Diocese of ChichesterDiocese of Chichester

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The Parish Giving Scheme

News for February 2017

Changes to the PGS

There are some important changes in the way PGS will be remitting money to PCC bank accounts. The changes will be implemented in 2017. A new version of the 'Better Way' leaflet helps to illustrate this - downloadable by following the link in the orange panel on the right.

Leading the world

Chichester diocese currently 'leads the world' for churches signed up to the Parish Giving Scheme with nearly 160 churches active. Our diocese and Winchester are vying for leadership for the number of donors - our diocese has 3551 donors. The gifted money - collected by Direct Debit - is going straight to the 'front line' - i.e. local churches having a positive impact on their local communities. With Gift Aid added immediately, local church Treasurers spend fewer precious hours on book-keeping.

In 2014, the PGS 'went national'. With the backing of the Archbishops' Council, the PGS became a Limited Company (number 8824540) and a Registered Charity (number 1156606). Our Diocesan Board of Finance is a member of the company and has appointed a Trustee to the charity.

Would you like to adopt PGS in your local church?

If you would like to adopt the scheme in your local church, there are five steps:

  1. Have someone read through the detailed Implementation Handbook (12 pages)
  2. Discuss it in PCC - here is a helpful summary of Frequently Asked Questions (2 sides of A4)
  3. Register the church using the Registration Form, which will need some signatures
  4. Once the registration has been processed and we've sent you the donor forms, get a small number of donors using the scheme (e.g. PCC members) so that confidence is built
  5. Roll it out to everybody

Still confused? There's a menu of materials which you can obtain here or, if you would like to speak to somebody, call John Sherlock on 01273 425685.

Remember: signing up to the PGS is no substitute for a well managed Stewardship initiative. We've found that the change of system 'nudges' donors to reflect on their giving, but for best results think about some kind of campaign. Follow this link for ideas.

Changes afoot in 2017

Thank you to all our PGS parishes for taking part in the survey. During 2017 the PGS office will introduce a modified method of remitting money to PCC bank accounts, reducing the risk of a late refund of Gift Aid from HMRC.

PGS Rollout

Our very first parishes (in this diocese) started piloting the Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) in June 2012. It was given formal approval for a roll-out across Sussex by The Chichester Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) in autumn 2012. The annual amounts remitted to parishes have been:

  • 2012 - £28,972
  • 2013 - £547,768
  • 2014 - £1,910,566
  • 2015 - £2,893,844
  • 2016 - £3,401,478

At the beginning of December 2016, £289,199 was remitted to local churches in our diocese through the PGS, including £55,373 of reclaimed Gift Aid.

Cumulatively, over £8.7million has been remitted to parishes since we introduced the scheme to this diocese in 2012.

2016 breakthroughs

We're delighted to announce that Helen Richardson - one of the founders of the PGS - has been appointed its part-time Chief Executive. Commenting on her appointment, Helen says "From its inception the PGS has truly been a collaborative piece of work, engaging with a cross section of people throughout the Church."

Further breakthroughs - in December 2015, the PGS remitted in excess of one million pounds in a single month to participating parishes throughout the country. And in April 2016, the PGS was invited to collect in excess of one million pounds BEFORE any Gift Aid was added, so the total remitted (after GA had been added) exceeded one and a quarter million pounds

PGS resources to help you locally

We have a slim portfolio of essential materials to help you with PGS locally. Everything can be viewed and/or ordered here.

A message about PGS from the Bishop of Chichester

"… the Parish Giving Scheme is a sensitive and effective aid to discipleship and the regulating of spiritual life in material terms. I gladly commend it to you."

Read the whole message

What is PGS?

PGS is a highly efficient system for helping local churches with their planned giving. It collects gifts from donors by Direct Debit, automatically adds the Gift Aid uplift if appropriate, and then remits the gross amount to the local church.

Uniquely, it has the capability automatically to increase the donation by inflation each year, if the donor agrees. Nearly two-thirds of our donors opt for this automatic increase.

To download a sheet of frequently asked questions about PGS (with answers) find the link in the orange panel on the right of this page.

Excellent practice in our diocese

There are some excellent examples from local churches in our diocese of how to communicate the benefits of PGS to donors:

Here is a sample letter to regular givers

Here is a sample letter to non-regular givers

Here is an example of a parish web page about PGS

March 2016 workshops

We organised some workshops on Thursday 10 March to share ideas about boosting local church income. More detail here.


See Exeter diocese's excellent video about the Parish Giving Scheme by clicking or tapping here.

Money matters

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Related resources

Speak to somebody

At Church House we have some full-time employees, some part-time employees and some external consultants. Our aim is to provide a good service level to parishes while keeping costs down.

If you have a question about diocesan finance or the legal frameworks under which parishes and the diocese operate, please call our Finance Team on 01273 425798.

If your question is about improving income or reducing costs, call John Sherlock on 01273 425685.

We welcome telephone calls and can usually put you through to the right person or ask them to call you back. Our switchboard number is 01273 421021.