(WKBN) – Most churches have had to cancel in-person services for the last couple of weeks. Despite having no people in the pews, the costs continue for these places of worship.

A church is not the first thing you think to give back to during these trying times, but for a church to operate even without services, there is a cost.

“Our utility bills are astronomical. If you think of a 2,000 square foot home, and that’s a fairly large home, we would be 22 times that size,” says Reverend Ken Gifford of Poland United Methodist Church.

He says that bills also include mandatory annual repairs.

“We have two huge boilers we have to maintain, air conditioning units. Our roof needs replaced right now and we’re working on that. So, we have tremendous expenses that we have to maintain so that we can reach out and help the community,” Gifford said.

Reverend Lewis Macklin of the Holy Trinity Baptist Church also has resources to maintain.

“We have to make sure that it’s sanitized, make sure the resources are maintained, make sure rubbish is picked up, so all those ongoing expenses, they all change,” Macklin said.

The churches rely on the generosity of people who worship there to survive.

“The church utilizes those gifts of donations to give right back to the very community which it serves,” Macklin said.

“We have a lot of outreach ministries toward children. We have an upwards basketball and cheerleading with 185 children a year that we reach out to the whole community,” Gifford said.

One thing that Gifford says has been working for his church to receive donations is their new app.

“Even though they can’t be here in person, they can keep the ministries going,” Gifford said. “And we greatly appreciate that.”