This thesis explores issues, ethical demands and appropriate responses relevant to those
managing and accountable for change in charities founded with Christian inspiration.
While Business Ethics and motivational factors within profit-orientated corporate
entities have received increasing attention, ethics relating to the operations of the 'notfor-loss'
voluntary sector and of ecclesiastical bodies remain relatively less investigated.
The purpose of the research is to discern, then formulate, pragmatic guidance which is
both theologically based and managerially useful to those responsible not only for
charities but also for many other institutions. It focuses on aspects of religious
endeavour where, although often perceived separately, sacred and secular are
inextricably entwined. Charitable and income-generating activities of churches ought to
be prime proving grounds, for wider potential application within other and diverse
organisations, of ethical principles put into practice
The methodology concentrates on observation of three case-studies, one
literary/historical and two contemporary, with active participation in the latter two so
that the sharpness of the dilemmas and attempts at solutions reflect in-depth
experience. Correspondence is used as a significant source for understanding the
factors, criteria and opinions influencing those closely involved.
The literary/historical study describes the experience of St Basil and fellow bishops in
Fourth century Cappadocia in defining functions and boundaries for senior clergy as
churches developed into major religious and social institutions adopting many state
responsibilities. To clarify both context and ramifications, concurrent and consequent
legal statutes relevant to ecclesiastical management are described and discussed.
Important findings are both Basil's awareness of constant tension between "Liberality"
and "Fairness" and also the significant limitations of regulations, except where
complementary to the essential application of personal qualities.