St George’s Church in Kidderminster East was looking for ways to increase their giving, so they could cover their parish share and not need to rely on reserves. They approached Diocesan Stewardship Officer, Alison Maddocks who recommended that they try the Parish Giving Scheme.
Treasurer, Robert Hudson, said: “As church treasurer, I obtained the parish Giving Scheme direct debit packs and then started a gentle sell to the DCC and congregation. We were one of the first churches in the Diocese to try the scheme and the take up at first was slow, but the membership slowly increased.”
As well as provide a new and simple method of giving and improve cash flow for the church, St George’s was also hoping that using the scheme would save on administration time. Robert commented:
“It’s great for me; the direct debit money arrives in one monthly sum within the first few days of the month, so I don’t have to allocate envelopes or record standing orders. Parish Giving calculates the amount of gift aid we’re entitled to and this arrives in one payment around the middle of the month. It’s also very easy for those who want to give. They don’t need to hunt for cash each week and changes can be arranged by either email or telephone, with Parish Giving doing all the work for them! Finally, with the amount of cash on the plate reduced, it takes less time to count it and helps improve security.”
By joining the Parish Giving Scheme before lockdown, it’s meant that the impact of Covid-19 has been smaller than it might have been. Although cash giving has been lost as well as church and church hall hire fees, events income, weddings etc., those paying through the Parish Giving Scheme through direct debit have continued to give.
“Thank the Lord that we joined when we did!” Said Robert. “A number of people contacted me at the start of lockdown worrying that their giving had stopped and it was great to be able to point them towards the Parish Giving Scheme and encourage them to sign up.”
Robert suggests that any church thinking about joining the Parish Giving Scheme should just give it a go! “There’s definitely nothing to lose and it won’t be long before you see the improvement in cash flow and the reduction in administrative time. Don’t expect everyone to sign up at once, but keep plugging it, highlighting the advantages to both the individual and the church – it’s definitely worth it!”