This page will be regularly updated. Below you will find opportunities for training over the next few weeks and months.

Free online training and inspiration

There are many excellent training opportunities available now without even leaving our desks. Many are free or very low cost, far cheaper and easier than when you actually had to travel to somewhere.

The place to start is the material offered by the Church of England. This page brings together all that is avalaible, starting with worship material. Scroll down the page to find online training and resources. They are running regular Webinars.

Digital in a rural parish recording

Last month the CofE Digital Labs team explored the opportunities and challenges of digital media for rural churches in a  webinar. If you didn't get to the live webinar you can now watch the recording through the link below. Hear from two churches who have explored different methods of digital communications, plus advice on using digital in a rural parish.

Building back after the Pandemic

COVID and Bereavement

The prolonged Covid-19 pandemic has had an enormous effect on our lives, including the way in which people have been able to grieve. A number of bereavement charities believe that people have put a lid on their feelings during the pandemic, and are expecting a “tsunami of grief” as we move away from the effects of the virus.  The Church has an ideal opportunity to help and support such people, an opportunity for pastoral care and an opportunity for mission.

Among the many resources available in print and online, one of the most helpful to ministers is 'Loss and Hope.'

This is a specifically Christian website and puts the Church back in its traditional place at the centre of bereavement care, providing a well-structured plan for individual churches to provide such care, by offering training, encouraging churches to commit to becoming a bereavement-friendly church.

Two things to highlight:

  • A range of videos on the subject of bereavement and bereavement support, including some for supporting young people.
  • A link to Bereavement Journey course.
  • Training for this course and more generally – crucial as well-meaning but untrained “bereavement supporters” can cause a great deal more harm than good.

The mission objective of this site is is clear and  very much in line with that of ‘Time to Change – Together’ -  We have before us an extraordinary opportunity to show to an increasing number of people that God is good, that God is love and that there is hope for the future.”

What does a frontline-friendly church look like? What are the key hallmarks?

Over the last 18 months The London Institure of Contemporary Christianity has intensively investigated this question. Their findings include in-depth research from churches who’ve been discipling people for the whole of life for many years – and they have discovered that frontline-friendly churches have much in common whatever their denomination or tradition.

This online event takes place on 25th May and bookings are open now.

They are offering other seminars on a whole range of discipleship topics, with their focus on faith in the everyday. You can see the full list on their Events and Training page.

Science and Faith

The Faraday Institue is the place to start for this.

For those looking to approach scientific questions through biblical lenses, they are organising a short course in conjunction with Keswick Ministries entitled 'Engaging with Science'.  This will be held 23-24 April.

On 9th June at 1pm  the Faraday Institute will be hosting a free public seminar entitled:

'Wonder, Wisdom and Worship: Opportunities and challenges for using science in preaching'

The speaker will be Revd Prof. David Wilkinson from Durham University. 

This will be followed by a preaching workshop on 16th June focussing on how to include science in preaching. 

We continue to hold our research seminars online, at 1pm on Tuesdays.  This term's seminars are:

27th April    Dr Emily Burdett [Nottingham University] - ‘Exploring the Foundations of Religious Behaviour

11th May    Dr Praveen Sethupathy [Cornell University, USA] - ‘Common Ground between Science and Faith: What it Means to be Human

25th May    Revd Dr Christ Wright [Langham Partnership] - ‘The Goodness, the Glory and the Goal of Creation

The seminars will be held as Zoom Webinars and are free to attend.  All are welcome. 

A series of FREE online webinars from Citizens UK On Community Organising Skills

16:00-17:15 every Thursday

If you haven’t come across the organisation before then this month is a good time to dip in as the theme for October’s Learning Thursdays is ‘An Introduction to Community Organising & Citizens UK’.  On most Thursdays there will be a choice of two types of session:

  • Learning for Leaders: aimed at any leader within Citizens UK. These sessions will run on a monthly theme and participants will be encouraged to sign up for all the training in that block.  Learning for Leaders will be accessible even to those who are very new to Citizens UK and community organizing
  • Community Organising Masterclasses: aimed at leaders who have some experience of Citizens and are likely to have been through our training.  These will be stand-alone masterclasses focused on the key skills of community organising.

 On the final Thursday of each month at 16:00 there will be a Topical Learning Session, open to anybody, where we will seek to apply community organising skills to a topical issue. 

And, to look in at any time:

Reflective Practice Groups (RPGs): ‘a sanity-protecting opportunity’

Are you interested in joining a Reflective Practice Group?  A key recommendation in the Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing is to encourage the use of RPGs.  They are a group of up to 8 clergy meeting no less than 6 times a year to discuss, entirely confidentially, their church leader role, and its impact upon them and their families.  A facilitator with supervision and mentoring skills, leads each group, encouraging discussion and reflection on all aspects of life in ministry, helping clergy improve overall wellbeing by sharing the issues that matter to them.  RPGs have been described as a sanity-protecting opportunity, where clergy share thoughts and feelings arising from day to day challenges; it’s a chance to discuss the setting of appropriate boundaries, managing and transforming conflict situations, and the development of a healthy ministerial attitude and culture.

Joining an RPG will help you to set time aside for you to focus on yourself, and provides a space in which to nurture support through non-competitive, non-comparative peer relationships.  The group doesn’t exist to provide therapy, but can lessen the sense of isolation often experienced by clergy, and can reduce stress and burnout.   I hope to have at least two RPGs meeting by the end of the year, with more available in 2021.  If you are interested in joining a group, please get in touch with Jackie Johnson

St Luke’s Healthcare for Clergy:  Virtual Wellbeing Programme

This website provides specifically-prepared resources to support clergy wellbeing during a time of Covid through reflection either individually or as a group.  It is updated every Monday and all the resources are available for you to use as and when you need them.

For more information from St. Luke’s contact them by e-mail or phone (020 7898 1700)

The Sheldon Hub:  Doing healthy ministry together

From Sheldon: “ “It’s not just me then!”  In recent weeks that comment has echoed around the forums on the Hub.  … The current pandemic has shown that as communities we are all in this together.  What the Hub shows is that when you are in ministry you can feel isolated, on your own and struggling with unique issues.  What the Hub provides is a place to feel welcome, to support one another other and to discover that ‘it’s not just me then!’

Come and visit, because in ministry we are all in this together.

Zero Suicide AllianceFREE Training

FREE training  headed up by Rev Steve Murphy, SSM:  Training developed with clinicians and people experienced people. 

Key question to ask someone:  Are you thinking of suicide? Are you thinking about taking your own life? 

If they say yes – this reduces their likely hood of committed suicide by 80%  

Explore their three training modules