The New Year usually means we take a look at ourselves and make some New Year’s resolutions.  This may also be the time to take a look at our stewardship.  The Church relies on the planned giving of the regular congregation and the local community.  It costs £246 per day to keep the St Symphorian’s Church and Parish Centre open and running. This figure would be a lot higher if it wasn’t for the generous giving of time and talents by professionals and volunteers within the Parish. We all have to help.

There are now two ways people can make regular contributions to the Church funds: 

1. Parish Giving Scheme. This is a direct debit scheme set up through Gloucester Diocese.  This can be for any amount.  A form can be obtained from the Parish Office. Just £2 per week can make a considerable difference. This is a totally anonymous system as far as the parish is concerned.

2. Sign up for the Envelope Scheme.  You will receive a set of dated envelops.  Each week you put your donation into the envelope and pass on to the Church.  

Please remember, if you are a tax payer, your donation can be increased by 25p per pound by filling in a gift aid form. For more information about planned giving please speak to Stewardship Officer or Treasurer or contact the office. 

If you would like to support Christ’s mission in our parishes on a regular basis the most efficient method is to join the Parish Giving Scheme.

The Church of England offers a Christian presence in every community, seeking to be at the heart of all our cities, towns and villages; by serving our communities; by sharing our faith and values; by worshipping together and by our wonderful buildings. This valuable contribution to our community has a cost, which is largely met by personal donations. For the Church to survive and grow, we rely on regular donations so that we can plan confidently for the future.

‘Money’ dominates too many agendas in our Church. We need to tackle this problem head-on, so that we can move forward with confidence. Successfully addressing the Church’s need to receive realistic, long term giving from committed Christians is a fundamental part of developing a thriving, outward looking church.

What’s the advantage
The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) is a 21st century solution to offset one of the greatest problems of local church income – ‘static’ giving. Donations made through PGS use a Direct Debit. This can be made on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. The full donations – plus any associated Gift Aid – come straight back to the local church, thus saving a lot of administrative time at local level.

If you tick the ‘inflation option’, your giving is automatically adjusted each year. So it becomes ‘inflation proofed’, which in the long run will make a huge difference to local church finances. PGS also makes life easier for your local church’s administration team, and improves their cashflow. This will free up their energies to focus on other important church priorities and not be so worried about money.

Why is keeping track of inflation so important?
If church giving had kept pace with inflation since the year 2000, look how it would have increased:

The PGS makes it easy for you to agree, in principle, to increase your donation in line with inflation each year. Just tick the box when you get the form. You can be reassured that, if your circumstances change, it is easy to decline the increase when the annual inflationary letter arrives.

To join the scheme or find out further details, simply talk to a churchwarden or contact the office.