Join us at the Christian Resources Exhibition
12-14 October 2021, Sandown Park, Surrey
For the first time, the Parish Giving Scheme is exhibiting at the Christian Resources Exhibition this Autumn and we’re delighted to be able to offer free tickets to our community by using the link below.
Regular giving now fully online
The roll-out of our PGS digital services means that new and existing donors can now choose to set up and manage their regular giving entirely online, here on this website.
Following the success of the pilot with five member dioceses earlier this year, the service has been expanded to include all 3812 parishes registered with PGS, from our 30 member dioceses.
Between the start of the pilot last December and the end of May, 2,411 new donations have already been set up online, with a combined first gift value in excess of £200,000.
More than 3,250 new and existing donors have created their personal online account with us, to manage their regular giving safely and easily, in just a few clicks.
The digital services are not just providing benefits for donors. A growing number of church staff and treasurers who are authorised to view the giving statements for their parish, are also making use of the online services. They can log-in securely at any time, to view their monthly statements, including the value of Gift Aid that PGS claims from HMRC on their behalf, to keep time-consuming admin and paperwork to a minimum.
If you’d like to know more about how to get started with managing your regular giving online, we’ll guide you through some simple steps here.
Don’t forget, it’s still possible to set up your regular giving by completing a gift form, or by phoning us, if you prefer. Simply call the team on 0333 002 1271, Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm.
PGS to co-host webinars with the National Giving Team
As a charity whose origins are within the Church, the Parish Giving Scheme is dedicated to serving donors and churches in a shared ministry of giving, by providing a simple and secure way for churches to receive regular donations.
To help inform parishes and churches about the benefits of the PGS, we’ll be co-hosting a new webinar with the National Giving Team on Wednesday 28 April at 1-1.45pm. So if your church is considering joining the scheme or you want to find out more, book a place for ‘An introduction to PGS’ here.
For parishes who are already using the PGS, we’ll be teaming up with the National Giving Team again to guide you through our new online giving service and discuss how to make the most of it as part of a giving review. To hear more, join us for ‘The PGS Digital Service’ webinar on Wednesday 12 May at 2-2.45pm. Book your place here.
We’re looking forward to seeing you there.
New Chief Executive appointed
Grant Forrest has been appointed Chief Executive of the Parish Giving Scheme.
Grant will take up his new role with the PGS on 1 June, leading the charity in its mission to enhance the generosity that enriches the life of the church and its ministry in each community.
A Yorkshireman with a young family, Grant has spent the past couple of years in North Devon as Head of Business for Lee Abbey Devon. Working closely with the Warden, Trustees and senior leaders, Grant has demonstrated leadership, vision and pragmatism in steering this exceptional Christian retreat and conference centre through the challenges experienced by all within the hospitality sector over the past year.
Prior to this, Grant, with a First Class Honours degree in Computer Science and a broad experience in the Tech and IT industry, held positions with The Salvation Army, where he was instrumental in overseeing the successful implementation of its financial systems.
Victoria James, Chair of the PGS, says, “Throughout his career to date, Grant has devoted his technical abilities, aptitude for people management and his personal faith, to serve the mission we share as Christians. The Trustees are excited by the contribution he will bring to PGS, as we forge ahead in our partnerships with dioceses, parishes and colleagues in the national Church.”
Grant comments, “It’s an exciting time to be joining the PGS, with its clear vision and mission to serve the church. I am energised to see further growth both in the PGS but, most importantly, seeing fruitfulness in frontline ministry with the church communities benefiting from reduced administration.”
March 2021: Online giving is now live!
Following a successful four-month pilot, new donors can now set up regular giving online through PGS.
From December 2020 to March 2021, we worked closely with five dioceses – Hereford, Leeds, Liverpool, Oxford and St Edmundsbury & Ipswich – to introduce donors to the new online method of giving, before making it available to all 3,300 parishes across our 30 member dioceses.
Our new online service has already seen more than 1,200 register their online accounts and over 1000 people have set up a new regular gift online. Together, that’s almost £60,000 per month of giving online, supporting the ministry of local parishes.
We’re delighted to now roll out this new method of giving for all new donors. It’s really easy to do, right here on www.parishgiving.org.uk. Simply find your church and click on ‘Give Now’, register for an online account and set up your regular gift.
We’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in helping and supporting the development of PGS digital services and look forward to updating you as we rollout more features over the coming months.
December 2020: Online giving pilot now live
This year, the PGS team has made exciting strides in developing our online giving service that will enable donors to set up regular giving via our website www.parishgiving.org.uk. On 4 December, we launched a pilot of the online service working closely with five dioceses; Hereford, Leeds, Liverpool, Oxford and St Edmundsbury & Ipswich.
Each piloting diocese has invited a number of their registered parishes to introduce donors to the new online method for regular giving. Running until March 2021, the purpose of the pilot is to manage the introduction of this new service in smaller numbers and learn from the experiences of those involved, so that the PGS can make any improvements and adjustments before actively communicating the availability of the online method to all 3,200 registered parishes, across all 30 member dioceses.
By February, we will be providing all our member dioceses with guidance and communication materials for their registered parishes, so that they can prepare to introduce the online services to all donors.
While the pilot is focused on the new functionality for donors using the website, there are also some enhanced services for parishes. All our PGS Statement Receivers - regardless of whether their parish is participating in the pilot - will already be experiencing these improvements. Every parish has its own ‘landing page’ and Statement Receivers will be able to add and update an introductory paragraph.
Although this is a very exciting development, we are asking that all dioceses and parishes not involved in the pilot, currently refrain from promoting the online service to new donors. This is just so that the PGS team can learn from the pilot and ensure a smooth roll out to everyone in the Spring.
The PGS experienced a significant level of growth over the summer, despite the enormous challenges under which parishes and Dioceses are currently operating.
In August, we reached a milestone of 3,000 churches/parishes actively receiving funds through PGS. In September, we processed just over 52,000 regular gifts, with a total value of £4,874m (including Gift Aid) remitted to parishes – an increase of 8% since March 2020.
The telephone giving service has also continued to prove immensely popular. Since its inception, we have processed over 2,300 regular gifts through the service – averaging +500 calls per month. In fact, 1 in every 2 regular gifts to parishes is now set up through this service.
The PGS office remains open for business and we are operating with a reduced staffing presence (based on a rota), in order to comply with government guidelines on social distancing. We are continuing to receive and process new paper gift forms and to handle administrative queries from donors and parishes in the usual way; however, there may be occasional delays in our response times, due to the revised working arrangements.
We do appreciate your patience and support at this time.
The PGS continues to grow across the Church of England, with 30 member dioceses now registered with the Scheme. We extend a warm welcome in particular to those parishes joining us from our newest member dioceses: Leeds, York and Southwark.
Sammi Tooze, Generous Giving Adviser for the Diocese of York, says:
“We are so pleased to be launching PGS in the Diocese of York – we are discovering new and creative ways of engaging with regular givers in our churches during the impacts of COVID-19, and are finding a really positive energy for utilising the benefits PGS brings. As a diocese very new to PGS, we are looking forward to joining in more fully with the PGS family, and to seeing the fruitful impacts across our churches.”
This month, we processed just over 49,000 regular gifts to parishes through the PGS, with c. 55% of donors opting to increase their giving annually in line with inflation. We forwarded over £3.8 million in gifts alone to 2,884 parishes, with an additional £900,000 in Gift Aid reclaimed from HMRC.
Update on the telephone giving service
In April, we were delighted to announce the launch of our new telephone service – designed to enable prospective donors to set up a regular Direct Debit gift to their parish over the phone.
The service has certainly proved popular – with over 700 donors signing up during the first month!
Praise for the new service:
“I found signing up for Parish Giving Scheme over the phone to be extremely easy and efficient. The call lasted ten minutes and the call handler was very polite. I would recommend this to anyone considering signing up to PGS.”
Annie Stanford, Treasurer, Holy Trinity Old Hill
“Signing up to the PGS by phone could not have been easier. It was quicker than filling out forms and, during the CoVid-19 lockdown, means my church still gets my regular gift.”
“I found the ease of using the new telephone service very satisfactory. The whole process was efficient and only took 15 minutes. The staff were very helpful and I would thoroughly recommend this service.”
Dr Simon Thorp, Eastbourne St Saviour