Church attendance and the giving of offering in church is said to be dwindling fast due to the economic challenges facing the country.
A few churches the Ghana News Agency (GNA) engaged said many members had abandoned church after the ban was lifted for in-person church activities with low offerings posing huge financial challenges to the churches.
The Ghana New Agency on Sunday visited the St. Charles Lwanga Catholic Church, Abeka, where it observed that the Church, which was often packed from the main auditorium to the top extension, recorded very low attendance.
The GNA also gathered from a source in the Church that offertory had reduced to about five per cent, a situation that made the Church initiate the societal offertory giving programme.
This encourages each society from the music ministry and choir to welfare and security enhancement societies to present separate offertories to the priests in turns every Sunday.
The Church has also started the “trophy giving” initiative where members are encouraged to support the development of the Church through the “Day Born” offering plan, with winners given a trophy for a period.
The main offering is collected pew by pew amidst dancing and singing.
Checks by GNA indicate that GHC1.00 dominated the offertory collected on Sunday, July 03, 2022.
It also noticed that many women had put on already-made hair wigs, with a few having braids and others cutting their hair.
In an interaction with Esinam Agboli, a member of the congregation, she said: “Now we barely buy African print and fabrics to sew because that is too expensive. You buy the print; go to see a fashion designer or seamstress and they have even increased their charges now.
“Before you realise, you would have spent at least 150 to 200 Cedis on one dress. So now I only buy the China or Togo-made dresses when I have money and that only costs me about GHS70 or GHS80.”
Ms Theresa Naadei Mensah, a single mother of two, said: “For a long time now I haven’t been able to buy any dress for my children not to talk of myself. So the few close friends in the Church, I beg them to bring those dresses looking small on them now so I can share with my children to wear.
“We are even struggling with what to eat so how can we think of changing our wardrobe?”
Mrs Barbara Maame-Ama Quansah, another member of the congregation, said: “In these challenging economic times, you cannot spend GHS200.00 to do your hair and take it off after a month or two because you will break down with money issues.
“I buy the already-made wig at GHS300.00 and I can wear it for years depending on how well I maintain it. So as for the wig, we will continue to wear. Now the men even know we wear it and it has become normal with them,” she added.
Mr Benjamin Quartey Papafio, who complained of transportation to church on week days and Sundays, said: “I have a car but now I barely drive it to church because the fuel prices are insane and I have five children to cater for. So I often parked it at home, and used public transport to church.”
Maxwell Clottey, another member, said he was not worried about going to church and not having money for offertory.
“The only problem is now they have increased the lorry fare from Nii Boi Town to Fadama and so days I don’t have money to board a car, I stay at home because its too far to walk,” he added.
The GNA observed that some members of the congregation used cars, while others used motorbikes and bicycles.
Many worshippers also walked from their houses to church and walked back home, some used commercial vehicles and motorcycles to church and walked back home.
The situation is similar in churches across the national capital, Accra.
Prophet Solomon Nkrumah Bosheba, the Founder and General Overseer of “The Light of East Gate Chapel International,” Konongo, said the economic hardship in the country was not only affecting businesses and other social activities but also church attendance and offerings.
He said offertory had reduced drastically since in-person church activities had started after COVID-19.