Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

How does the telephone service work?

The call is expected to last approximately 15 minutes. You will need to have your bank account details to hand, as well as the name of the church/parish you wish to donate to. You will also be asked to confirm your parish’s PGS code (this is usually 9 digits in long) – available from your church’s Planned Giving representative.

Did you know: there are over 2,000 churches in England with St. Mary’s as a dedication and over 16,000 church buildings within the C of E? Knowing your parish’s PGS code significantly reduces the time taken to register gifts and helps us to ensure that your gift goes to the right church.

Once the call is finished, we will send out written confirmation of the direct debit instruction via email (or by post, if you prefer). When you receive the confirmation, please check it thoroughly to ensure that all the details are correct.

The confirmation letter will also include:

  • Your PGS reference number (located below the address), which should be quoted in any future communications with the Parish Giving Scheme
  • Your bank reference code (‘PGS Thank You’ followed by a unique code), which will appear on your bank statement next to the donation amount.

Gifts from couples

We welcome gifts from couples, therefore if you wish to make a joint gift – please select correct titles when completing the form. For the purpose of Gift Aid, we need the signature of just one individual who pays sufficient tax to cover the gift. Please include the title (eg: Mr or Mrs) in the Gift Aid signature box so we know which individual the declaration belongs to.

How do I ‘opt in’ to the inflationary increase?

A unique feature of the scheme is the option for the donor to commit in principle to increase their gift annually in line with inflation. Simply tick the required box to ‘opt in’ to an annual inflationary increase on the gift. Once you have requested to inflate your giving annually, you will receive a letter or email one month preceding the anniversary of your very first gift informing you of the soon to be inflated gift (with the option to vary the it).

How do I go about changing my gift in the future?

We know that circumstances change and your ability to give may increase or decrease over time. If you wish to make a change please notify the Parish Giving Scheme quoting:

• Your PGS reference number (found below your address on PGS correspondence)
• How much your existing gift is for
• What you would like it changed to
• When you would like this change to be brought into effect

Should you wish to have a confidential conversation about your options in changing your gift, please don’t hesitate to contact your parish giving representative or the Parish Giving Scheme.

What measure of inflation is used?

The PGS applies the most recently published January RPI on the anniversary of our donations through the PGS. This increase is only applied to those of us who have ‘opted in’.

Can I remain anonymous to my parish?

All information is treated as confidential. However if you decide to remain anonymous, only the amount of the gift will be shared with your Parish Representative (e.g. the Treasurer or Gift Aid Secretary). We wish to encourage donors to remain known to your parish so that they may thank you and avoid mistakenly approaching you in the future to consider a regular gift to your church.

What happens at the Offertory?

When donors join PGS, they can use PGS tokens to place on the plate or in the collection bag at the Offertory. The PGS tokens enable us to participate in the Offertory. 

Can I choose the day my gift is collected?

Unfortunately not. To enable PGS to run cost effectively and efficiently, one date had to be chosen for all donations. The 1st of the month is an appropriate point in the month based on 1 Corinthians 16:2 (NIV): ‘On the first day of each week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.’

Why can’t my parish offer Direct Debit?

Direct Debiting is a highly regulated system, and is only offered by Banks to large businesses/organisations who are considered to have the necessary internal control systems required to process significantly high numbers of Direct Debits.  

What is the Direct Debit Guarantee?

Donors are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee, which makes it a very safe system. More information is available at www.directdebit.co.uk or www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk (search for ‘direct debit’).

What if I say yes to an inflationary increase, but my circumstances change?

We fully understand that circumstance change; please rest assured that you will be written to 30 days in advance of any increase with the revised amount. If you are unable to meet it, simply let us know.

Will your Parish be charged for this scheme?

There is no direct charge to the Parish for using the Parish Giving Scheme or processing the donation. The annual running costs of the scheme are met by the Diocese.

I currently give by standing order; how do I stop this?

Unfortunately the PGS are unable to cancel a standing order for you, only you may do this. If you bank online it is very simple to do through your online account, otherwise you will need to contact your bank and check their procedure.