capacity building

Avoid using, especially in supporter communications.

Instead, use sharing learning and knowledge, community organising and movement building, community-led change as appropriate.


Seasons (summer, winter) stay lower case.

For headlines with more than one word, capitalise the first word only e.g. Caring for hands and feet.

For song titles, products, book names and so on, capitalise all but transition words. Use italics. See italics.

Exception: if we are part of a larger campaign, we will write its name according to what has been decided by the group.


Should tell a story, not just the content of the picture. Captions should inspire or inform the reader, or encourage them to think further. E.g. instead of Laxmi sewing a dress, say Laxmi is learning tailoring to earn an income and be independent.


Use centred on not ‘centred around’.

children/young people/babies

Refer to children, not kids.

Refer to babies or young children rather than infants, where possible.

Refer to young people, not youth/s or teen/s (‘youth group’ is fine).

Teenager can be ok if it doesn’t sound patronising or disrespectful in context.

Avoid terms such as ‘young man’ and ‘young lady’, as it can sound patronising and old-fashioned.

Christian festivals

Capitalise Christian festivals such as Easter, Lent, Advent and so on.


Always capitalise when referring to a religion or a person’s religion e.g. Christian/Christianity, Jew/Jewish/Judaism, Muslim/Islam, Sikh/Sikhism, Hindu/Hinduism.


Use a lower-case c when referring to the worldwide/national network of congregations. E.g. the church is the body of Christ, a group of church leaders, the church’s attitude towards justice.

Use a capital C when referring to

  • a specific group of Christians who meet together, consider themselves to be a unit and define themselves by a collective church name. E.g. St John’s Church, Peterborough; Grace Community Church.
  • a particular denomination. E.g. the Church of England, the Catholic Church.

Wherever possible define churches by the people who make them up. Remember this when describing the church as a corporate body and avoid personifying the church:

Yes: The congregation in one church in Peterborough has been inspired…
No:A church in Peterborough that has been inspired…

Clichés and Christian-ese

Avoid at all cost – Christian clichés are still clichés. Try to think up a new expression. Phrases that are common in your denomination, or among Christians from a similar background to you, may not resonate with other Christians.

‘God’s heart for the poor’ and similar clichés do not convey the required message in readers’ minds. For someone unfamiliar with the phrase, they may not know what it means at all. Even Christians who understand this phrase might not understand what it means in the context of our work. It is better to give an example of what the Bible says about the poor and explain what this mean for us today.

climate change

Not ‘global warming’.

collective nouns

In general, when an organisation is the subject of a sentence, use a singular verb. E.g. The Leprosy Mission is pioneering… or St John’s Church has decided…You’d then go on with We are launching… or They are going to…


Use a single space after the colon, e.g. He saw the bus speed past: he knew he would have a tiring walk home.

compare with/to

Compare withemphasises similarities, compare toemphasises differences.


Where compounds can be written with or without a hyphen, we write without the hyphen. E.g. no hyphen in rebuild, ongoing, online, peacebuilding, microcredit, cooperative etc.


Needs no ‘of’. So: The alliance comprises ten groups or The alliance consists of ten groups.

cooperate, cooperation, cooperative

No hyphen.

coordinate, coordinator, coordination

No hyphen.


Use a capital C when referring to salvation generally, e.g. for all of us, the Cross means that…

Use a lower-case c when referring to a specific cross, e.g. Then they nailed Jesus to a cross.


£34 million, £2 billion, $10 (US$10 on first mention), €6 

If space is tight, use £10m, £6bn.

Convert US$ and other currencies to pounds. Use the currency exchange rate agreed by the TLM Global Fellowship where possible, available on Glasscubes.