The Church Times Festival of Christian Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage is increasingly popular, but why? Reflect and deepen you own understanding of pilgrimage in our culture and come away with practical ideas for enhancing your pilgrim ‘offer’ in your own parishes, both in terms of hospitality and encouraging the practice of pilgrimage as a way of deepening faith.

Featuring outstanding speakers from across the Christian Church:  Martyn Percy, Sarah Rowland Jones, Stephen Cottrell, John Pritchard, Sarah Foot, and more.

This was broadcast live in September, but it was recorded and you can see it here

Digital Training with the National Team

Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th October

The Church of England’s Digital team is holding a two-day online conference on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th October.  This has been designed to inspire and equip Church of England churches to share the Good News, grow people’s faith and bring more people to faith by harnessing digital and social media.

What will you learn?

If you run your church’s digital channels or are interested in setting these up, come along to Digital Labs to discover these skills:

  • Using A Church Near You
  • Learn how your church can approach in person and online services and events
  • How to use online communication tools to build engagement
  • Livestreaming from your church building
  • Using digital to reach younger generations
  • How leading organisations use digital strategically
  • Case studies from churches using digital successfully
  • An overview of the Church of England’s digital plans for the future
  • And much more

Is this for me?

If you have read this far than the answer is probably - yes! If you are a member of the clergy, ordinand, reader, church leader, youth worker, social media manager, PCC member, graphic designer, video editor, livestream producer, A Church Near You editor, or perhaps someone who is just getting started then this is the conference for you. 

Tickets are just £5.20 and you book your place through Eventbrite.

“Re-imagining the Promised Land”

Green Christian’s Online Festival celebrates hope amidst uncertainty, 23rd - 25th October

 Combining creativity, debate, stories of political activism and practical action, poetry and prayer – the free Online Festival, to be held via Zoom, promises to entertain, inform and inspire. Featuring Bishop James Jones, Cleo Lake (Green Councillor, former Lord Mayor of Bristol), Melanie Nazareth of Christian Climate Action, Sir Jonathon Porritt and the Revd Dr Frances Ward and more. 

The festival offers a chance to dream and imagine. There will also be space throughout the weekend for reflection and worship, even the chance to chat over a sandwich! 

The Christian Enquiry Agency

was set up to offer a ‘one stop shop’ for anyone interested in finding out more about the Christian faith. You may not know that it helps churches in approaching all sorts of contemporary issues.

As well as its web site , it has a Facebook page and a You Tube Channel.

Next week - Tuesday, 27th October at 11am - they will be hosting the second of their 'Coffee and Chat' series on Grief and Loss, on both of these.

In-House CMD Webinars:

 Clergy Ministry Development Review (MDR):

A Spiritual Tool for your Personal and Vocational Development

Thurs. 29th October 2020:  2pm – 4pm and again on Tues. 10th November:  7pm – 9pm

 Contact Marie Isaac: [email protected] to book a place - and get a Zoom link to join whichever date and time suits you:    

This is an opportunity to hear more about the MDR process, it’s raison d'être, and how best to use it as for your personal and vocational development.  This will also include guidance on creating & reviewing your Role Description.  Led by Jackie Johnson, Wellbeing & CMD Officer

The GRA:CE Project is launched on 10 November 2020 from 19:00 – 20:30

At a time of unprecedented change & uncertainty, what is the future for the national church? How should it respond to the intensifying social, material, & spiritual needs of those it exists to serve? How has it adapted to declining levels of religious affiliation?

 Drawing on 3 years of research across the country, the GRA:CE Project – a partnership between Theos, Church Urban Fund, and the Church of England – seeks to address these core issues from a study of the relationship between church growth, discipleship and social action in the Church of England. It considers how the Church’s service to its local communities enriches congregations, numerically & in their discipleship.  

Growing a whole-life disciplemaking community - Thursday 12th November, 10 am  - 3 pm

Join members of the LICC team as we share what we’ve learnt about how to create a whole-life disciplemaking church and help you identify next steps for your context.

Designed for ministers, preachers, worship leaders and all those in church leadership, this day will:

  • Explore the biblical vision for whole-life disciplemaking
  • Share principles, practices and processes to make whole-life disciplemaking possible
  • Illustrate with case studies and examples
  • Help clarify a framework and next steps for creating a whole-life disciplemaking culture in your church

Brave New World? Exploring Mission in Troubled Times, 30th November and 1st December

Looking at implications for mission of COVID, Black Lives Matter and Climate Justice. An opportunity to hear voices from different contexts across the world consider some of the themes that challenge our world and global mission today.

 As well as speakers from Latin America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and the UK there will be opportunities to connect with others and to build relationships across the Anglican Communion. FREE webinars


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

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. 

Have you ever had a conversation which changed your life?

One of those moments where you glimpsed a different way of seeing the world? Perhaps you connected with someone else or a group of people at a profound level, even if just briefly, and something new, even unexpected, came out of the connectedness between those people on that day in that place and at that time?

A new resource from CMS to enable “creative conversations is now available on the Church Mission Society Resource Hub – aimed at helping people create space for such encounters and to make the most of them when they happen.  FREE to download.

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