About the 'C' in YMCA
At the YMCA, everything we do - whether with individuals or community groups - is influenced by the YMCA's values, which are as important to us today as they were when the organisation was founded in 1844.
Many of our values are rooted in the Christian faith. Indeed, YMCA is an abbreviation of Young Men's Christian Association.
The following looks at what the 'C' in the YMCA - the Christian - means to us, and how we think it helps to make our work unique.
The YMCA's ethos
At the heart of YMCAs across the world is a strong Christian ethos which is reflected in a genuine motivation to serve others and to share the love and care shown by Jesus in His life here on earth.
This ethos is enshrined in the work of the YMCA through the universal symbol of the red triangle which commits us to work with young people in body, mind and spirit. And whilst many people who work or volunteer for the YMCA share a strong Christian faith, our ethos also warmly welcomes people of other faiths (or of no faith) to participate in YMCA activities, to volunteer for the YMCA, or to seek employment with the YMCA.
The Red Triangle - the worldwide symbol of the YMCA - enshrines our commitment to developing people in mind, body and in spirit
Aims and Purposes of the YMCA - our formal statement of the YMCA's Christian ethos.
The YMCA and the church
The YMCA is not a church, nor is it affiliated to any particular denominational expression of Christianity.
However, many YMCAs across England have developed close working relationships with local church groups, as well as with other voluntary organisations that share our ethos and aims.
YMCAs will also provide a place to meet and pray for those who follow other world faiths.