Ethos (definition) – The guiding beliefs of a person, group or organisation

YMCA Cheltenham is an independent Christian charity, affiliated to the national and international YMCA Movement. The ethos of the YMCA Movement is based on mutual acceptance of the Paris Basis of 1855, and is incorporated into the Memorandum of Association of YMCA Cheltenham, namely:

“The YMCA is a Christian movement which seeks to unite those who, regarding Jesus Christ as their God and Saviour according to the Holy Scriptures, desire to be His disciples in their faith and in their life, and to associate their efforts for the extension of His Kingdom.”

YMCA Cheltenham’s own Mission Statement was prepared by the “LAUNDE” internal review in 1999 and then reviewed in 2002:

“YMCA Cheltenham is a Christian organisation. Central to our aims are Christian values and service. Our main objective is meeting the needs of young people and creating personal development opportunities for all.”

The objects of the organisation flow directly from our Christian beliefs and ethos, and these are:

  • To unite those who, regarding Jesus Christ as their God and Saviour according to the Holy Scriptures, desire to be His disciples in their faith and in their life, and to associate their efforts for the extension of His Kingdom.
  • To lead young people to the Lord Jesus Christ and to fullness of life in Him.
  • To provide or assist in the provision, in the interests of social welfare, of facilities for recreation and other leisure time occupation for men and women with the object of improving their conditions of life.
  • To provide or assist in the provision of education for persons of all ages with the object of developing their physical, mental or spiritual capacities.
  • To relieve or assist in the relief of persons of all ages who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress by reason of their social, physical or economic circumstances.
  • To provide residential accommodation for persons of all ages who are in need, hardship or distress by reason of their social, physical or economic circumstances.

It is clear from these statements that the Christian faith is the foundation on which the YMCA Movement is built, not just in England, but across the world. Since 1844, YMCAs have been known as Christian organisations and places of Christian hospitality. In order to use the YMCA name and branding with integrity, the Christian faith must remain at the heart of everything we do – something to which YMCA Cheltenham is totally committed.