim Hunt
Securing your place of worship against COVID-19
Whilst many places of worship have remained open for communal services in some of the UK, there will still be changes to usual practices for worshippers of all religions as normal daily life gets closer. Currently, there are a number of safety protocols that are required in order for places of worship to conduct a limited form of service which restrict the chance of viral transmission. A few of these measures include:
• Services should be carried out in the shortest possible time – to ensure safety and minimise infection spread
• Worshippers should keep a 2m (6ft) distance from anyone not from their own household or support bubble
• Those giving and receiving food and drink in a service will have to observe strict precautions
• If singing is an essential part of the service, and a recording can’t be played, only one person should sing – preferably behind a plexi-glass screen, or facing away from worshippers
Experts say outbreaks have occurred at churches, in part, because of the personal behaviours that congregations often engage in.
“The members know each other. They enjoy seeing each other. They hug, they kiss, and they spend a fair amount of prolonged time in close association” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert. “In many religious services, people speak in unison. They often sing and have choirs and those energetic ways of projecting your voice and exhaling can potentially enhance transmission of respiratory droplets.”
Despite the successful rollout of the vaccination process throughout the UK, caution must still be taken after the country resumes normal societal functions. All restrictions on weddings, funerals, and other life events could be abolished in England from 21 June under the fourth and final stage of the Government’s four-month plan to reopen the country after a year of coronavirus lockdowns.
As the year progresses, each church must make its own decision based on its specific needs and convictions, and there will be a range of views within each church on what should be done. Effective and transparent communication between leaders and congregations will be essential and it must also be remembered that there may be a difference between the level of risk we accept for ourselves and that which we explicitly or implicitly expect others to take..
Reducing Transmission Frequency
Churches should look to continue the protocols they have implemented, even after the optimal threshold for vaccinations have been completed. This will include things such as
• crowd management – can you maintain 2 metres distance? How do you manage entry and egress (eg. one-way systems, staggered arrivals/departures)? How do you maintain social distance (eg. placement of chairs, cordoning off, demarcation on the floor)? People should be encouraged to move on promptly after a service; what alternatives can you use for social interaction (eg. ‘coffee time’ on Zoom afterwards).
• frequent cleaning schedules – pay particular attention to objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, and to busy areas. Ensure toilets are kept clean, use liquid rather than a bar of soap, and where possible, provide paper towels as an alternative to hand dryers in hand washing facilities. If regular cleaning of toilets is challenging you may need to think about shutting them or limiting access.
• optimal ventilation – can you maintain a natural draft? Do you need fans? Will you need to review arrangements when the weather gets cooler?
• limited contact between parishioners – do you prop doors open to avoid door handles? What about fire doors? This can also apply to bibles as these communal objects can result in multiple individuals touching and exchanging a single bible. Encourage BYOB (Bring your own bible) and laminate hymn sheets that can be sanitized and cleaned after each service.
On top of these basic but essential considerations to minimise virus transmission, you may find there are still several other risks arising from leaving your building underused, or completely unused during the extended lockdown. Upon reopening to a normal schedule, these risks should also be investigated and addressed once the threat level of COVID-19 is reduced:
• general maintenance and hygiene: it would be best to conduct some general inspections, checking in particular for water ingress, high levels of dust (which can be a respiratory irritant and a fire hazard), or just something rotting at the bottom of a bin! Also, run the taps for a while to clear stagnant water from the pipes to minimise legionella risk.
• lapsed inspections and service visits: arrange any needed inspections such as on gas systems, electricals, portable appliance testing, firefighting equipment, legionella, asbestos, alarm tests or statutory inspections on stairlifts.
• risk assessments: are your activities going to be sufficiently altered by your COVID secure measures that their risk assessments are no longer valid? Are you planning to run activities in a different manner that requires a new risk assessment (eg. outdoor events)? Templates and guidance are available from the Government’s Health and Safety Executive website.
• resilience: how resilient are you if a key person (eg. the pastor, or whoever runs the live streaming) suddenly has to self-isolate? Do you have ‘reserves’ for the key roles? Do you have a plan if the entire congregation needs to self-isolate due to a positive case?
Whilst this blog is unlikely to cover every eventuality, it should provide you with a starting point for your own risk assessments so that you can make a decision which appropriately balances the competing desires to come together again as a physical church, and also to keep your congregation safe.
Please also remember that Government guidance is fluid and churches will need to adapt accordingly – even if that means going back to the full lockdown conditions.
You can read the Government guidance for the safe use of places of worship (published 29 June) on the gov.uk website.
Harvest Festival – Origins, facts and customs
October 1, 2020 by Tim Hunt
The Harvest Festival is a long-standing tradition and celebrates a successful yield for farmers across the country. Today, it focuses on charitable giving, specifically sharing food with those who do not have access to basic provisions.
In Britain, thanks have been given for successful harvests since pagan times. Harvest festival is traditionally held on the Sunday near or of the Harvest Moon. This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. The celebrations on this day usually include singing hymns, praying, and decorating churches with baskets of fruit and food in the festival known as Harvest Festival, Harvest Home, Harvest Thanksgiving or Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving.
The Harvest Festival tradition pre-dates Christianity and dates back to the pagan times and the name derives from the Old English word ‘Haerfest’ meaning ‘Autumn’. Today’s church celebrations only began in earnest in Victorian times, when the Reverend Robert Stephen Hawker invited his parishioners to a special harvest thanksgiving service at the church in Morwenstow, Cornwall in 1843.
Customs and traditions:
An early harvest festival used to be celebrated at the beginning of the harvest season on 1 August and was called Lammas, meaning ‘loaf Mass’. The Latin prayer to hallow the bread is given in the Durham Ritual. Farmers made loaves of bread from the fresh wheat crop. These were given to the local church as the Communion bread during a special service thanking God for the harvest.
Nowadays the festival is held at the end of harvest, which varies in different parts of Britain. Sometimes neighbouring churches will set the Harvest Festival on different Sundays so that people can attend each other’s thanksgivings.
Until the 20th century most farmers celebrated the end of the harvest with a big meal called the harvest supper, to which all who had helped in the harvest were invited. It was sometimes known as a “Mell-supper”, after the last patch of corn or wheat standing in the fields which was known as the “Mell” or “Neck”. Cutting it signified the end of the work of harvest and the beginning of the feast. There seems to have been a feeling that it was bad luck to be the person to cut the last stand of corn. The farmer and his workers would race against the harvesters on other farms to be first to complete the harvest, shouting to announce they had finished. In some counties the last stand of corn would be cut by the workers throwing their sickles at it until it was all down, in others the reapers would take it in turns to be blindfolded and sweep a scythe until all of the Mell was cut down.
Corn dolls are also traditionally made for the Harvest Festival using the last sheath of the harvest. This doll is then kept until spring to ensure a good crop the following year. This doll is then sacrificed with a hare (one hiding in the crop). The doll is meant to symbolise the goddess of the grain. Nowadays a hare made of straw is sacrificed instead.
Some churches and villages still have a Harvest Supper. The modern British tradition of celebrating Harvest Festival in churches began in 1843, when the Reverend Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service at his church at Morwenstow in Cornwall. Victorian hymns such as We plough the fields and scatter, Come, ye thankful people, come and All things bright and beautiful but also Dutch and German harvest hymns in translation helped popularise his idea of harvest festival, and spread the annual custom of decorating churches with home-grown produce for the Harvest Festival service. On 8 September 1854 the Revd Dr William Beal, Rector of Brooke, Norfolk, held a Harvest Festival aimed at ending what he saw as disgraceful scenes at the end of harvest, and went on to promote ‘harvest homes’ in other Norfolk villages. Another early adopter of the custom as an organised part of the Church of England calendar was Rev Piers Claughton at Elton, Huntingdonshire in or about 1854.
As British people have come to rely less heavily on home-grown produce, there has been a shift in emphasis in many Harvest Festival celebrations. Increasingly, churches have linked Harvest with an awareness of and concern for people in need of basic provisions and for whom growing crops of sufficient quality and quantity remains a struggle. Development and Relief organisations often produce resources for use in churches at harvest time which promote their own concerns for those in need across the globe.
Encyclopaedia Britannica traces the origins to “the animistic belief in the corn [grain] spirit or corn mother.” In some regions the farmers believed that a spirit resided in the last sheaf of grain to be harvested. To chase out the spirit, they beat the grain to the ground. Elsewhere they wove some blades of the cereal into a “corn dolly” that they kept safe for “luck” until seed-sowing the following year. Then they ploughed the ears of grain back into the soil in hopes that this would bless the new crop. In the early days, there were ceremonies and rituals at the beginning as well as at the end of the harvest:
Harvest Festival in 2020:
COVID-19 restrictions meant that Harvest Festival celebrations across the UK have had to take a very different form to those of earlier years. Many churches have opted not to carry out their Harvest Festival celebrations to limit the spreading of the virus and protect parishioners.
However, some churches are still finding innovative ways to conduct their harvest celebrations. The churches of St John (Hopwood) & St Luke (Heywood) in the Diocese of Manchester have already marked Harvest Festival in an outdoor interactive service.
They will be providing parishioners with a pack which included paper and crayons, the Revd Kirsty Screeton had scattered food items around the church grounds. This all-age activity encouraged people to reflect on the source of their food and how it came to be in their hands. : “[The items] we see can remind us that God is incredible and that sometimes he does the work himself but at other times God needs our help. For the vegetables – although God created it, gave it its colour and shape, in order for it to grow God needed someone to plant the seed, care for it, water it and pick it when it had grown. Harvest celebration means lots of things. It means helping those in need with our food donations, it means being thankful to God and those in our food chain productions, but it is also about being thankful for what God has given us in gifts too.”
In Portsmouth, the festival will be used to gather food donations through a campaign known as ‘With Thankful Hearts.’ The project brings together local government, charities and churches. Canon Bob White, vicar of St Mary’s Church, Fratton, and chair of local charity Hive, said: “The last few months, and in particular the period of lockdown, focused our awareness of the food supply chain and the many things we so often had taken for granted. We looked afresh at our lives and the things we use and enjoy every day and perhaps appreciated them more.”
Another church taking on the challenge of marking the Harvest in a different way are the parishes of Seaview, St Helens, Brading and Yaverland – which form the benefice of Haven Churches – on the Isle of Wight. Volunteers have been instructed to “go to town” on bringing flora and fauna into the churches by the Revd Alison Morley. The Revd Morley explained: “With so much uncertainty and fear around, the planting of trees is a visible and tangible sign of hope and of patience as we wait for the harvest in three- or four-years’ time.”
Whilst the Festival may return in a more familiar form in the future, it does not mean that the current economic climate must completely abolish the celebration of the Harvest for this year. Like many other churches across the UK, there are still a number of ways for us all to show our thanks for what we have and give to those less fortunate.
Important: Changes to your Envelopes
August 11, 2020 by Tim Hunt
New investments heralds our best envelopes yet:.
For over 50 years we have designed, manufactured and delivered millions of collection envelopes, to thousands of parishes all over the UK and Ireland.
Earlier in 2020 we embarked on our latest development of our printing capabilities, in the form of a new state of the art printing machine. This machine is capable of delivering the next generation of your envelopes for years to come. Through continuous investment in our machinery, we can now supply a brand new range of attractive, full colour envelopes to parishes at the highest quality, all at no extra cost to you!
New Process and Benefits:
We will now be supplying FULL COLOUR printed designs at NO EXTRA COST on all Weekly Boxed Sets, Monthly Boxed Sets, Loose Printed Envelopes, and Gift Aid Envelopes. However, Manilla Economy Boxed Sets will still only be offered in a single ink colour.
We will also be expanding our range of stock designs, with 14 Full Colour Designs (C) to choose from. You will also have the option to print your OWN IMAGES in FULL COLOUR if you choose to do so.
The new (C) designs have been created by our studio designers to help retain the tradition of our familiar designs, whilst giving a more modern and dynamic presentation. However, we will continue to offer (D) single colour designs if you feel that these are more suitable for your parish.
Previously these envelopes would have been a different colour within the set, but they will now be presented with an eye-catching ‘S’ Symbol (as below) and will be printed on the same colour envelope as the rest of the set. Unless you choose Manilla Economy Envelopes, in which case the ‘S’ Symbol will be a single colour;
Some examples of our new Special Envelopes are shown below:.
We will also be expanding the standard design images for your envelopes and these will all be in full colour, a huge upgrade to the single colour only options that we have offered in the past. These designs will be much more detailed and have been created by our studio designers to retain the tradition of our existing ones, whilst giving a more modern and dynamic presentation. However, we will still offer the existing images we have provided in the past – just in case there is a traditional image you believe to be more suitable for your parish. You will also have the option to print your OWN IMAGES in FULL COLOUR on your envelopes at NO EXTRA COST.
Some of our new image designs are shown below:
click to view a full list of our new designs and single colour designs.
Our new process of envelope printing comes at no additional cost and you will now be able to choose from vibrant and colourful imagery on your offertory envelopes. For our customers, these envelopes will represent even better value for money and we believe that this investment will also allow us to benefit from greater energy efficiency and improved quality.
Some examples of our new designs printed on envelopes are shown below:
When are these changes being implemented?
We intend to implement these new changes as of Tuesday 11th August. Any orders placed after this date will be manufactured under our new process and allow you to choose the new full colour imagery alongside our new Spiral Special Envelopes. We can’t wait for you to see these new and improved changes and look forward to assisting you in placing your next order with us.
How can I place my order?
There are several ways that you can place your order with us. You can place an order directly through our website by visiting our product category page or you can download and complete one of our order forms by clicking here and then send it by post to Lockie Limited, Lockie House, Withins Road, St Helens, WA11 9UD or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to limited production capacity and reduced staff, we advise all customers to get their orders in as soon as possible so that we can schedule in the printing of your envelopes. You can place your order online, using our order form/renewal pack or by calling us on 01942 402510.
Preserving the Tradition of Offertory Envelopes
April 20, 2020 by Tim Hunt
In an ever-changing world, tradition can often be left at the wayside. Offertory envelopes have been a staple of the church community for almost 100 years and the decision to move from loose plate to planned giving is perhaps the most critical turning point on the journey to mature giving. For many people, that turning point is taking weekly giving envelopes that represent a fresh identification with and commitment to the church. Weekly envelopes help with the discipline of giving and make that all-important connection between worship and giving and for many, the journey to generous giving starts with weekly giving envelopes. Properly understood, offertory envelopes reduce the impact of fluctuating attendance and establish intentional, regular planned giving focused on Sunday worship.
Benefits of a Weekly Envelope Collection:
Weekly envelopes offer the advantages of being tangible and easy to use. On the mantelpiece or in a drawer, week by week they are a reminder of our commitment to give. There is something to hold in the hand and put in the plate. Envelopes are also very easy to use and have the attraction of being a very familiar way of giving. When understood and properly managed (on which, see below), envelopes make our giving far less dependent on weekly attendance at church. They offer real advantages over loose plate giving. When people miss a Sunday they can simply put two envelopes on the offering plate. It is also worth noting that many people still manage their money by using cash, either by preference or by necessity.
Going a little deeper, planned giving envelopes make a formative and tangible connection between our giving and our worship. The physical act of putting the envelope on the offering plate and the accompanying prayer of thanksgiving and dedication can help to shape how we think and feel about giving. There is something about the connection between giving and worship that underwrites the lasting appeal of weekly envelopes as a way of giving in a planned manner. Envelopes offer an early and formative connection between worship and giving.
The advantages of giving by standing order or by direct debit are compelling. However, they are often outweighed for both planning groups and givers by one consideration: there is nothing to put on the offering plate when it comes round. People are understandably embarrassed to put nothing on the offering plate. It does not feel right and may mystify newcomers when half the congregation appears to give nothing! It also runs deeper. When the gifts are offered to God with those beautiful words of King David, ‘all things come from you and of your own do we give you’, parishioners want to feel our gift is represented there on the offering plate. And, as noted elsewhere, it is important for givers to make and keep that early and formative connection between their giving and the worship of the church. Standing orders lose the tangible connection with worship that loose plate or envelope giving retains. It is artificial at best and misleading at worst for standing order givers to find a spare £1 to put on the plate to avoid embarrassment.
Cyber Fraud and Security on the Rise for Charities:
Something to also consider is the ever-growing rise of cyber-crime in charitable giving streams. Charity fraud is on the up, with reported losses reaching almost £8 million in 2018/19, according to Action Fraud figures, while shockingly, the real cost is thought to be as high as £2 billion a year. While all organisations, as well as individuals, are at risk of fraud and other cyber-crime, charities and churches need to be particularly alert. Not only are the funds and types of data they hold attractive targets for cyber-criminals, but charities can be seen as a soft target due to their reliance on volunteers, which can give fraudsters easy access into organisations. Also, people’s good faith in charities can make them less suspicious with individuals less likely to query payments from their bank accounts to appears to be a charity (especially if it’s from a joint account), or to ask for a fundraiser’s ID.
A report commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) found that as many as 22% of voluntary & community organisations have identified security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019 showed that for larger charities that rose to 52% – hackers don’t often know what type of organisation they’re targeting. It is arguable therefore that there is a greater chance of a church suffering a cyber-attack than any other risk it faces.
The financial security of supporters’ data, donations and financial details cannot be over-emphasised. It is particularly difficult for small charities and churches to be completely aware of all the areas where fraud and cyber-crime are prominent. This is due to their lack of overall resources to put understand and implement strong protections that cover the full scope of cyber-crime vulnerabilities. If you want to know more about the ongoing fight against cyber-crime then you can contact the National Crime Agency for more information.
COVID-19 and our response
March 25, 2020 by Tim Hunt
We are currently facing a life-changing situation and we want you to know that our customers, our employees and our community is in mind with everything we do. Whilst we are striving to run our operations largely as normal, all of your health and safety are our top priorities and at the heart of every decision we make. We believe it’s critical to do our part to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and we’re following strict WHO guidelines as stringently as possible.
As a small business, we face uncertain times ahead but rest assured that we will be doing everything we can to supply you with the products that you need, when you need them.
Here are some of the steps we are taking to protect everyone in this ever-evolving situation:
• We are working tirelessly to make sure that the products you need are available when you want them, delivered in the safest way possible.
• We are diligently following guidance and best practices from the NHS and UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, amongst others.
• Our customer service team is available to answer any questions about your experience, work with you on the best delivery option and provide more information on the many precautions we’re taking to protect your health and safety.
While the environment around us is uncertain, we take comfort in the fact that we have a world-class team and a compassionate and loyal community of customers. We stand ready to serve, and hope that our websites and communication channels can be a source of support for you – and remember, we’re all in this together.
Thank you for your support and for being part of the Lockie family.
Donation Envelopes and Multi-Platform Strategies
March 3, 2020 by Tim Hunt
Gift Aid Donation Envelopes remain one of the most effective and easiest methods of raising and collecting funds from patrons. Gift Aid Envelopes are fully customisable and can be branded with logos, images, custom text, and social and website links. However, there’s much more than simply circulating a handful of envelopes to try and raise money for a charitable cause – designing and structuring your envelopes to incorporate both visual and informative elements is the best approach. The eyes are drawn to images before they are drawn to text so your logo may well be the first part of the envelope your potential donor will see. Developing recognition of your logo is a great advantage as donors will be more inclined to support a charity they know and trust. The basic information of gift aid envelopes can include your registered charity number and a standard gift aid declaration form, allowing you to claim back an extra 25p from HMRC for every pound that is donated by a UK taxpayer.
However, this should be considered the first stage of engagement and the launching point for how you redirect donors to discovering other important information about your cause and regularly interact with you online. This can be done simply by including key information about your online channels on your envelopes, such as links for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and website domains. An even easier method of pushing potential donors to your digital platforms is through the inclusion of a QR code on your envelopes, which allows people to scan the printed code with the camera of their phone and pull up information about your organisation instantly. We print thousands of envelopes with QR codes and can provide advice and assistance for including this print on your gift aid envelopes.
Interesting UK Charity Statistics:
• Online giving increased in 2018 by 17% compared to 2017.
• 31% of offline-only first-time donors are retained for over a year, versus 25% of online-only first-time donors. This demonstrates the value of using an offline/online combination approach to your charitable campaigns and donation requests.
• Female donors are more likely to make a donation because of social media marketing, while male donors are more likely to give because of email messages.
• Most donors prefer cash donations: 55% of donors made a cash donation in past 12 months. Other popular methods of donation include: buying goods (43%), raffle/lottery (40%), direct debit (32%), online (26%), or fundraising event (23%).
• Religious organisations receive the largest share of donations by monetary value: 19%. The average donation to religious causes is £59. The overall average donation was £44.
Read, Watch, Follow:
You don’t have to be a top fundraiser already to be an expert. Reading (and watching) a wide array of content will help you to understand the sector and pick up tips on good practice. Read as much content in as many forms as you can – a blog in the morning and a book on the way to work can go a long way. Knowledge is a process and digital content is the perfect way to obtain mass amounts of information in a streamlined way. Twitter, Youtube and other streams of media provide a fountain of knowledge that can be applied to strategy. Start with watching the Five Minute Fundraiser on YouTube if you need a good starting point for what to focus on.
Using donation envelopes will allow you help circulate your cause with a tangible effect, and the benefits of this are well documented and time-tested. However, what happens after this? How does the customer know what exactly happens with the money they put inside that envelope? This is why continuing the dialogue with your donors is critical to ensuring future donations from first-time givers by enabling them to follow up and see how their donation has contributed to the cause. A consistent message across all forms of media, pushing regular content through your online platforms and focusing on your key demographics should be the primary focus when developing your campaign.
Relevant and Personalised Content:
Donors expect content that is relevant to them and will immediately unsubscribe to anything that they deem as unaligned with their personality or general interests. Pay close attention to your supporters and use the data available to you by talking to them directly and building content around their needs. The inclusion of a personal touch has also proven effective at retaining your audience, by incorporating the information provided by the customer (on envelopes or gift aid declaration forms) into future targeting and contacts. For example, people are much more likely to open and read a digital mailing that uses their name in the subject line.
Trust is Currency:
Over the last few years, people have become much more reluctant to provide sensitive data to organisations, and only tend to give information to brands they trust as they also expect that in return for this data, they will receive a better experience. Ensuring your data protection policy is up to date and robust is demanded from both regulators and consumers and partnering with established brands is a good way to communicate your commitment to transparency and privacy. GiveWell is an independent reviewer of non-profits and aligning your charity with independent bodies like this can assist you in receiving third party endorsement from trusted charity-related institutions.
Lockie Catalogue 2020
January 10, 2020 by Tim Hunt
You can find a PDF version of our 2020 catalogue here, along with all available quantities and prices.
The Christmas Catch Up 2019
December 11, 2019 by Tim Hunt
Thank you to all of our loyal Lockie customers for allowing us to produce your offertory and collection envelopes throughout 2019. We have had a busy year and launched our brand new website in the spring to make ordering your envelopes simpler and more interactive. Our new online ordering system allows you to see a live proof of how your envelopes will look when we print them – making sure you are happy with what you will receive. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we continue to improve how our site functions for the benefit of our customers.
We have also welcomed new staff into the fold and had to sadly say goodbye to others. We have remained hard at work, ensuring orders are being produced in time for their start dates, whilst simultaneously developing the future of how we create your envelopes. Here are some of the 2019 highlights!
Please welcome our newest team members!
We would like you all to join us and welcome Debbie and Ashely to the Lockie Team. Ashley has joined our accounts team, whilst Debbie will be working in our administration department to help out with ensuring we receive your orders safe and soundly! We would like to also thank Lydia for her wonderful service over the last 2 years. She has excitingly moved onto new challenges and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours!
Christmas Crossword Competition
Our Annual Christmas Crossword competition is now live! The winner will receive a luxury regency hamper, full of goodies and treats! Please complete the crossword and try to find out the keyword within the yellow square. Once you have solved this anagram and have the keyword, please send an e-mail to email@example.com with your church name and the answers to be successfully entered into our prize draw.
You can download a PDF version of the crossword by clicking here. You can also mail in your submission via post to the address Lockie Limited, Lockie House, Withins Road, St Helens, WA11 9UD.
New Machinery in 2020
We have spent much of 2019 working on plans for a new envelope machine that will improve how we print your envelopes. We expect our development process to push into the new year, but don’t worry – we are hoping for a Q2-Q3 launch and intend to inform you of the new features available upon its inception.
The new machinery will bring with it a multitude of new features, including full colour printing for boxed set envelopes. We intend to release more information next year on the development of this project so stay tuned for more information!
Christmas Opening Times
Please be aware that our Christmas shut down will be on Friday 20th December until we return on Thursday 2nd January. It is important that we receive urgent and impending orders as soon as possible before we officially close for Christmas. This will allow your envelopes to be put into our production schedule and prevent them from being added to the backlog of orders we receive during our office and factory shutdown.
Church and Charities missing out on £600m in unclaimed Gift Aid
October 23, 2019 by Tim Hunt
According to a 2018 report from the government, UK church and charities are missing out on £600m in gift aid donations because people are not enabling them to claim gift aid on their donations.
According to research, Gift Aid was not claimed on one third of donations that were eligible for it, costing the sector £600m in unclaimed donations. It also found that £179m is being claimed erroneously by people who don’t understand the exact requirements of the process.
HMRC commissioned research on Gift Aid from consultancy Quadrangle, and has published the report today, which estimates that donations are worth £8.9bn. To do the research, 1,377 people were surveyed in late 2016 and early 2017. Research found that 95 per cent of people had donated to charity in the 12 months prior to being questioned.
• 78 per cent of the population had given money through collection tins or buckets, raising £620m for charity. But 40 per cent of people gave via direct debit, raising £3.61bn.
• There was more chance of people including Gift Aid when then made a donation online, with 73 per cent doing so, than by other methods. 59 per cent of direct debit donations, 50 per cent of charity envelope/cheque donations and 39 per cent of donations at a place of worship included Gift Aid.
• The research found that awareness of Gift Aid was relatively low, with nearly a quarter of the public unsure about whether they were eligible and 18 per cent getting their status wrong.
Gift Aid Awareness Day
The Charity Finance Group plans their second Gift Aid Awareness Day, which will take place on 3 October 2019. The event began in October of 2018 and the umbrella body will also commission research about how best to explain Gift Aid to the public and produce material charities can use to help with event.
The CFG has said that their overall aim is to encourage charities to educate staff and volunteers on Gift Aid so that they can educate their family and friends. Speaking at the launch last year, Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of CFG said: “Gift Aid is vital to the charity sector and supports the work of tens of thousands of organisations. Without it, our sector would reach fewer people and deliver less impact. CFG wants to give practical support to charities so that we can boost the amount of Gift Aid claimed. At a time when charities are struggling to meet demand, every penny counts.”
Gift Aid Alternatives
According to the research, nearly 80 per cent of people donate by giving money to collection tins or buckets. This type of donation method is not normally eligible for Gift Aid, but charities can use another mechanism, the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. GASDS was introduced in 2013 as a way for charities to claim on small cash donations, but uptake by the sector has been lower than expected.
The Treasury has now written to 50,000 charities urging them to use the scheme. Robert Jenrick, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: “The UK has thousands of brilliant charities, all working hard to make people’s lives better. Through Gift Aid, we are already giving charities an extra £1.3bn of funding so they can continue their important work. “We know how crucial this funding is. This is why we’ve just written to 50,000 charities to tell them about the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, which makes it even easier for charities to claim a 25 per cent top-up on their donations.”
Gift Aid Envelopes
The population is mixed in its understanding of Gift Aid, with just over a quarter (26%) having ‘good’ understanding and a further third (33%) ‘fairly good’ understanding. The remaining donors have a ‘fairly poor’ or ‘poor’ understanding (30% and 11% respectively). Our Gift Aid Envelope products are the perfect way to collect your donations and ensure Gift Aid is applied to each and every donation.
With a wide range of fully customisable printing, each envelope is bespoke printed with a Gift Aid Declaration, ensuring customers are aware of the Gift Aid process and that it is applied to each and every donation. You can view our full range of Gift Aid Envelopes here.
Research on Unclaimed Gift Aid – HMRC
• Charitable Giving and Gift Aid – Research Report for HM Revenue & Customs
Lockie Web – How to navigate and use our new website
June 24, 2019 by Tim Hunt
We are proud to announce the launch of our brand new website which brings with it a range of new features, making it easier and simpler for customers to purchase. Many of these new features will allow you to see the full customisation of your envelopes and give live demonstrations of your personalised product. We will give you a brief overview of some of the new features of the website and how you can easily navigate some of our new layout.
Don’t worry, our popular Rapid Renewal feature is still here for you to take advantage! This form allows existing customers who are logged into their account to quickly place previous orders or their annual renewal of envelopes. To access this feature:
• Simply login to your account and click the ‘Rapid Renewal’ button in the top right of the page (or click ‘Customer Portal’ and then click the Rapid Renewal option)
• Once you navigate to the Rapid Renewal page, it should look like so:
• Once on the page, you must enter the previous order number you are trying to renew (you can find this out by looking in your previous orders on the left sidebar). If you can’t find the order number here, you can simply enter your account number which should be located on any invoices, reminders or past paperwork we have sent you through the post.
• You must then click the ‘Product’ drop down box and select the product from the order you wish to renew. If your previous order consisted of multiple products and you wish to renew all of the products in the original order, simply click ‘All Products’.
• In the text box below, you will then be able to type any changes you wish to make to your previous order such as quantity, ink, envelope or box colour, start date or numbering.
On our Boxed Set and Gift Aid products, you can now see a full live proof of your envelope as you enter the details of your product. Once you have selected your start date, verse, design, numbering, box colour, and ink colour, you will then be able to type in your church details (Church name, district, diocese and RCN) which will then appear on the live proof. You will then be able to select your envelope colour which will display underneath like so:
On our Boxed Set Envelope products, you are also able to upload your own design or enter your own verse by scrolling to the bottom of either drop down box and clicking ‘other’. The custom verse entry field is shown below in red to illustrate where your wording should be entered:
On our Gift Aid Envelope products, you will be able to select the positioning of your image on the proof which includes left of header text, right of header text or behind the text (opaque style). You must select ‘Upload Image’ and then the Image Positioning and File Upload will appear below it, like so:
Once you login to or register your account on the top of the homepage, you will be able to access and change all of your account and order information. To access your account, use the top navigation bar and click ‘Customer Portal’. On this page, you can access the Rapid Renewal form to replace previous orders quickly, view or change your customer information, view past orders placed on the website or easily change your contact preferences through our Newsletter.