If we needed it proving at all, the pandemic lockdowns showed us afresh that there is nothing quite like getting together in person. We ensure that as a firm we all get together in person at least twice a year for training, discussion, and good old-fashioned human interaction!
Our most recent staff day at the lovely Lumen URC in central London focused on the incredibly important topics of diversity, equality and inclusion. We all have biases that we are unaware of, and unintentionally our worlds – both personal and professional – can become very uniform to their detriment.
We were therefore delighted to start the day off with the brilliant Yannick Christos-Wahab, pastor at London-based Stockwell Baptist Church. Yannick spoke from his own knowledge and experiences as a Nigerian-born, London-raised pastor of a diverse church with a large Afro-Caribbean proportion. We were led through the biblical principles and importance of diversity, and given a broad overview into the so-called ‘black church’ in the UK, its strengths, and its needs. Yannick gave us much to consider as we think through as a firm how best to reach and partner with such diverse groups of Jesus-loving churches. We were extremely glad for the questions Yannick welcomed following his talk, which he answered admirably!
After lunch, Mark Jones, our Head of Employment, led us through our Equal Opportunities and Diversity policy. Mark helped us to understand and navigate contexts which could result in unlawful discrimination by our clients or, indeed, ourselves.
In addition, our recently appointed Head of Legal Operations, Peter Andrews, led us through discussions around service standards and our ability to act for a client. Each of these discussions was geared towards helping us as a firm give the highest standards of accessible, Christ-centred legal expertise to those who need it.
Around each session, we spent time praying through these critical issues, recognising our complete dependency on God for His help and guidance. There was much to digest and take away from the day, which we’ll be working through prayerfully together as a firm in the coming weeks and months. And in amongst the excellent training we received and discussions we had, the simple value of meaningful catch ups and relationship forming could not be overemphasised!