Thanks to the generosity of our parishioners, churches across the Diocese have now received over a million pounds through the Parish Giving Scheme (PGS).
Around 140 parishes are now signed up to the scheme, which enables individuals to give to their parish church regularly by Direct Debit. It is simple for churches to sign up to the scheme and individuals can begin to donate through PGS through their website, by filling in a simple paper form, or phoning the PGS team. The scheme enables gift aid to be collected and paid regularly and treasurers can easily see exactly how much money they have coming in from donors each month.
St James’ Church in Hartlebury has recently begun encouraging people to give to the church through PGS. Treasurer, Beryl Thomas said: “Chris Boden, the diocesan Stewardship Officer, came to talk to our PCC and answer any questions that we might have, and we immediately decided to sign up. I registered our parish and we set a date for the launch at which Chris came back to preach. Chris’s sermon was superb; he went through the scheme and the benefits to the parish – the congregation were keen to talk to him after the service!”
At St Thomas’ Church in Stourbridge, they used the Church of England’s generosity resources to launch PGS in the run up to harvest. Vicar Andrew Sillis said: “We launched over a few weeks with both Chris and I preaching and explaining why the scheme was a good thing. It was very easy – all the leaflets were prepared for us with details of our church included and we put together a pack for our regular givers with a letter from me.”
Andrew continued: “It’s still early days, but we’ve been really pleased with level of take up. It’s so much easier for our treasurer to just have one line of income on our bank statement rather than a list of names and it also gives people a degree of anonymity in their giving. I signed up myself on the PGS website and was pleased to see I could arrange to give to other churches where I’ve served previously as well as St Thomas’s. It only took about 10 minutes to go through the form online. It’s a very straightforward system and I’d definitely encourage other churches to go for it.”
Beryl said: “It is an easy process to sign up and everyone involved was very helpful. We especially liked the cards you can put onto the collection plate to show you’ve given by direct debit. I would say that it is important that someone is prepared to take responsibility for PGS in the parish to ensure it is a success. We are hoping to encourage others in the community to sign up to increase our income.”
Stewardship and Resources Officer, Chris Boden, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to all those parishes across the diocese who are now using Parish Giving Scheme to keep track of their donations. I’d encourage others to come and talk to me about the benefits of the scheme so we can work together to get even more people giving to their local church in this way.”