Initially it seemed a strange and uncomfortable partnership to me – business and religion. A while back I spent several years living in mid-West America and witnessed the workings of the different churches which, to a very British mind, seemed overtly commercial.

Many people in Indiana still tithe up to 10% of their monthly earning to their church; the buildings are often enormous and house cinemas, cafes and even gymnasiums in their basements; and business is routinely conducted after the Sunday morning service over coffee and cakes. I even had the misfortune to be invited to a service where the church’s annual report and accounts were presented on PowerPoint to the congregation. A truly alien experience and one that drove us swiftly out of that church never to return.

So, I approach any partnership between business and the church with an amount of scepticism and trepidation. However, the Ely Cathedral Business Group exhibition and networking event last week was, I believe, a huge success for those involved. I do wonder what visitors to the Cathedral during the week of the unmanned exhibition thought and whether our displays spoilt their experience but, that aside, the Cathedral was an extraordinarily wonderful setting for the event.

Most of all, for Conscious Communications, with our ethos firmly rooted in ethical business practices, it was exciting to hear Tom Green, Chairman of ECBG and CEO of Spearhead International, talking of the “strong correlation between the health of the business sector and the wellbeing of the communities in which those businesses operate”. He said there is “one word to describe good business, sustainability. Good business must be sustainable. The word is applied rightly to our environment and to the social fabric of our community.”

So much of what was said during the week of ECBG and by Tom Green and Charlie Mayfield at the Celebration of Business Reception mirrors what Conscious Communications has set out to achieve and while we are convinced of the relevance of our proposition, it is reassuring to hear their words and to know that we are at the forefront of an exciting new business movement that looks to the long-term and is not focussed on short-term commercial gain alone.

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