St Nicholas, Halewood
In 2017, the Parish of Halewood and Hunts Cross in the Diocese of Liverpool was facing the same problem lots of churches have: namely, balancing the books. They needed to increase funding, in order to able to continue their outreach into the community, as well as to honour their financial commitments.
PCC treasurer, Tom Beesley MBE, explains how they came to join the Scheme:
Why did your church sign up to the Parish Giving Scheme?
Our PCC looked closely at the giving profile for St Nicholas, and realised that the income from loose plate collections and the envelope scheme was not as regular as we would have liked.
We decided that introducing the Parish Giving scheme was an excellent way of encouraging members of our church family to give on a regular basis, even if they were not able to attend services regularly.
How did you personally get involved?
I am responsible, along with our Gift Aid secretary, for putting together the application for claiming tax relief on donation income for our church. So, it was obvious (to everyone else, that is!) that I should help to set up the scheme, along with our newly appointed Parish Giving Officer.
What did you hope to achieve?
We really wanted to achieve two things: to increase our regular giving and to reduce our administration work.
What has been the impact of introducing the scheme at your church?
Our PCC members unanimously got behind the scheme. Over 30 donors have followed their example and signed up to give regularly through PGS, and we are looking to steadily increase that number over time.
What were the key things you got right?
We found that good communication with the whole church family was essential. We used all the resources and printed material available to us, both from PGS and from the Diocesan Resource Officers, ahead of launching the scheme at St Nicholas’.
What were the main benefits of the scheme?
The scheme allows regular gifts from different donors to be transferred into the church’s bank account in one lump sum, reducing administration. For tax payers who are eligible for Gift Aid, any tax relief on their gift is also transferred automatically into the church’s account. The gift form is easy to complete and donors are also offered the option of increasing their regular gift, taking into account any yearly inflation rise.
What changes might improve the scheme?
The scheme runs well at this stage.
What would you say to a church considering introducing the scheme?
The secret of success is success itself. Keeping your church family involved of the impact that the scheme is having will encourage others to join too.