Vicar's Bit March 2020

Curate’s Bit by Rev'd Steve

Have you ever wondered why the two most chocolate orientated times of the year arrive promptly after most people have decided to make resolutions to shed a few pounds and get fit? The opening marketing salvo is aimed at that special person in your life for whom you are obliged to purchase a years supply of confectionary squeezed into an equally ‘sickeningly’ decorated box. No sooner have you recovered your constitution, and your bank balance, Easter burst’s onto the scene.

So this year, why not take a break from all this and join in the practice of Lent & Holy Week, a time of contemplation and reflection; and possibly the absence of chocolate. We are running an online Lent Corse this year so call or email me for details 07752 463536 or

Holy Week service will take us on a virtual journey around our churches to Good Friday and Easter Sunday:

Monday 6th April from Staunton Church - What about our buildings?

Tuesday 7th April from Corse Church - What about our food?

Wednesday 8th April from Maisemore Church - What about us?

Maundy Thursday from Tirley Church - What about our health?

Good Friday Stations of the Cross from Hartpury Church 

Saturday 11th April from Ashleworth Church for a family ‘Light Service’ 

These videos will appear on our website and on our Facebook page during Holy Week.


Vicar's Bit by Rev'd John

‘How is the church funded…?’ [part two] The Parish Giving Scheme

The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) is a direct-debit system developed by the Diocese of Gloucester to provide a professional, effective donation management system to support parishes fund their mission and ministry.  It reduces the burden of work on parish volunteers and provides a professional service to our donors.  It enables:

  • The donor to sign up to inflationary giving, overcoming the static nature of cash and standing order gifts.

  • The parish to improve cash-flow by receiving the gift by the tenth of the month. The Gift Aid will be sent separately once PGS has received it from HMRC.

It does all this at a lower cost than envelope schemes.

So for instance a donation of £50 a month given to the scheme on day 1 of the month arrives in the PGS account on day 3 of the month. On day 4 of the month the PGS claims £12.50 from inland revenue on behalf of the donor. On day 10 of the month the church treasurer receives £62.50 from the PGS. In other words the donation plus the tax rebate every month without the church treasurer doing anything.

Donations can be made on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. They are collected by Direct Debit on the first day of the month.  The gift is then passed on to the specified church within ten days of collection. Gift Aid will be sent separately once PGS has received it from HMRC

Another unique feature of the scheme is the option for the donor to commit in principle to increase their gift annually in line with inflation.  This is entirely at the donor’s discretion on an opt-in basis but more than 60% of the cash received is index-linked (roughly a 2.5% inflationary increase each year).

  • The scheme is delivered locally (to the church treasurer), but administered centrally, reducing the administrative burden on parishes.

  • It suits regular and occasional donors. 

  • Giving can, if requested, increase with inflation each year. 

  • There is anonymity for donors, if required. 

  • Direct Debit offers greater flexibility with regards to managing giving; increases and decreases can be made easily. 

  • Parish share is the largest monthly outgoing for each church. Giving regularly helps meet the monthly cost. 

  • A central system ensures that Gift Aid is processed accurately. 

  • The PGS offers professional, tried and tested materials for donors, and for parish treasurers. Monthly, Annual and Tax year statements are sent to each Parish.

By offering this scheme in a parish and through donors' generous commitments, churches can be assured of a regular, tax efficient source of income which has the capacity to increase with the cost of living, yet involves virtually no administration. With the help of the Parish Giving Scheme (PGS), donors benefit from a system that is secure, confidential and easy to use, while supporting the Church today and for the future.

What if I’m not a tax payer? Well, the scheme still works for you and for the church. The church’s costs are much the same each month (for instance Parish Share costs, heating and lightening costs). By your giving regularly and by a known amount, the church costs can be properly budgeted for and paid for without each church treasurer being over anxious about finding other sources of church income.

On Saturday 14th March 9-12 noon at the Rectory, Over Old Road, Hartpury, GL19 3BJ we are holding a Gift Day. Church treasurers and others will be available to explain:

  • How you can join the Parish Giving scheme and to talk through any questions you have.

  • How you may increase (or decrease) your giving.

  • Other ways you can give to fund the church

There will be tea and cake, and places to talk with privacy. We are grateful for your generous support.

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