Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Policy

Policy statement
The trustees of Pure Chocolate (Coco) take their responsibility for ensuring the correct and proper application of the requirement to treat all natural persons equally with dignity and respect.
This requirement is enshrined for us in the saying of our Lord that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves.
In doing this we remember that our Lord designated this instruction as the second greatest commandment, coming after the first: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.
Therefore, this policy is drawn up in accordance with the requirements of the first and greatest commandment, in which are contained all of the other requirements of our God.
No equality, diversity and inclusivity policy can succeed if it does not submit to the rule and law of the God who made us and designed us to be equal with one another and yet diverse in our appearances, talents, emotional responses, cultures and social and intellectual skills.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure Coco’s compliance with the requirements of the second commandment, and to promote a proper understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion towards the users of this website.

Scope of the policy
This policy aims to maintain the high standards of conduct which our are required of the members of the kingdom, whose foundation has been was established before the worlds were made and shall endure into eternity. This will be achieved by ensuring that:

  1. Coco treats all users of the website
    1. equally, but neither
      1. impartially nor
      2. inappropriately nor
      3. impassively
    2. diversively, that is in accordance with the level of understanding, so
      1. to a child as a child
      2. to an adult as an adult
      3. usw
    3. inclusively, except
      1. where inclusion would be an infringement of privacy or
      2. exclusivity would be a more appropriate response.
  2. All users of the website treat other users in a similar manner

This policy applies to everyone involved with Coco i.e. employees, volunteers, suppliers, students and work experience personnel, agency workers, contractors, beneficiaries, trustees, users and you who are reading this document in all of your interactions with us, and we hope in your interactions with everyone with whom you have any dealing or contact even by mere passing acquaintance.
This policy is made available on the website and all users are required to make themselves familiar with it.
Failure to comply with this policy can lead to social exclusion or discipline.

Authority: where we use the word authority in this policy we mean, unless stated otherwise, authority with consent. That is to say authority which has been conferred by a group of people, who have willingly agreed to submit to that authority as long as it endures. Sometimes we may explicitly use the words with consent.
Natural person: Where we use the description natural person we mean by it the normal legal definition, being a human being born of woman (other than our original parents) and made in the image of the living God.

All natural persons are have equal honour, dignity and value, each one having been created in the image of God.
The equality of natural persons may be traced back to the fact that God made every nation of men of one man, the first man Adam, to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings (Acts 17 when Paul was speaking with the Greek philosophers at the Areopagus).
The equality of all natural persons begs a discussion of authority. Authority is required in all societies for the maintenance of peace and the resolution of disputes. Authority is invested by some into others, and is received by some from others to be used in the service of those who have deposed the authority onto them.
Authority may exist naturally, as a man has authority over his household. In discussion with the Pharisees and scribes the Lord taught them based upon this natural law in the temple:
How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Spirit:
The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, Till I make your enemies your footstool.
Therefore David himself calls him ‘Lord’; how is he then his son?
So, how does this work?

  • Joe Smith may have authority over his family, but not another’s. He may also run a business in which Eddie Briggs works for him. In his work he has authority over his workers. Eddie and Joe belong to the same church congregation where Eddie is one of the elders. In the congregation Eddie has authority over Joe.
  • The king has authority, with consent, to rule over his people in all civil matters. But if the king belongs to the congregation in which Eddie is an elder, and the king is not, then Eddie has authority over the king in matters relating to the congregation.
  • Likewise the elder has authority over the members of the congregation, but as a visitor to a household within the congregation he must submit to the authority of the householder as long as he is in the house.

The matter of authority does not change the issue of equality. Those who have authority have authority in order to use it to serve others. That we see people in this world who have authority and use it for their own ends merely confirms our first principle that you cannot have a successful equality policy unless it is based upon love for God and obedience to his commandments.
It is important that we recognise that natural persons have been created in the image of God.

  • That the LORD is a jealous God, means that he is jealous for the honour of his name. He will not permit his name to be blasphemed or denigrated in any way. Those who do so will come under his judgement.
  • Natural persons have been created in his image, and when they are mistreated in anyway, it is also a mistreatment of the image of God which is in them. It is for this reason that those who do not treat other natural persons with proper respect also fall under his judgement.

A failure to recognise the creation of natural persons in this way will lead to false and incorrect views of the dignity and equality of natural persons.

Diversity is a natural condition of natural persons.
Natural persons have diversified as they filled this earth in accordance with the express wish of the LORD. He gave men different languages, though that was a judgement against us for exalting ourselves against him. And in due course from one family, that of Noah, all of the cultural, ethnic, linguistic and social distinctions arose in the nations of the world, whose boundaries the Lord had pre-appointed.

  • That the Lord has established the nations usw. tells us that it must not be presupposed that any particular group is superior to, or better than, or less than any other group.
  • Every group, when looking honestly at itself will find faults in its own behaviour, and if they look at other groups may find checks and balances within that other group which prevent the faults they find in themselves arising or which inhibit those faults. Equally however, they may have checks and balances in themselves which are lacking in other groups and which suppress the faults they see in other groups and communities arising in their own.

Natural persons within a group will differ from one another.

  • Some will be skilled in one way; others will be skilled in another.
  • Some will be resilient, and self-reliant. Others will require support of the stronger members.

Just as in the body of a natural person there are many organs, each organ works together with the others for the benefit of the whole. A body cannot consist of a single organ.

  • If a community does not work in the same way, where each member does its proper part, then the community as a whole will suffer.
  • When we recognise diversity, we must also recognise the responsibility that goes with that diversity and use it to support each member of the community appropriately.
  • The importance of the recognition of equality in the outworking of our relationships in the light of our diversity can be underestimated, but any underestimation will result in pain for the community.

The proper recognition of diversity therefore also depends upon our first principle and you cannot have a successful diversity policy unless it is based upon love for God and obedience to his commandments.

In the ordinary course no natural person should be excluded from any lawful activity within the community.
By reason however of our sinful natures, it is necessary that there should also be privacy and protection from the consequences of that nature, when our natures lead to actions, deeds or words that are harmful to other members of the community.

  • Privacy is required in order to provide individuals with security that not all of their affairs will be known by all of the community but only by those with whom they choose to share them. This will require the exclusion of certain members of the community from activities and information or knowledge in which others will participate or be included.
  • Protection is required in order to prevent those who would harm from interfering in the private affairs of other members of the community. This may require the exclusion of certain members of the community from any activity within the community.
Subject to the requirements of privacy and protection, inclusion does not depend upon any personal qualities of the individual member of the community. All members are free to participate and to contribute in what ever way they are able, and if by reason of some hindrance some are unable to contribute, they shall nevertheless be as welcome as those who are.
The Lord reminded us that when we are invited to a feast we should not take the best seats, lest we be asked to remove ourselves to a lower sear, but rather the lowest, then when the master of the feast sees us he may take us up to a higher seat, in this way honouring us before the other guests, and by this teaches us that in all of our lawful activities we should treat others as better than ourselves, and seek to support them in whatever way we can.
We see then that the proper recognition of inclusion therefore also depends upon our first principle and you cannot have a successful policy of inclusivity unless it is based upon love for God and obedience to his commandments.

Love to God
The principles set out in the policy are predicated upon love for your neighbour. This love for your neighbour is itself predicated upon your love for the LORD.
Without love for the LORD, you will not have a proper love for your neighbour.
The love the LORD entails a love for what he has commanded and the principles that he has laid down for living. Moses reminded us of this: Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep his charge, his statutes, his judgments, and his commandments always.
David also in Psalm 19 says:
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.
These are not matters that we can say belonged to another age, a different culture and so ignore them.
It is true they did belong to another age and a different culture than ours, but what have we already said about diversity? Does not a dismissal of these instructions contravene our principles on diversity?
The Lord lived in a different age and different culture than that in which the law was given to Moses, but he affirmed this commandment and reinforced the requirement for obedience. John recorded his words for us (John 14)
If you love me, keep my commandments. He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself known to him.
If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
It is clear from these that the Lord expected us to both love him and show that love by keeping his commandments.
John later said in his first letter to confirm this, but also to allude to the corollary:
Now by this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He who says, I know him, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
We cannot excuse ourselves of our responsibility to believe and be obedient to him and his law simply because we live in a different age and culture. We must not forget that it was his law which changed the culture of ancient Palestine for the better.
1 It was his law which changed the culture of ancient Rome for the better
2 It was his law which changed the culture of Europe for the better
3 It is his law which is bringing change to other cultures in our day for the better
Contrariwise it is the abandonment of his law which is bringing personal degradation and social chaos into many cultures today
So what is love for the Lord?
Love for the LORD entails a hatred of practices which he detests. He has provided a summary of them:
Honour your father and mother
You shall not murder
You shall not commit adultery
You shall not steal
You shall not bear false witness
You shall not covet
This is not the place to provide a commentary on each one. Coco would commend Thomas Watson The Ten Commandments published by The Banner of Truth Trust to you for that.
The Lord spoke about the sixth and the seventh in these terms (Matthew 5): You have heard it said: you shall not murder…I say to you whoever is angry without cause with his brother is in danger of judgement, whoever say to him you fool…. You have heard it said: you shall not commit adultery…whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
It is clear from the Lord’s words that the Ten Commandments cannot merely be understood superficially, though of course we must not lose sight of that.
If you love his commandments then you must find much that is distasteful in our society for much behaviour is contrary to these commandments.
Unlike the thief the gambler finds a socially acceptable way of satisfying his covetousness and play into the hand of the bookie who happily takes money from the hands of the fool who willingly gives it up. It is a socially acceptable way in which the sixth, eighth and tenth commandments are broken.
Many examples may be brought to your mind. The oldest profession in the world is not what you think it is. Adam, the first man was a farmer. But the persistence of the existence of this profession is another disgrace to all cultures being contrary to the seventh commandment.
Finding distaste in shameful practices however does not, when we love the Lord our God, mean that we can cast off those who engage in them, for we must, if we love him, then keep all of his commandments, including the second: love your neighbour as yourself.
This is most clearly exemplified in the Lord who preached a repentance from sin.
When a woman was brought to him who had been caught in bed with a man not her husband he did not stone her. We could ask why was the man not also brought to him to be stoned, but that is not our object in this document.
He knew the law, but who should begin the stoning? Let him who is without sin cast the first stone
The accusers slipped away, first the eldest then the younger ones until no-one was left to cast a stone.
Where have your accusers gone? Has no-one condemned you? he asked Neither do I. Go, and sin no more.

Jesus had the right to cast the first stone for he was the one who was sinless. He also had the right to judge, but he had not at that time come into the world to condemn the world but to save it by his death on a Roman cross. So he would not cast a stone but rather preached repentance to the woman.
He showed this even as he hung on the cross for which he came when he spoke to the believing thief:
Today you will be with me in Paradise.
Paul travelled from Jerusalem to Rome preaching this same message. Having spent many months in Corinth whose culture was considered even by Roman standards to be so degraded that to Corinthianise was used to describe the act of becoming morally bankrupt.
But Paul in a letter to them wrote (1 Corinthians 6) – he did not mince his words:
Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
Paul loved his neighbours in Corinth. He had lived with them. He had treated them with equality, despite their diversity, and he included them. They listened and gladly received the word he brought, and though they struggled to leave their old bankrupt culture behind, and as we read sometimes fell back into it, yet they were loved, as he says by God in Jesus Christ.
Such were some of you but they no longer were such. They now knew what true equality and diversity were. They were no longer held captive the the false understanding of their culture. Such they were, but then they were made new, clean, holy and just.
So then love of God demands that we love our neighbour and love for our neighbour demands that
– we make known the requirements of the law
– those who fall short shall come under judgement
– there is a salvation in Jesus Christ
– those who fall short may be washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
This message, if received, will enable them to love God, and to love their neighbour, and so to treat others in the manner set out in this policy.

Before leaving this matter Coco would remind you that above we have only considered the six of the ten commandments which relate to the behaviour of natural persons towards natural persons. There are four more which come before these:
You shall have no other gods before me
You shall make no images of me
You shall not take my name in vain
Remember the seventh day to keep it holy for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and on the seventh rested
The commandments relate to the relationship of natural persons with the living God. Love for God entails a keeping of these, but let us remember that he is the judge in these matters. We are not.

We have considered in this document the foundation upon which a successful equality, diversity and inclusion policy may rest, and the principles of that policy.
The foundation lies in the answer given by the Lord to a question put to him by a Pharisee, where Jesus turned his attention not to any novel teaching but that which was there from the beginning. The incident or incidents are recorded for us in Matthew 22, Mark 12, and Luke 10.
A Pharisee asked Jesus:
Teacher, which is the first, the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said to him, The first of all the commandments is:
Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second, like it, is:
You shall love your neighbour as yourself.
On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. There is no other commandment greater than these.
The policy is fundamentally set upon the second commandment: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. We have seen that a proper understanding of what this means cannot be had without also seeing its relationship with the first commandment: You shall love the LORD your God.
– You cannot love, in the right way, your neighbour as yourself without first knowing what it is to love the LORD, and then to actually love him.
– If your love for your neighbour is derived from any other source or motive, however commendable that source or motive may be in itself, it will fall short of the love that is required by this commandment.
– If your love falls short of what the commandment requires then you will fail to successfully implement the policy of equality, diversity and inclusiveness which is set out in this document.
We have set out what love for God means and what it requires of us in terms of love for our neighbour.
We have set out how love for our neighbour fulfils the requirements of this policy in the proper recognition of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Background notes
Coco is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.
In promoting equality, diversity and inclusion Coco will not invade, put at risk or unveil your privacy.
With your consent, Coco will:
– use diversity monitoring information to better understand the users of this website;
– share diversity monitoring data but not personal data with other organisations.
Coco is fully committed to actively promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and addressing inequalities. These are fundamental to our operating principles and areas of strategic focus.
Coco is aware that other groups will focus on specific matters which speak of diversity and have an effect upon other views of EDI. As will be understood from the policy statement Coco believes that the starting points for such other views will not lead to a successful EDI policy or implementation. It is nevertheless right that we should consider these areas in order to place them into their proper context.
– Many organisation will see a male-female disparity when they compare themselves with the general population.
– Such a disparity is not wholly unexpected given the different social, emotional and physical characteristics of the male (XX) and female (XY) natural persons.
– A EDI policy will not in itself change this.
– Ethnicity is a concept as capable of strict definition as we are capable of holding the mist in our hands.
– We are all of one man, Adam, and though that one man of one family, that of Noah.
– We may have different superficial characteristics and it is these superficial differences which give cause for concern.
– Often however the cause for concern is derived from guilt in the ‘person not of colour’ towards the ‘person of colour’. This can lead to both positive and negative apartheid,
– It is inappropriate to make any distinction regarding colour when a proper EDI policy is promoted, such as is set out in this document.
– Where love for God and neighbour is the foundation then measurement of ethnic characteristics is neither appropriate nor right. It is not a matter to be brought into any consideration.
– Cultural differences are often, inappropriate and incorrectly, linked to ethnic differences.
– Whilst there are undoubtedly cultural differences between different ethnic groups, there are cultural differences within those same groups, and some of those different cultures will be shared with different ethnic groups.
– In a broad sense there are cultural differences between different groups of white ethnicity. New England culture is not English culture. The nations of Europe have different cultures. Within the United Kingdom there are different white cultures. It is easy for a person from the north or the south to offend the cultural sensibilities of the other.
– There are Africans of white and black or brown ethnicity who share the same culture and also have different cultures.
– Cultural differences are a cause of concern and confusion:
– A New Englander trying to buy a burial plot in Canaan would not fully understand the landowner’s words:
No, my lord, hear me: I give you the field and the cave that is in it; I give it to you in the presence of the sons of my people. I give it to you.

– But Abraham understood.
– Whilst we celebrate cultural diversity, we must recognise also that it can lead to unintended offence. We must not let unintended offence be treated as actual offence. On the premise that their behaviours are predicated by the principles set out here, if Coco’s behaviour consistent with Coco’s culture causes offence to Another, then Another must ask whether his behaviour consistent with his own culture would be offensive to Coco. A mutual recognition of the cause of any offence will provide ground for an open and honest discussion.

– Disability can often lead to exclusion and an apparent lack of opportunity.
– Where an EDI policy is grounded upon the principles set out in this document, then it will be understood that exclusion is not an option; opportunity is available to all, for every natural person has a valuable rôle to play in the kingdom.
– The grey hairs are to be treated with honour, but youth is not to be despised in the kingdom.
– The elderly have many years of experience, and a youth may be wise beyond his years.
– An EDI policy which is grounded upon our principles will honour natural persons of all ages.
These are a few of the characteristics that are cited in discussions around equality, diversity and inclusion.
It is a principle within this policy that such characteristics are secondary matters. Where particular regard is given to any of them, then an EDI policy will fail.
This is much more the case where an EDI policy seeks to redress a perceived or felt notion that there are unrepresented groups or classes within a subgroup of society or that the constituency of a subgroup does not adequately reflect the society in which it is found. EDI policies often do say that they will improve inclusivity, equality and diversity in many parts of a subgroup.
Such an EDI will be in conflict with itself, for it will have to violate its own principles in order to change the constituency of the subgroup.
Perhaps a simple example will illustrate this point, and Coco understands that society is far more complex than that which will be here presented.
– We have a society which is wholly composed of green skinned people.
– We assume that the total population size is static.
– Within that society there is a small subgroup who having been given ten years of training and thirty years of practice at the age of 58 years are eligible, if suitably qualified in every appropriate way, to be elected to enter the society’s Supreme Court, where they may remain for life. Only one green skinned person in a million choose to under go this gruelling course training and only one half of them will sit in the Court.
– An unforeseen event in the society of blue skinned people, who do not have and have never had an equivalent court, has led to an exodus of many of their people to the land of the green skinned, such that the numbers mean that 20% of the people who now live in the land of the green skinned are now blue skinned. We shall call the time of this event as year zero.
– Twenty years after this event (year twenty) it is noted that although 20% of the population are blue skinned, none of the members of the Supreme Court are blue skinned.
– Certain members of the mixed society begin to see this as unfair. The Supreme Court does not reflect the make up of the people. They must establish equality and diversity targets for the Supreme Court so that within the foreseeable future it will truly represent the population as a whole.
– In order to do this they must set aside the training and election requirements, and promote individuals to the Supreme Court on the basis, not of training and qualification but of the colour of their skin.
– This is violation of the equality principle which they claim to espouse.
– Now, consider if on the first day that the blue skinned people entered the green skinned society the same proportion of eighteen year old blue skinned people chose to undergo the necessary training as the green skinned, then only after forty years will any blue skinned people enter the Supreme Court.
– If we say that the average tenure (ie life expectancy) in the Supreme Court is twenty years, then each year 5% of the seats will become available.
– At the end of year forty there will be blue and green skinned candidates for election.
– We consider that the society adheres to the policy set out in this document, and of the candidates presented and successfully elected 20% will be blue skinned and 80% will be green.
– After this event the Supreme Court will contain 1% blue skinned people.
– It will take a further nineteen years before the mix on the Supreme Court will represent the mix of society.
So we see that by this simple example that for a period of sixty years the Supreme Court will not be, in the eyes of some, truly representative of the society over which it has authority.
But the real question to ask is not whether it reflects the society’s make up, but does it matter?
Very few green skinned people wish to undergo the necessary training. What if a different proportion of the blue skinned chose that training. There may be other cultural differences between the blue and the green which mean the priorities of individuals within the groups will differ, either to or against wanting to sit on the Supreme Court.
Other factors also may be involved, but it only requires one to change the proportion coming up for election from other than 80:20 which will mean that the Supreme Court will never, or only transiently, reflect the proportions in the society.
We assumed that the populations was static, but that is unlikely. If the population changes or the mix changes, it will still take sixty years for each change to be reflected in the Supreme Court by which time the mix of the population itself will have changed.
So does it matter?
If the members of society, and therefore the Supreme Court, live in accordance with the principles on which this policy document is based then it will not matter whether the Supreme Court is wholly composed of blue, green or red skinned people.
Each member will not see the colour of the skin, they all will be colour blind to it, but rather see an individual made as he or she is in the image of the God who created us descended through Noah from the first man Adam by his wife Eve.
This policy therefore eschews any pretence
– to increase the participation of any particular ethnic group
– to attempt to reach putatively under-represented groups
– to introduce new policies and interventions to improve inclusion
– to establish coaching and mentoring schemes which accord with the transient thinking, opinions and notions which are a folly of the present day
– to set diversity targets.
– to adhere to or follow the ephemeral philosophies and chic of sociological hypotheses which fail to acknowledge and submit to the eternal Word of God which does not change.