Departments, Roles and Groups


The Basic Church administration structure on Klemi is based around two big concepts: Roles and Groups. To use klemi well, it’s important to grasp these.
In basic terms:
  • Roles are used to help answer the question “What do people do?” – e.g. Minister, Lay Reader, Sidesperson, Youth Leader, I/C Flower Rota ;-), Church Council Member
  • Groups are used to help answer the question “How are people connected pastorally” – e.g. The Smith Home Group, Thursday morning men’s Bible Study, Seniors Club,  11-14s Youth Group


This is how Departments, Roles and Groups relate on klemi.

  • Roles are the basic building blocks of what we call the “trellis overview”, our at-a-glance view of all the responsibilities in the church.
  • Departments are used to help organise roles – you can put any number of roles in a department, and you can put any number departments within a parent department and so forth.
  • Groups appear under the ‘groups’ tab, and they help to us see how people are related to one another within the church, such as in Home groups or youth groups.
However, whilst they are distinct concepts, roles and groups overlap. And here klemi allows us to get much more specific than a simple grouping interface.

A Worked Example

A worked example will help to illustrate. A church member might be a “house group leader” – that is a role. That role might be in the “Pastoral” department, perhaps alongside a role like “house groups coordinator” (the person in charge of overseeing all the housegroups).
But each “house group leader” will be likely exercising that role in a specific context  – a group in fact. Bob is your house group leader, because he leads your house group: he isn’t mine, because I’m in a different group. To represent this, Klemi allows us to attach group information to each role assignment. We can tell Klemi that Bob is “house group leader” (that’s a role) in “Bob’s house group” (that’s a group).
Now, let’s say for the sake of argument Kara is “house group leader” (role) in “Kara’s house group” (group), and let’s say I’m in Kara’s house group.
What would that look like on Klemi?
Well, on the trellis overview we’ll see Bob and Kara listed next to the “House group leader” role in the “Pastoral” department. But when we go to the groups, we’ll see one group called “Bob’s House group” which will list Bob as a “House group leader”, and you as a “member” (that is Klemi’s default role for belonging to a group). We’ll also see another group called “Kara’s House group” which will list Kara as “House group leader” and me as a “member”.
In broad terms that means Klemi can tell us, not only who has what responsibility, but also, who (member) has what responsibility (role) in which context (group).

More on Departments

Departments are used mainly to help you organise roles. Departments can have many roles. The Trellis overview will show all top level departments (departments which have no parent department) and any child departments organised underneath them.
For example you might have a “Youth” department to group all the roles that have to do with children and young people. You might have a “Pastoral” department where you put roles like your house group leaders, safeguarding officers, visiting team etc. You might have a “Fabric & Buildings” department where you put roles like “I/C Church Maintenance”, “I/C Heating & Lighting” etc. You might have a  “Finance” department where you have roles like “treasurer”, “collection counter”, “finance committee member” etc.

More on Roles & Groups

More on Roles

Every role belongs to a department. A role can have any number of members associated to it. Those members also have optional date specific membership – you can fill in an end date, or start date, or just a start year, or just an end month and year (you get the idea – any combination, basically) – which allow you to keep records of past responsibilities as well as current ones. It also means you can line up people with new responsibilities in the future, whilst Klemi still reflects current roles in its trellis overview.

Adding Members to Roles and/or Groups

You can add people to a group or a role, or both at the same time. (i.e. giving them a role within a group). If you don’t give them a specific role, they’ll be marked simply as a “member” of that group.
You can batch enter people into groups or roles by throwing a list of names into the “add multiple box”, and then click “check” to process them. The software will understand the any exact matches and then tries to make some sensible suggestions with the rest, if you haven’t quite input them as they are in the database.
After that you can process them as normal.

Confidential Groups

For the sake of simplicity Klemi has only two permissions levels (we call them security roles) for everything surrounding the trellis: “admin” and “confidential”. “Confidential” allows a person to see and edit everything and “Admin” allows a person to see and edit everything except groups marked confidential and they also can’t see any future role suggestions. This allows for a simple two tier approach: for example, you can keep a few groups for the eyes of your pastoral team only. NB: You should still take care with sensitive information. making a group “confidential” does not exempt that information from the data protection act and it would still need to be shared with the person in question, should they request it.