French church opts for Give A Little’s DIY approach to create hand crafted solid oak donation station

The Marian shrine in France known as ‘Notre-Dame du Roncier’ (Our Lady of the Brambles) is a 12th-century-originated listed-grade Roman Catholic basilica with 15th- and 16th-century stained glasses and a 17th-century baroque organ.

Written by Vicky Hewlett February 22, 2023

Endowed with a majestic tower offering a panoramic view of the city and its countryside, the shrine basilica is located at the heart of Josselin, a little town in southern Brittany. Josselin is also well renowned for its castle of Rohan. The town welcomes 250,000 visitors and tourists every year.

Acting as a volunteer layman, David Charlo, now London based who grew up in Josselin and remains a regular member of the congregation, was asked by the rector Fr. Jérôme Sécher to help develop and implement the shrine’s digital output. This included identifying the best solution to get started with cashless giving. After exhaustive comparative research, David concluded that Give A Little platform was the best option.

David explains: ‘I started my research by exploring how Christian churches in Central London (Roman Catholic Westminster diocese and The Church of England) collect cashless donations. Luckily my own local parish, Corpus Christi in Maiden Lane Covent Garden, has been using Give A Little as their digital giving solution and they have been extremely helpful in providing me with lots of detail on how to integrate it. After careful consideration in light of my other findings of other systems, I concluded that Give A Little has a leading edge in the market. I decided to contact the Give A Little team to gather further information on the practicality of implementing a UK based solution in a charity based in France. I was impressed by Give A Little’s engagement to help me make my initiative a success and their dedicated and diligent support was a decisive factor in choosing the platform’.

David decided to implement Give A Little’s Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach and build his own point of donation. He explains: ‘The shrine is thankfully supported by numerous dedicated and talented layman volunteers. Among those is Mr Roger Delalande, a retired carpenter, who has been engineering large scenic Christmas cribs (crèche de Noël) in Advent time for many years now. I worked closely with him to design a handy and attractive donation station crafted in solid oak to suit the 15th-century listed basilica. Other specifications include the need to protect the donation station from theft and malicious acts; to house both devices (10 inch Android tablet and Sum Up Air card reader) within an inner detachable tray which could easily be extracted to make it a versatile portable donation kiosk; and finally to store the cables.’

On the setup process, David commented: ‘Give A Little’s DIY approach is easy to implement even for non-English speaking people. One great feature is the ability to manage a pool of donation stations remotely through the user’s Give A Little account. The rector, clergymen (Fr. Olivian and Fr. Sostel) and laymen (René, Christian, Odile, Florian, Jérémy

et al.
) are all very impressed by the simplicity of use and the breadth of well-thought and powerful functionalities. Parishioners and pilgrims alike are starting to take to it! We expect a steady ramp up of cashless donations throughout Easter and the summer season. To this purpose, more donation kiosks are planned to be installed on site soon’.

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