Leaving Your Christian Workplace Group
What Do You Do When Your Group Members Leave?
Moving on – 3 members of the Sefton Christian workplace group reflect on what the group meant to them.
It reminded me of London buses! The Christian group at Sefton Council had been stable for quite a while but then three of our group decided to leave at the same time, two to go to other jobs and one to retire.
We organised a leaving meal for the whole group and we also asked Angela, Stephen and Grace a few questions about their time with our group:
Why did you join the group at Sefton?
I had been part of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) group (which met in offices close to ours) for an Alpha course back in the early 2000’s. I had been a regular church goer but working full time and caring for both my parents with dementia left little spare time. Attending the Christian group during my working day and sharing in such wonderful fellowship was a real lifeline for me.
I too was part of the joint group with HSE also based in Bootle. Then in 2015 there was enough interest to start our own group at Sefton Council so I joined it then.
I first met the group when they organised an event for colleagues about the CAP money course. I'd seen information about the group previously on our staff intranet, but never plucked up the courage to go. They were a lovely, friendly group so I decided to stay!
How has the group has helped you at work and enriched your working life at Sefton?
Angela: It really gave me such strength and truly enriched my work life as well as giving me comfort during my parents’ ill health.
It was like having a home group at work and helped to integrate all aspects of life. It was a way in which we could witness to our faith within our organisation together. The group provided a reminder we were not just doing good work for the sake of it and for professional pride, but out of service.
The group were so supportive both practically and prayerfully, especially as I navigated different dynamics and issues in my work team. The support I received from the group helped me to be bolder in my faith at work, and show my Christian values to my work colleagues. After some time I was asked to help lead the group which was a real honour. Work has been really busy with so many priorities that I wondered if I would be able to give the time, but God always opened the door and the time to contribute.
The group provided a sense of belonging especially during the COVID-19 restrictions where we were working mainly at home, as we were able to meet as a group virtually.
What have you loved most about the group?
There was nothing not to love - it was great praying together and reaching out within the organisation, showing witness and planning events.
Seeing answers to prayer and the Lord changing people’s lives e.g. through a recent online Alpha course. I have grown and developed in my faith, and benefitted from fellowship and prayer support. It gave me a different perspective and helped me step away from the business and the busyness of work.
Management been supportive – my manager read poem at carol service. We have taken many steps of faith as a group reaching out to our colleagues. Being able to run Alpha in the workplace was a huge blessing. Given the operational demands of work, I have found that God will release capacity if we prioritise our faith at work.
What do you hope for in your new organisation/ as you retire?
After recently retiring I’m starting on a new journey and planning to relocate away from Sefton to be nearer family with a more simple lifestyle. I’m having fun researching church life in different areas and hopefully won’t be long before I settle in somewhere new and join a new Christian community. The Christian group has been a big part of my life and I am truly grateful to have been part of it
I hope to find fellow Christians in my new workplace and be able to support each other in the way I have been supported at Sefton and offer a different perspective to my new work colleagues.
I will be working in an NHS Trust of 14,000 staff and I know there will be a few Christians. I would love for there to be a Christian in the team I will be part of. Whenever I have prayed to meet other Christians, it has always happened. I have a wider role with Transform Work UK supporting the development of Christian groups in NHS trusts so I would love you to pray we will be able to establish a NHS Christian Network across the UK.