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Transform Work > Resources > Member News > Formal Recognition of a Christian Workplace Group: Developing A Business Case

Formal Recognition of a CWG: Developing a Business Case  

Business case

nb the advice contained on this page is included in a TWUK booklet entitled 'Formal Recognition of a CWG: Developing a Business Case'. Request a copy here.


Most organisations support a range of staff groups within their organisational diversity frameworks. This usually includes groups for Black and Minority Ethnic people; people with Disabilities; Women; and Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people.

There are an increasing number of organisations that also accept and formally recognise the place of Christian Workplace Groups (CWGs) within their diversity frameworks. Formal recognition can bring significant benefits for the group and the organisation, some of which are discussed below. 

To achieve formal recognition within an organisation, groups need to be clear about:

  • the diversity framework of the organisation in which the CWG is to operate
  • the aims and objectives of the group
  • how the group will operate
  • what is required of the group by the organisation
  • the benefits the group will bring to the organisation

This page outlines the issues that need to be considered when putting a formal request to senior managers / HR for recognition of a CWG as a staff network.

It is important that prior to approaching senior managers a strong business case is prepared to explain exactly what you are asking of managers, and the reasons why they should agree formal recognition of the group, ie how this will be of benefit to the organisation.

An initial approach to managers to establish a CWG, may well elicit a response along these lines: ‘Aren’t diversity networks for those groups which sometimes experience discrimination?  Christians aren’t discriminated against, are they?’  It is therefore important to make sure that basic groundwork has been undertaken before putting this request forward.

It is often helpful to start informal discussions with managers about the possibilities of formal recognition. This will ensure that they are aware of the potential request at an early stage enabling any concerns to be talked through openly.  It may be beneficial to invite a sympathetic senior manager to attend a CWG event and to seek advice on what concerns or issues managers may raise. The 'hearts and minds' approach often pays dividends! 

Equality and Diversity

The Transform Work UK Team believe that the principles of equality and diversity should be supported by both managers and staff in all workplaces.

Equality and Diversity are overlapping principles, but they are not the same:
Equality in the workplace is fundamentally about fairness, ensuring that all employees have equality of opportunity to maximise their talents and are not discriminated against in any way. This does not mean that all people are treated in the same way, rather ensuring that individual differences and needs do not place them in a disadvantageous position in any work related situation.

Diversity in the workplace is concerned with recognising that all people are unique and that difference between employees is something to be celebrated. The ability of employees to express individual aspects of their personalities at work is likely to bring more resources to the workplace, produce greater job satisfaction for individuals, and promote a more productive and inclusive workplace environment. In many cases, this will result in members of the general public receiving improved services from the organisation.

No Diversity without Equality  If a sound equality structure is not in place within the workplace, then it will not be possible to have an effective diversity framework. It is important therefore that CWG members are comfortable in how their group will function within both frameworks. This will need some discussion as a group.
Equality and Diversity at the heart of the Good News  In a patriarchal society, Jesus treated women with respect. He mixed with the poor, the marginalised, those considered to be outcasts, people with disabilities, people with dreaded skin diseases, people with mental health problems, people possessed by evil spirits, people of different nationalities and from different traditions; people living by a different moral code. Jesus did not reject or seek to avoid any of these people. Jesus met all who came to him with love and respect no matter what they had done. He might not always have approved of the behaviour of some or their lifestyles, but his starting point was love and respect. Principles of equality and diversity are firmly rooted in the Kingdom of God.

Diversity Networks  Diversity networks are therefore important to:
  • employers
  • one another
  • the organisation as a whole
  • the community
  • God’s Kingdom

Christians have a legitimate role in the workplace and, in the tradition of Jesus, have as a starting point love and friendship for one another and for all work colleagues.

Building a Business Case for Formal Recognition of the Group


When building a business case for formal recognition, bear in mind that managers and HR are likely to ask questions such as:

  • what will the group do?
  • what benefits will the group bring to the organisation?
  • what is the group’s attitude to other diversity groups?
  • how will the group work with other network groups?
  • why should the organisation support a single faith group? Wouldn’t it be better to have a multi-faith group or forum?
  • what does the group want from the organisation? 

Each of these questions is explored further below.

1. What will the group do?

In building a case for formal recognition, develop clear aims and objectives for the group. For example, the group will probably aim to:

  • serve the organisation faithfully
  • share the Christian faith with others
  • provide an opportunity for colleagues to learn about the Christian faith
  • encourage Christians to be themselves at work
Several examples of aims and objectives drawn up by different groups are given at the links at the bottom of this page.

Other things to consider in preparing the case:

  • agree on frequency and location of group meetings
  • identify the sorts of activities the group will undertake (both during and outside meetings)
  • be clear on how the group wishes to advertise its activities
  • clarify how the group will communicate in general (both within itself and to the wider organisation)
  • propose a reporting mechanism with managers and HR to keep them updated on what the group is doing

2. What benefits will the group bring to the organisation?

A CWG can bring many benefits to the organisation, which may include the following:

  • commitment and increased contribution to the organisation by those who are part of the group
  • making the most of skills and abilities
  • releasing potential in the workplace
  • bringing the sum of employee attributes to work in a positive manner
  • commitment to colleagues
  • pastoral support of individuals
  • increased commitment from Christian workers to the organisation
  • contribute to raising ethical standards within the organisation
  • external recognition of the organisation's positive diversity policy (enhances image, assists recruitment)
  • increased effectiveness in working with other diversity networks
  • celebration of one another’s contributions to the workplace 

3. What is the group’s attitude to other diversity groups?

It is important that the CWG has a positive attitude towards other diversity groups, whether they exist formally or not. Other diversity groups have just as much reason to request recognition as the Christian group.

Christians in the Audit Commission (CiTAC) developed a statement to deal with this: ‘We unconditionally support all workplace colleagues in their right to representation in the workplace; that we support their right to be treated with an absence from prejudice, that we wish to love and befriend all our colleagues, whilst maintaining our own specific beliefs.’

4. How will the group work with other network groups?

From time to time, the group may wish to consider putting on joint events with other diversity groups. Such joint projects could include:

  • multi-faith events looking at topics such as ‘How does my faith influence my work’?
  • working groups to develop materials on how teams can work together when there is a diverse range of beliefs and attitudes within a team. 

5. Single-faith Groups vs Multi-faith Forums

Some groups might encounter the question: 'Why should we support a single faith group - wouldn’t it be better to have a multi-faith group or forum?'. There is no standard response as to whether a CWG should participate in a multi-faith forum. Any such proposal requires careful thought and prayer. There are however, a number of factors that groups should consider in determining their response. These include the following:

  • is the proposed multi-faith group supporting diversity and promoting faith in the workplace or trying to avoid the difference?
  • there is no reason why an organisation cannot support more than one faith group.
  • different faiths may wish to support their believers in different ways.
  • in the main, people of different faiths are happy to work alongside one another.

6. What does the group want from the organisation?

This will vary from group to group, but suggestions include:

  • a time and place to meet
  • opportunities to meet occasionally with managers/HR
  • channels and opportunities to contribute to the organisation
  • resources, eg photocopying, materials
  • agreement for newsletters, posters and other communication channels.
  • agreement for celebrating Christian events eg Christmas, Easter
  • funding, where possible
  • agreed time for the leader to spend on leadership activities

Seek God’s view on the pace that He wants you to move at, but don’t be afraid to be bold!

The business case may be delivered to managers orally, at a meeting, perhaps after a short presentation, or written down in a structured fashion. Discuss this with the appropriate manager/HR contact at an early stage in the process to help you shape your approach.


The links below offer 6 examples of documents that have been prepared for recognition by a range of groups, in national and local government and in industry. Read through the various documents, and extract ideas that may be relevant to your case for recognition.

BT Christian Network

A document describing the BT Christian Network
Home Office Christian Network  Vision, Objectives and Aims
Anglian Water (Thorpe Wood House Peterborough) Christian Group  Background and Aims and Objectives
Christians in the Audit Commission  Aims and Objectives
PwC Christian Network Long Term Dream, 5 year Goal, Daily Focus, Group Structure and Activities
E.ON Christian Network  Vision, Purpose and Meetings