Our Ethos: What and Why

21 mins audio + mini quiz


The Ethos Statements and how they evolved

Before we look at the vision, mission, and values statements, I’d like to recap how they evolved into their current form between September and December 2023.

In the early period of the Ethos Project, I asked all Team members to share at least one key virtue or value that they associated with Ten Ten and to add some explanation.

At different times, I also asked specific questions from Martin and Clare  – such as how the play ‘Babies’ came about or just noted things down from conversations. For example, in a Leadership Team meeting, Clare said, ‘Our approach is always relational’ and Martin, commenting on an early draft of the Mission statement that homed in on young people, said: ‘The scope of our audience could and should expand in the future’

Martin and Clare gave some initial feedback on a first-draft Ethos document. At a team gathering in October, comments were invited on second-draft versions of the ethos statements.

There was also a chance to share written ideas about the opportunities and risks that came to mind when thinking about our ethos.

I took stock of the range of work that Ten Ten has taken on from its inception to the present day and looked at our current output, including the headline descriptions on the web pages for different programmes.

Finally, the statements have been reviewed by the Leadership Team and agreed upon in their current form by Martin and Clare.


What was learned?

What I gained from this period of research, conversation, and reflection were some key points of reference that helped shape the statements you are going to read shortly.

Here are seven of them:

1. Creative Content

We are a content provider with creativity at the core of what we do.

2. Storytelling

We see drama and story as central to our work with its unique power to speak to hearts and minds.

3. Catholic

Our content is seen and shared through a Catholic lens. We want to be faithful to the beauty and truth of Catholic teaching.

4. Schools and beyond

While we currently work mainly within a Catholic setting with Catholic schools, the scope of our audience can and should expand beyond this.

5. Promoting growth

We want to support the personal growth, development, and awareness of everyone who accesses our content.

6. Sensitivity

Mindful of the diversity of perspectives and beliefs of those who access our content, we want to present it in a way that is as inspirational, relevant, and accessible as possible. A balance of confidence and clarity alongside intelligent realism and sensitivity.

7. Christian values

We want our whole approach – everything we do and the way we do it – to be personal, relational, and rooted in Christian values.


The Vision Statement

We are now going to look at each of the ethos statements –

Let’s start with V – Vision.

The Vision of Ten Ten:

To change the world with creative Catholic content

If you want, pause for a moment, before the next section to think about this statement.

What’s the rationale behind the words used here – ‘to change the world with creative Catholic content’?

First of all,


To grow is to change.

Our vision is to always speak to hearts and minds in a way that inspires positive change.

Then the phrase

‘the World’

We want wide open horizons. We want to change the world, one heart and mind at a time.

Our vision is to reach the hearts and minds of more and more people.

Then we describe our content as


Being creative in every step we take in every aspect of our work is what we are about.

Our vision is to always strive for greater creativity.

Our content is


We are a Catholic content provider with a Catholic world view and much of our work (though not all of it) has been in the context of Catholic education. This is where we have been planted and the place from which we have seen such growth.

Our vision is to continue on this path as we see and share our content through a Catholic lens.

And finally, what we DO is


Our vision is to produce great content, whatever form that might take.

Let’s hear the Ten Ten vision statement again and reflect a bit more:

To change the world with creative Catholic content

You probably noticed that our vision is an ambitious one – ‘to change the world’.

And to do it ‘with creative Catholic content’.

That may sound bit overblown. But in fact, the boldness of this vision has to do with two things.

First, the confidence we have in each other and the different gifts we bring to the creative process.

Second, the confidence we have in the mission we believe has been entrusted to us and to which we strive to be faithful.

Our vision is about change and the change we want to help bring about is ultimately the opening up of hearts to God. It is hard to gauge that through subscription numbers, or surveys, or school visits.

This kind of change is often a slow and hidden process that we are unlikely to know much about.

But we can still be confident because as St Paul says:

It is God who makes things grow. 

Knowing this helps us go forward with humility and trust – which, as we’ll see in a moment are two of our core values.

The second key aspect of our vision is the word ‘Catholic’.

Obviously, this does not mean Catholic teaching or beliefs should be in the foreground with all the content we produce.

But it does mean that we want that Catholic mind, heart, and understanding to be how we see the world and frame the content in light of this.

It means that we carry within us a vision of the human person made in God’s image and a vision of God’s plan for each person to grow in wisdom and virtue and to know and find life in Him.

It also means that we see things by the light of the mystery of Jesus – his life and especially his suffering, death and resurrection.

As the Catholic Catechism says:

The Paschal mystery of Christ’s cross and Resurrection stands at the centre of the Good News that the apostles, and the Church following them, are to proclaim to the world.
CCC 571

Sometimes this central belief will be more clearly on display at other times not visible at all, but it is part of the Catholic vision that underpins all our work.

So when you think of a Catholic lens, don’t just think of a microscope or a pair of glasses or a camera lens. Maybe you can also think of a ‘contact lens’.

Sometimes we will notice if someone is wearing contact lenses. Often not. But those lenses will change the way they see everything.

And that is a good way of thinking about what our Catholic lens does. It changes how we see the world and everything and everyone in it.

We will reflect more on this as we look into our mission.


The Ten Ten Mission Statement

Our vision is about what we hope to achieve now and into the future

The mission of Ten Ten is the work we are committed to which is going to accomplish certain specific goals that move us towards making that vision a reality.

Here is our Ten Ten Mission statement:

The mission of Ten Ten Resources is to nurture spiritual growth, personal development and social responsibility by sharing inspiring, creative content through a Catholic lens.

Again, take a moment to look at that statement before we unpack it.


Here is how we might explain this mission in more detail:

  • Ten Ten Resources exists to promote personal and spiritual development that includes awareness of – and engagement with – social, cultural and global issues.


  • Through our work, we invite everyone to discover a path of spiritual growth – the fullness of life that God offers each one of us in the person of Jesus Christ.


  • Our content is offered with the goal of helping individuals and communities to know, love and follow Him.


  • In different ways, prayer and the sacraments and all that Jesus offers us through the Church will be part of that invitation.


  • Our work is about creative storytelling and high-quality content through which we engage, inform, support and equip all who use our resources.


  • Ours is a Catholic lens – meaning this is the vision, the mind and heart with which we see the world – drawing from the teachings and wisdom of the Catholic Church.


  • This lens allows us to share and engage with a range of perspectives and to provide relevant accurate information. But we will never do so in a way that works to undermine or contradict Catholic teaching.

As you reflect on this mission statement, you may think it feels very connected to the vision statement and perhaps seems to duplicate it.

And you would be right.

That is because a vision statement tries to capture how a company or organisation SEES their ultimate purpose both now and into the future while the mission statement captures the concrete range of activities that will realise that vision.

Let’s come back again to that mission statement and savour it phrase by phrase

The mission of Ten Ten Resources
is to nurture
spiritual growth,
personal development
and social responsibility
by sharing
inspiring, creative content
through a Catholic lens.


The Ten Ten Values Statements

OK, we are onto the third part of our ethos.

Vision and Mission are essential, but what underpins them is also essential – and that is Values.

Two sets of values encapsulate the principles or guiding lights for Ten Ten.

Content Values are the values or principles that underlie and underpin the resources and content.

Working Relationship Values are the values or principles that underlie our working relationships.

We can think of these together as ‘The Ten Ten Way’.

The Ten Ten Way is always a work in progress as we strive to refine our values and principles and embed/integrate them into every aspect of the way we work and into our working relationships.

Here are the five core content values that we can use as our points of reference:


And there are also four working relationship values that are our guiding lights:

Wise Collaboration


Before we delve into these, take a moment to think about each set of values.

You can ponder each in turn and jot or note down if something comes to mind – perhaps from your experience of working with content or as a team.

There may be something in these reflections that you can use in the feedback and suggestions at the end of this course.


The Content Values Unpacked

Let’s take some time together now to unpack each of these sets of values and see how they align with our vision and mission.

First, the Content Values.


Underpinning all of our content is the belief that every human person is worthy of respect.

Respect can be a misleading term. We respect signs saying ‘Don’t walk on the grass’. We respect traffic wardens, teachers, the police and doctors – though in different ways.

But using this word as a core value expresses something deeper than respect for a rule or a role. It is the positive value we give to a person.

This kind of respect includes love. It honours the truth that each person is unique, infinitely precious, created in the image of God and loved by God.


Our content reflects trust  – trust in both reason and faith. We trust the capacity of human beings to know and understand what is true and good.

We also trust in God’s initiative which draws each person on a path to know and love Him.

And because of this trust we have in our God-given reason and in God Himself, we have confidence that everyone can find meaning and inspiration in the wisdom, spiritual life and teachings of the Catholic Church.


Fidelity is about being faithful to Catholic teaching in the content we produce and taking care never to undermine, downplay or contradict that teaching.

As we have seen already, this means that all of our content is ‘seen’ through a Catholic lens but not all of our content is explicitly or even implicitly Catholic. Nor does it mean we won’t present viewpoints that do challenge a Catholic perspective.

However, when we do present Catholic teaching on matters of faith and morals, we strive to do so clearly and faithfully.


Ten Ten seeks to speak with integrity.

Integrity is in many ways a personal quality – a quality of character. A person with integrity comes from a place of solid reliability and inspires confidence. People who have integrity stand by their convictions. They command respect even when others disagree with them.

This is a quality we want all of our content to have – so that it represents the depth and subtlety of the Catholic vision with consistency and confidence.


We want all our content to strive for inclusivity. We want our Catholic vision to be as relevant and accessible as possible. Our goal is to reach out to the hearts and minds of everyone.

To achieve this, we meet people where they are at, not presuming they come from a place of faith.  We seek through our content to engage in open and honest dialogue about what is true and good, respecting the freedom of each person to hold their own views.

Inclusivity also means giving fair and honest representation of different religious and moral perspectives. It means engaging with an open dialogue of encounter between these perspectives, and valuing the goodness and truth present in them, without suggesting that they are all of equal value.

As we have seen, each core content value – Respect, Trust, Fidelity,  Integrity and Inclusivity-  is rich in meaning. Hopefully you can see how other values underpinning our content could fit under one or more of these.

A short phrase can help us remember the central idea:

for each person created and loved by God

in who we are and who God is

to our Catholic Lens

a vision that is coherent and consistent

reaching out to everyone and seeking to engage everyone


Next, let’s look at the four values underpinning our Working Relationships.


The Working Relationship Values unpacked

Working Relationships just means any relationship related to our work – with fellow team members, freelancers, partner organisations, teachers, parents, diocesan contacts or others.

Here again are the four values that can be our guiding lights for these many diverse kinds of working relationships:

Wise Collaboration

Let’s think about each of these and the rationale behind choosing them.


Our work is in service to others. It is not about us.

Jesus, who came ‘to serve not to be served’ is our model for this. We are always on a journey and have more to learn, more skills to acquire, more understanding to develop.


We know that productive work requires organisation, focus, effort and determination. But we also know that overwork is not good either for us or our team.

We strive to maintain an intelligent and balanced approach to work while striving for excellence in every aspect of our work and nurturing a love for what we do.


Building relationships is the foundation of how we operate. We see ourselves more as partners than as service providers.

Forgiveness, patience and a sense of humour are essential to our everyday work. Since the combination of deadlines, teamwork and different personalities inevitably produces moments of tension, misunderstanding or mistakes, we are committed to a spirit of generosity and courtesy towards others.

We strive to be thoughtful, intelligent and grateful, as well as honest, in all our internal and external communications.

Wise Collaboration

We want all our decisions to be wise and true, made by the light of reason and conscience and informed by goodwill and prayer.

While not every decision can or should be made collectively, we believe that innovation and collaboration go together.

We strive to foster these both within Ten Ten and in partnering with schools, charities and other organisations.

Again a short phrase can help remind us of what these four values are about:

‘To serve, not to be served’

In everything

Towards everyone

Mindful work

Okay, that’s the end of Module 2.

If you are ready for a challenge, click on this quick values quiz to see how good your memory is!

Remember, points mean prizes, which means a chocolate bar of your choice at the next Team Gathering. [Non-chocolate options also available.]

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