Finally, it has arrived

Author: Mr Robert Culyer

Published on: 7 March 2022

For many years parishes have been asking me if the diocese is going to join The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS). Well, I am pleased to say that we have finally decided to go ahead. What is all the fuss about, I hear you say? Well, the advantages to your parish are immense.

  1. It gives the giver the opportunity to inflation proof their regular gift;
  2. It reduces the work for the treasurer. PGS handle the gift aid claim on the gift for the parish;
  3. It increases the cash flow of your parish by claiming the gift aid monthly;
  4. Less time counting cash and banking and possibly reduced bank charges;
  5. Helps protect a parish financially should we go into yet another lockdown;
  6. Can increase the number of planned givers which helps budgetplanning;

What is this amazing resource?

Very basically it is a mechanism to handle your gifts. So here is a bit of background. The PGS is a joint venture charitable trust established in 2009. Of the 42 dioceses in England, 33 are already members so we are quite late coming to the party.

How does the resource work?

Gifts can be made on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. On the first working day of the month PGS receive the gift from the donor and these are paid back to the church on the 10th of that month. Any associated Gift Aid is automatically credited to your church once received from HM  Revenue and Customs (monthly). Your Church Treasurer receives an online monthly report from the PGS Team, listing the giving and Gift Aid claimed. Tokens are available for church members to put on the offering plate at each service if they feel the need, but I think it is important to remember that what we give is only between two people: you and God.

Managing inflation

Your church, like our government and every household, is hit by inflation, which erodes the value of your gifts. The PGS tackles this problem by enabling church members to choose to increase their giving annually in line with inflation. This is totally optional. If financial circumstances change, they can increase or reduce their gift simply by calling the PGS. Givers receive a letter annually advising them of the amount that their giving could increase by in line with inflation and they can retain full control by opting to decline, increase or reduce the amount.

What do you need to do?

  • The PCC first needs to pass a formal resolution agreeing to join the PGS. The resource is free for parishes to join.
  • Next, the parish needs to be registered. The PCC Treasurer or the parish PGS lead can obtain a registration form from the Generous Giving Advisers at the Diocese of Norwich.
  • Once the parish is registered, they will be ready to use the resource. We have found it works most effectively when launched alongside a giving campaign when everyone has a chance to look at their discipleship and review their giving. For supporting resources, please see the Diocesan website or contact the Generous Giving Team via the email address at the end of this article. The parish PGS lead should now provide information personally to each church member to promote the PGS.
  • Donors wanting to join the PGS can do so via the PGS website, over the phone, or by completing and posting a Gift Form.
  • PCC members should lead from the front and join this preferred method of giving, as it encourages others to do the same.

Why give in a new way?

  • The priorities that flow from our diocesan vison call us to be Prayerful, Pastoral and Prophetic. Prayerfully we are called to live a life of generous stewardship in response to God’s gifts to us.
  • We need to make our giving planned and the direct debit facility helps us achieve that.
  • We confirm ourselves as a committed member of our church and community.

If you sign up to the Parish Giving Scheme, more of your gifts and time can be devoted to God’s mission and ministry across the Diocese of Norwich.

By making the resource work in our diocese we are supporting parishes that do not have the luxury of a Gift Aid Officer and also have issues with cash flow.

Please contact me with any questions or if you require further information. 01603 882326.

The author...

Mr Robert Culyer

Generous Giving Adviser Officer

This article is from...

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