Ambitions to become Archbishop of Canterbury he has not, but as David Philpott shows, hanging around in cathedrals means you can meet interesting people and develop fascinating ideas.

 

THE ONLY WAY IS ETHICS
‘That’s two cathedrals in one week’ mocked a Facebook “Friend” as my status update indicated that I was in the Crypt at Rochester. ‘Ambitions to succeed Rowan Williams?’ she continued in the way that only Facebook “not-really-friends-but-you-asked-me-to accept-you- type-friends” can.  I am sure there is a way of setting one’s options so that real friends and family can be separated from these annoying hangers on. Like people that have invited themselves to a party and who keep interrupting private conversations, these are cyber gate crashers who have no social networking etiquette.
‘Just Unfriend them’ I hear you saying.  Alas I am cursed with the nature of a pedant when it comes to language - albeit an evolving one - and since there is no such word as unfriend in any dictionary I value as true to the mother tongue, I cannot bring myself to do it.
Anyway, I digress. I was in the crypt of Rochester Cathedrals with all my muckers – an assorted Rag, Tag and Bobtail of extremely capable professionals, partaking of the Rochester Business Guild occasional dinner.  I got lucky.  I was on an extremely interesting table with The Cathedral Development Officer to my left and a Deputy Lieutenant to my right – the latter being a Guardian of the international education movement Round Square. The evening was a sublime joy as with erudite skill I shifted my head left to right and picked up on conversations about ecclesiastical and heritage fundraising for a few moments and then with a sideways glance, fascinating snippets about this worldwide association of schools which share a commitment beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility.  As I left early and made my way for the train, I heard the man in the Everest advert say in my ear in a soft Irish accent, ‘Be honest now.  You didn’t expect that from a Rochester Business Guild dinner did you?’
The Precincts at Canterbury a few days earlier had been a completely different affair. We - the membership committee of The Big Society Co-operative - had spent a half day and an evening together dreaming dreams about a whole new way of doing charity - post the 2008 collapse of the world as we knew it. Around the table I was surrounded by some pretty influential leaders, all of whom had in the past relied substantially on local or central government funding. But everyone knew that the world had changed.  Things were broken.  The old way of doing business in the not-for -profit sector was as dead as a Pterodactyl. 
We discussed the great cooperative movement of a century ago and we debated at length whether Mr Cameron et al had somehow contaminated The Big Society by claiming it as a government idea, a government policy if you will.  Whatever we thought was irrelevant however, since the phrase was out there, the genie was out of the bottle.  “You can’t unscramble an egg” I declaimed, thinking of Mrs Thatcher perhaps as I remembered her reason for building up the British nuclear deterrent in the 1980’s.
After several hours of facilitated mission setting, vision defining and strategy planning we realised that The Big Society Cooperative would only serve its subscribers if it was rooted and grounded in sound ethics, notwithstanding the fact that it only cost charities a £1 to join.
‘I should write a blog about this’ I said as we ambled down to dinner at Cathedral Lodge.
‘Call it The only way is Ethics’ said Cedric Frederick*, CEO of the Avante Partnership. So I did.
More about The Big Society Cooperative can be found at:
http://www.bigsocietycooperative.com/
*Might want to hyper link this http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/whos_who/user/Cedric%20Frederick

 

THE ONLY WAY IS ETHICS

‘That’s two cathedrals in one week’ mocked a Facebook “Friend” as my status update indicated that I was in the Crypt at Rochester. ‘Ambitions to succeed Rowan Williams?’ she continued in the way that only Facebook “not-really-friends-but-you-asked-me-to accept-you- type-friends” can.  I am sure there is a way of setting one’s options so that real friends and family can be separated from these annoying hangers on. Like people that have invited themselves to a party and who keep interrupting private conversations, these are cyber gate crashers who have no social networking etiquette.

‘Just Unfriend them’ I hear you saying.  Alas I am cursed with the nature of a pedant when it comes to language - albeit an evolving one - and since there is no such word as unfriend in any dictionary I value as true to the mother tongue, I cannot bring myself to do it.

Anyway, I digress. I was in the crypt of Rochester Cathedral with all my muckers – an assorted Rag, Tag and Bobtail of extremely capable professionals, partaking of the Rochester Business Guild occasional dinner.  I got lucky.  I was on an extremely interesting table with The Cathedral Development Officer to my left and a Deputy Lieutenant to my right – the latter being a Guardian of the international education movement Round Square. The evening was a sublime joy as with erudite skill I shifted my head left to right and picked up on conversations about ecclesiastical and heritage fundraising for a few moments and then with a sideways glance, fascinating snippets about this worldwide association of schools which share a commitment beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility.  As I left early and made my way for the train, I heard the man in the Everest advert say in my ear in a soft Irish accent, ‘Be honest now.  You didn’t expect that from a Rochester Business Guild dinner did you?’

The Precincts at Canterbury a few days earlier had been a completely different affair. We - the management committee of The Big Society Co-operative - had spent a half day and an evening together dreaming dreams about a whole new way of doing charity - post the 2008 collapse of the world as we knew it. Around the table I was surrounded by some pretty influential leaders, all of whom had in the past relied substantially on local or central government funding. But everyone knew that the world had changed.  Things were broken.  The old way of doing business in the not-for -profit sector was as dead as a Pterodactyl. 

We discussed the great cooperative movement of a century ago and we debated at length whether Mr Cameron et al had somehow contaminated The Big Society by claiming it as a government idea, a government policy if you will.  Whatever we thought was irrelevant however, since the phrase was out there, the genie was out of the bottle.  “You can’t unscramble an egg” I declaimed, thinking of Mrs Thatcher perhaps as I remembered her reason for building up the British nuclear deterrent in the 1980’s.

After several hours of facilitated mission setting, vision defining and strategy planning ably delivered by one Sarah Carter of Solo Consultancy, we realised that The Big Society Cooperative would only serve its subscribers if it was rooted and grounded in sound ethics, notwithstanding the fact that it only cost charities a £1 to join.

‘I should write a blog about this’ I said as we ambled down to dinner at Cathedral Lodge.‘Call it The only way is Ethics’ said Cedric Frederick of Avante Partnership. So I did.

 

More about The Big Society Cooperative can be found at:http://www.bigsocietycooperative.com