This idea springs from my last idea about bearing someone’s cross.  An integral part of many services is the act of giving.  I personally don’t like the idea of passing a plate around during the service as people may regularly attend elsewhere or pay in some other way like direct debit.  I think it just leads to feelings of guilt and embarrassment for members of the congregation.  Some churches leave the plate at the back of church so that people can make a donation if they want to.

The act of giving is in itself an act of worship whether it be financial or a more holistic approach as with the Methodist covenant service.  In the Anglican tradition gifts are taken to the altar and offered to God before the Eucharist.  For those who do not physically place money into the plate each week they do not have their offering made.  By placing a bowl of glass beads (try IKEA for £1) next to the offering plate or on the way into the service, they can be given the opportunity to symbolically offer their gift each week.  This then allows them to have it acknowledged before God as part of the service.