PGS: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the point of the PGS?
PGS helps churches in the Diocese of Coventry by enabling givers to make a donation via direct debit, rather than traditional ways of collecting money into the local church.

How much will it cost us?
The Diocese of Coventry is paying the costs of participating in the scheme.

How does the PGS help givers?
PGS offers givers a convenient and secure method of making their regular donations to their local church by Direct Debit. Givers may have their donation automatically uplifted by inflation each year, if they so choose. Givers can remain anonymous to their local churches, if they prefer.

How does it help PCC treasurers?
PGS remits money directly to the local church’s bank account on the 10th of each month. The amount remitted is the total for all the PGS givers in the congregation. The Treasurer receives a report showing names and amounts for each donation, except where the donor has chosen to remain anonymous. A payment with the gift aid from the donations is then given to the church a few days later.

How does it help local churches?
As more and more givers switch to the PGS, it will save many hours of administrative time at local church level. Donations are much easier for the Treasurer (or Giving Officer) to reconcile than standing orders or cash. It will improve cash flow, since Gift Aid is added each month, so there’s no need to wait for the reclaim. Furthermore, with two thirds of givers opting to accept an inflationary uplift, the church receipts should increase year on year.

Why is RPI used for the inflation figure and not CPI?
RPI was the most popular choice amongst givers when the scheme was originally piloted in 2008. The difference between RPI and CPI only makes a slight difference on the increase in gift level. For example, in October 2017, someone who had given £20 a week would see their donation increase by 18p a week more with RPI than CPI. The system applies the most recently published January RPI on the anniversary of the giver’s gift through PGS. It only applies this increase to those givers who have ‘opted in’ – and the new amount is confirmed to the giver in writing.

Why is inflation so important?
Because one of the biggest problems faced by churches is that of ‘static giving’. If giving had kept track with inflation since the year 2000, it would have increased by over 50% – a £40 donation in the year 2000 would have risen to over £60 by 2014.

Who operates the PGS?
The scheme was devised by the Diocese of Gloucester, and it is now an independent charity (Registered Charity 1156606) with trustees from the dioceses that use the scheme.

What happens to my donation if the PGS goes bust?
If insolvency were looming the trustees would be bound to manage affairs to avoid restricted donations being placed at risk. The chances of this are extremely small. PGS is a successful and well-resourced organisation with a proven track record in efficiently administering the scheme.

What material / resources are provided for my church?
A full range of well-presented material is available to churches in our diocese. This includes a detailed handbook on the scheme (A5 or PDF format), leaflets for givers (A5) and gift forms (A5) for those who are ready to sign up. We also have additional resources on request, such as tokens for the offering plate and posters. Katie is available to help you every step of the way and can be contacted on katie.wilson@covcofe.org.uk

How long does it take to receive the donations?
Money is collected from givers on the 1st of each month, and remitted to PCC bank accounts on the 10th of each month – or the subsequent working day. The gift aid is then given to the church a few days later.

Where can I get more information?
If you have any further questions, please contact Katie Wilson katie.wilson@covcofe.org.uk