Steep decline in Dublin parish collections continues

Steep decline in Dublin parish collections continues Photo: AP PHOTO/NICK OZA

Weekly collection figures at Masses in Dublin continued to fall last year, fresh figures reveal.

A total of €5,854,362 was raised across the diocese for the weekly ‘Share’ collection during 2018 – down from €6,330,958 the previous year, a fall of almost 8%.

At the same time expenditure from the Share collection – which supports poorer parishes as well as diocesan running costs – rose from €7.1 million to almost €7.8 million meaning there is now a deficit of €616,000.

The 2018 figures show that the Share collection is now running at approximately €112,584 per week.

Running costs

Figures for 2008 show that the Share collection was then bringing in €7.8 million a year to help with poorer parishes and diocesan running costs as well as contributing to the Irish bishops’ conference. This shows a decline of €2 million per year in just a decade.

The 2018 figures reveal that the diocese spent just over €2 million sub-venting 30 parishes where weekly collections do not generate enough income to cover costs.

Spending on diocesan support services – which includes evangelisation, child safeguarding, sacramental preparation and diocesan administration – was down slightly from €4,378,000 in 2017 to €4,206,000 in 2018.

At the same time, the diocese increased contributions to initiatives of the national Church – usually coordinated by the bishops’ conference in Maynooth. The contribution for 2017 was €644,000 while in 2018 this had risen to €885,000.

The Dublin Diocese has put fresh focus on fundraising efforts in recent years as collections have dipped, including the creation of a new Office for Financial Development. The role of this body is to assist parishes with fundraising initiatives. A number of Dublin parishes have also been trialling contactless payment schemes to encourage donations.

In a note to parishioners, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said: “You, the people of the diocese have been very generous over these years in supporting Share even at moments of serious economic difficulties for families and communities.”