Energy crisis impacting churches as congregations and donations fall

The parish priest in Dunshaughlin has said that falling numbers in the congregation post pandemic will impact financial donations as the energy crisis takes its toll on the country.

Heating and electricity bills have not been an issue for the church due to the good weather over the summer months but winter is a worry according to Father Sean Henry who said:

"We are just coming back into that time where we require heat again and that is a big factor going forward into the winter.

"Due to the good weather since May, heating hasn't been an issue but I think there will be concerns when we get the next bill in the coming weeks.

"Since Covid our congregations hasn't come back totally to pre-Covid level and therefore there is less in the basket on Sundays but you still have to heat the church for masses or baptisms, weddings etc to the same level."

Fr Henry is praying that a mild winter is on the cards as people try to cope with the soaring cost of living.

"Running a parish, running a church there are many expenses apart from the utilities," he said. You have heat and light, then you have the pastoral centre and the parochial house.

"Also in this time of people coming and going, the church grounds particularly here in Dunshaughlin tend to be places people walk through for various reasons not necessarily going to the church so we have lights outside too.

"I would pray for a mild winter as there are going to be a lot of people struggling over the coming months."