Topeka churches see drop in numbers after winter storm

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Over a dozen churches across Topeka cancelled services Sunday morning due to weather.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church, on the other hand, still held their Sunday mass.

Father Tim Haberkorn said they have not cancelled a weekend mass in the 11 years he’s been at Sacred Heart.

“For Catholics, the priest normally lives right next door to the church, so it’s kind of hard to call in sick or for bad weather,” said Father Haberkorn. “We’ve got some real troopers in our parish that are older, but yet they’re able to make it.”

Father Haberkorn said they do notice less people when winter weather hits, but there’s always someone to greet those that do show up. He said the slightly empty pews means less money in the offering; however, he said most people “double up” the next time they come to church.

On the other side of Topeka, First Baptist Church Senior Pastor Cheryl Henson said there’s always a core group of people she can count on when winter weather strikes, but she said the church definitely feels the difference.

“The faithful people that are the workers here that do the teaching and run the Sunday school. They’re always here,” said Pastor Henson. “Our pews are emptier, our singing is less, our money is less. Everything goes down on a winter day like this.”

While they see the money go down during severe winter weather, Pastor Henson said with online giving and other donations it usually evens out.

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