Places of worship facing financial hardships due to COVID-19

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As churches and temples across the country go another week with empty sanctuaries, for some places of worship, that means empty tides and offerings baskets.

For most churches, Easter and Christmas services make up a large part of their overall budget.

“On Easter Sunday morning, on average, for our church is probably one month of collection,” said Father Douglas Vu of St. Barnabas Church. He said this Easter, they received half of what the church would typically anticipate.

Father Vu said their weekly tides and offerings have dropped 25 percent. “Thanks be to God, in the last five weeks, we have not had the need to access our small savings account yet. Everything we receive from week to week is still enough for us to pay our wages, our employees’ salaries, and our day to day expenses,” Father Vu said,

Father Vu said if he or any other church that is a member of the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham were to need financial assistance, they can apply for a low-interest loan through the Diocese of Birmingham.

Dr. Al Cohn is the president of Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham. He said the impact they’re seeing is more long term.

“This is budget planning season for a lot of non-profits and organizations around. So, where we are feeling this is the uncertainty of next year,” Dr. Cohn said. “A lot of our revenue is voluntary gifts from our congregant.”


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