News from Croydon Borough Council Christian Workplace Group
Many local authorities have Christian workplace groups and recently Kay Oshin, a local authority worker contacted us to tell us a little about the Christian Workplace Group (CWG) in Croydon Borough Council.
Kay is a good example of how CWGs can encourage members, when they move on, to join in Christian Groups in their new places of work. Kay previously worked in both Greenwich and Islington Borough councils, prior to moving to Croydon in 2008. Both of these Borough Councils had thriving CWGs so Kay was keen to join the Croydon CWG.
The heartbeat of Croydon CWG is the weekly Wednesday lunchtime meeting when the Bible is studied and time spent praying for each other, in particular for those who are not yet Christians, and the overall Borough Council. The group passionately believes in the power of prayer. Sometimes prayers are said for ‘healing’ of colleagues. In this way, the group seeks to support the Council and Borough as much as it can and members believe that this helps reduce sickness levels. The group also seeks to be a caring support network which does its best to help reduce stress levels in the workplace.
Individual testimonies are shared at group meetings and Kay tells us that these meetings are a real joy and says, “It is a fantastic group!". Over the years they've also discussed topics such as trust, worry, marriage, healthy living and well-being and also money management. Recently the group has looked at ‘hope and grace’. They have also studied book reviews such as Grace Awakening by Chuck Swindoll.
Croydon CWG makes every effort to be outward focused and seeks to serve the council in any way it can. Members are encouraged to identify and put into practice ‘good behaviour attitudes’ towards work, which it hopes will improve the organisational work culture. The group also organises a Christmas service for all staff. The Chief Executive and the Mayor are always invited to this event as well as everybody who works for Croydon Borough Council. During the service a collection is taken and the money given to the Mayor’s chosen charity for that year.
The Council has given permission for the CWG to advertise their events and the group is becoming more widely known and Kay is amazed at the reach of the influence of the CWG and tells us of an example. He was in the lift at work with a fellow colleague, just the two of them, and his colleague said to him, ‘You're the guy that leads the Christian group here aren't you?’ Although Kay recognised the colleague from working at the council, he didn't know him. Kay answered, "How do you know that I lead the Christian group?" and the colleague replied, "Because the lady sitting next to me receives your ‘Prayer E News’ and she often tells me what is written so I know who you are." Kay was amazed and thanked the Lord that more people know about the group than he knew.
When Kay got in touch with TWUK he said, "I got in contact with you because we are just one small group and we wanted to be part of a bigger picture, a larger organisation that believes in the same Christian work principles that we do. I came across your website and wanted to get in touch straight away!"
Kay is networking with other leaders of London Borough Council CWGs through the London Councils Christian Network. The LCCN ai aiming to put on events to bring leaders of the London Borough Council CWGs together to worship, and also pray for the councils, their chief executives and the needs of the boroughs.
Would you be interested? Watch this space!