John Waters is the Treasurer in the parish of Badsey with Aldington. Before the lockdown began, the PCC had decided to explore using the Parish Giving Scheme (PGS). The first Treasurers Zoom Meeting gave the extra incentive to register the parish, which is really quite simple and quick. He then decided to use the new telephone service to sign himself up as the first person to give to the parish in this way. Here he explains how straightforward the process was.

“I had previously met with the Diocesan Stewardship Officer, Alison Maddocks, who had talked me through the scheme. As a result, the PCC took the decision in January that we ought to give it a try, but hadn’t actually got any further than that.It was completely new to us – but perhaps we could be the guinea pigs for the other parishes in the benefice?

“A new parish application needs to be signed off by the treasurer; vicar and a churchwarden. Once you have that, along with some other basic financial information, the registration moves quite quickly. I was given a parish number to pass on to anyone who might want to sign up and start giving to the parish in this way.

“After registering the parish, I then signed myself up to be our first giver. It was important to me as treasurer that I understood what I was asking others to do. This was also really easy – I spoke to the Parish Giving Scheme team in Gloucester giving the parish number and all my personal details as well as defining the amount I wanted to give and whether it would be index linked.I was also asked whether I could gift aid my donations. If I want to stop my giving at any time, there is a number I can call. It was all set up in 24 hours!

“I can already see that the Parish Giving Scheme has real benefits for me as a treasurer – it will definitely help to make the job easier, not least because they automatically calculate the gift aid we’re entitled to, claim it back from HMRC for us and pay it into our bank account on a monthly basis. It will also improve our cash flow as we know exactly how much money we’ve got coming in each month.

“I would definitely encourage other parishes to have a look at the scheme. The process was remarkably simple. Our next job is to plan a stewardship campaign so we can encourage more individuals to sign up!”

If you would like to explore signing up to the Parish Giving Scheme in your parish, please contact Alison Maddocks, Diocesan Stewardship Officer.