Kidderminster St George
St George’s is part of the Parish of Kidderminster East, in the Diocese of Worcester. It is a Grade II-listed, “Waterloo” church – built after the battle of the same name, and consecrated in 1824.
Rebuilt following a fire in 1922, today St George’s offers services in a variety of worship styles, has an active choir, and regularly hosts music concerts and other performances.
PCC treasurer Robert Hudson shares his thoughts below on signing up to the PGS…
Why did your church sign up to the Parish Giving Scheme?
As a parish, we were looking for modern ways to encourage giving in our congregation, so we approached our Diocesan Stewardship Officer, Alison Maddocks, for advice. She recommended the Parish Giving Scheme, so we decided to try it as part of an initial ‘trial’ for the diocese.
How did you personally get involved?
As church treasurer, I was involved in ordering PGS publicity packs for donors, and gently promoting the scheme to the DCC and members of the congregation.
What are the benefits of the scheme?
- The publicity packs in themselves look professional and encourage donors to sign up
- For the donor, there’s no need to look for cash to put in the envelope or offering plate each week
- Changes are easy to arrange via phone or email – the PGS team do all the work
- For the church volunteers who count the cash each week, there is less cash to keep track of – saving time and improving security
- For the treasurer, the money arrives in one monthly sum within the first few days of the month – no envelope allocations or recording lots of individual standing orders, which saves a huge amount of time
- For cash flow, the Gift Aid reclaim arrives in one lump sum about the middle of the month, which again saves time for our Gift Aid officer
- If people can’t attend church for any reason, it doesn’t impact their giving.
What did you hope to achieve?
A few things, namely:
- To save as much admin time as possible,
- To improve church cash flow, and
- To provide donors with a new and simple method of giving.
What has been the impact of introducing the scheme at your church?
Thank the Lord we joined PGS when we did! It has meant that, despite the loss of weekly cash and envelope collections while the church was closed during the CoVid-19 lockdown – our income from those who give through the PGS has remained unaffected.
What were the key things you got right?
Just doing it! Having the scheme operational meant that a number of people who contacted me, concerned about their giving if they couldn’t get to church, were pleased to be able to sign up to it.
The other thing we got right was starting slowly. This gave people time to get used to the idea – and to find out more about how the scheme was run. No one has been surprised by something happening that they were not expecting.
What changes (if any) might improve the scheme?
It is not realistic to expect everyone to sign up in one go, a wonderful thought as that might be! They key is to keep on plugging it, highlighting the advantages to the individual and to the church.
What would you say to a church considering introducing the scheme?
Stop considering and do it! What can you lose? You will find that it will not be long before you see an improvement in cash flow and a reduction in administration time... and happy people!