We have been accused of purposely misleading people into thinking we had a working relationship with specific people at a diocese.
We’ve spent the last four years building this company by putting our customers first. Being a commercial company allows us to invest heavily in product development, security, and hiring the right people to support our customers. It doesn’t make us an aggressive company, but in this case we acted in a way that made us seem aggressive; not to increase profit, but to strengthen our relationship with churches in the diocese. And we missed the mark.
So what happened?
We identified three separate dioceses as a good focus as we continue our growth within the UK, based on their proximity to our office in London, size and make-up of churches. We then emailed a few churches which we identified as a good fit.
The idea of the emails was to introduce our company and to let people know that we are hoping to get to know churches in the area. We also mentioned that we had already been in touch with people at the diocesan level (which was true), however the email was formulated in such a way that may infer the support or endorsement of the diocese.
We were contacted by the diocese, and immediately changed the wording of our emails.
Why the blog post?
I am writing this post to express that we understand. Even though I wish we hadn’t caused these misunderstandings, I’m glad we got to hear you. This is a valuable reminder to us about the importance of transparency. We pride ourselves on long-term relationships with churches that choose to work with us and trust us.
Anyone who wants to express additional concerns, or discuss this further, is welcome to get in touch with me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder of ChurchDesk
P.S. For the sake of transparency, we have published an example of an email which we believe to be the source of the misunderstandings. You can read it below:
My name is Stephane and I am the Consultant responsible for assisting churches in the Diocese of [name removed] with ChurchDesk.
If you are not familiar with ChurchDesk, it is a software service that is designed for churches in the Church of England. ChurchDesk is a Church Engagement Platform which helps to manage the church, and keep church members up to date with everything that is going on. This leads to higher attendance, higher member retention, and to an increased budget thanks to higher donations.
We have recently decided to work specifically with the Diocese of [name removed] due to its ideal size and proximity to London where we are based. As the lead consultant, I am in touch with Parish Development & Evangelism and I am going to be making visits to churches throughout the Diocese to identify how we might best be able to serve churches in the area.
I will be meeting with people at several levels of the Diocese to get their feedback on how software can best serve them, and I would love to have a chat with you and get your feedback. I realise there is a vacancy at the moment but as the Parish administrator you are in a very interesting position to provide some insight.
Would you be available in the next few days for a short conversation?