A stole is an important part of a pastor's garments. It honors tradition, celebrates the season, and conveys the sense of authority and guidance that people desire from their pastor. It's important for pastors to have stoles that are beautiful and comfortable to wear, but it's also really easy to blow your budget when buying stoles. If your church has limited funds or would rather keep the budget small so you have more left to spend on charity, here are some tips to help you stick to a smaller budget when purchasing stoles.
Opt for narrower stoles
As you begin shopping for stoles, you will notice that they come in various widths and that the wider ones cost significantly more than the narrower ones. This is because the wider ones simply require more material to make and also because more work goes into decorating and sewing the larger ones. Opt for the narrower stoles, and you can save quite a lot. The stole will still look elegant and beautiful; nobody will look at it and think "that should be wider."
Buy for the longer seasons
Some churches and their pastors buy different stoles for almost any occasion. For instance, they might have a different stole for Good Friday, one for Ash Wednesday, and another one for Easter. There's nothing wrong with this if you have room in your budget for all of those stoles, but if you're trying to keep costs down, you need to simplify. Buy just a few stoles for the larger seasons of the church year. For instance, you could have one for all of Advent, another for all of Lent, and a third for the months in between. This will still give a little variety and allow the pastor to dress seasonally but at a lower cost.
Look into sets of stoles
Sometimes you can save by buying stoles as a pre-established set. For example, you might be able to buy a set of three stoles in different colors for different church seasons. Since the company knows they are getting more business from you and since they only have to ship once, you can often buy a pack for less than the cost of three individual stoles.
While stoles are an important part of your pastor's outfit, they may not be an item you want to pay a lot for. The tips above will allow you to have nice stoles without emptying the church's account. Look online and in different shops to find pastor stoles for your budget.