Courses at Woodbrooke

Showing 1–16 of 70 results

    Envisioning a world that is open to all: let us see what love can do

    Please note: There is an error in our latest brochure. This course starts on Friday 27 September (not Wednesday 25 September as advertised).

    Jointly organised by Quaker Asylum Refugee Network, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Quaker United Nations Office, Quaker Council for European Affairs and Woodbrooke

    A weekend conference learning about asylum and migration, hearing from those who have felt its impact, and working together to create the change that we need.

    Speakers, workshops, performances and panel discussions will explore the interplay between race, privilege and migration - how does it work, what can we do?

    Language and the media: challenging and changing the language of migration.

    Migration and the arts: how migration enriches our communities and how the arts can bring about change.

    The UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

    Our focus on the arts will help us celebrate what people bring to our communities as well as explore how the arts can contribute to change

    • Daholl Kurdish Band
    • poets Malka Al-Haddadi and Ambrose Musiyiwe
    • artist Mohsen Keiani
    • author Gulwali Passarlay

    We will look at how language helps shape attitudes to migration and explore the interplay between race, privilege and migration. We will hear from those who have felt the impact of our asylum system, and together we will explore how a world open to all might look and how we might get there. Workshops will include:

    • Marchu Girma, Women for Refugee Women, exploring alternatives to detention
    • Celia McKeon, Rethinking Security, on human security and migration
    • Molly Scott Cato (tbc) on language, politics and the media
    • Cassidy McKenna, QUNO, how the UN Global Compact for Migration can help effect change
    • Tatiana Garavito, QPSW, and Kate McNally, QCEA, exploring the interplay of race, privilege and migration
    • Rosemary Crawley, QARN, and Agnes Tanoh, on what a fair and humane asylum system might look like

    We hope you can join us at Woodbrooke from 27th - 29th September!

    Quakers and Decision-Making: exploring the issues

    A one-day seminar on recent research about Quaker decision-making. You can choose to offer a short presentation (email if interested). We will hear from academic researchers and from reflective practitioners of Quaker decision-making. Topics may include Quaker business method and non-Quaker organisations, theories of leadership, theology, the role of silence. We will also consider how this material might feed into the revision of the book of discipline. This is not a “how to” - we assume familiarity with Quaker decision-making.

    The fee for this day includes lunch and refreshments. Accommodation, if required, should be booked separately.


    Philosophy for Quakers

    This course introduces the P4C (Philosophy for Children or Communities methodology which enables in-depth enquiry into matters of belief and ethics. This approach creates a positive environment for deep discussion and safe disagreement. Learning to use this form of philosophical enquiry will provide Quakers with the skills needed to facilitate dialogue about important issues in their own meeting community. During the weekend we will use Quaker Faith & Practice as a stimulus for our own community of enquiry.

    Stepping Out of Bounds: the early Christian breakthrough

    At the heart of early Christianity is a breakthrough, an experience of expansion into new possibilities. In the New Testament this experience is described as a manifestation of the Spirit, God’s creative power, operating in a new and unexpected way. People felt inspired, able to step out beyond the boundaries that had previously determined how they lived. This course explores both this breakthrough but also the conflict that had limited it even before the writing of the New Testament documents.

    Celebrating Samhain – exploring the Wheel of the Year

    A gentle introduction to the Wheel of the Year, the annual cycle of eight solar festivals marking the earth’s journey around the Sun.  The names of its festivals, rooted in pagan tradition and adopted by Christianity, are familiar to us all - Imbolc became Candlemas, Ostara became Easter.  We meet at Samhain, the moment of death in the Wheel. After death comes rebirth… Awareness of the Wheel can enrich and deepen our Quaker practice.

    Spiritual surrender: the ego strikes back

    Isaac Penington wisely counsels us to 'give over thine own willing.' But old hurts and false beliefs - about ourselves or ‘how things are’ - may stop us experiencing spiritual surrender and connection. ‘Notions’ about God/Spirit, strong emotions (what Thích Nhất Hạnh calls 'afflictions') and personal attachments (which George Fox termed 'addictions') may block our spiritual growth. Creating safe containment for our explorations together, this is an opportunity to question old habits and set ways as we open ourselves to mystery.

    Why have a Book of Discipline? Area Meeting Representatives

    Woodbrooke and the Book of Discipline Revision Committee working in partnership.

    How does a shared discipline enable and empower us as Quakers? How does it challenge us?  Britain Yearly Meeting is at the beginning of the once-in-a-generation process of revising our Book of Discipline and a committee has been appointed to undertake the task. This weekend will be an opportunity for representatives from Area Meetings and other interested Friends to join with members of the Revision Committee to explore the continuing importance of having a Book of Discipline and consider what we want it do for us in the future.

    This weekend is open those aged 13 and over. There will not be a separate young people’s programme. Those aged under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and will be the responsibility of their accompanying adult(s) throughout the event.

    Area Meetings are invited to send a representative to this event. To book as an AM representative complete the form below.

    If you are not representing your Area Meeting, please book here.

    A Friendly Introduction to Discernment

    When Friends say they are ‘led’ to do things, or they are ‘seeking God’s guidance’ in a decision, what do they mean? How do Friends make well-grounded personal and group decisions? This course will introduce you to different tools used for personal and corporate discernment, and will explore the interplay between individual and community in the Quaker process of testing leadings. We will apply some practices to real issues in order to gain familiarity with them.

    Exploring Quaker Spirituality

    What is Quaker spirituality all about and how does it speak to us today? What is distinctive about the Quaker way? Using short talks, times of personal reflection, and group sharing, we will explore the central elements of Quaker spirituality. This will include the foundational experiences and understandings of early Friends; worship, silence and vocal ministry; personal spiritual practice; the discipline of discernment; and the connection between our inward spiritual experiences and our active lives in the world.

    A Friendly Introduction to the Quaker Way

    Are you relatively new to Quakers and keen to find out more? This course sets out the Quaker ‘basics’. It will give you an understanding of the history and international reach of Quakerism, and the importance of spiritual experience to the Quaker Way. We will discuss what happens in a Meeting for Worship and how Quakers make decisions and organise themselves. We will explore what Quakers mean by ‘testimony’ and explain simple spiritual practices for you to experiment with.

    Quaker Funerals

    This course is for Friends appointed to have responsibility for offering advice on all matters relating to Quaker funerals and for coordinating arrangements. It will address practical, pastoral and spiritual aspects of this task and service. Our hope is that through developing understanding of these elements, participants will gain confidence in fulfilling the role effectively and with compassion.

    ‘Faith of’ or ‘Faith in’ Jesus

    For generations, people have been urged to ‘have faith in Jesus’, a phrase drawn from Paul the apostle. But his words can be translated in another way. It brings a substantial change in meaning if Paul is actually encouraging people to have ‘the faith of Jesus’. This development of the past thirty years continues to attract scholarly interest. We shall primarily explore the scholarship but also address the consequences of looking at faith from this intriguingly different point of view.

    No Sects Please, We’re British: understanding diversity amongst British Muslims

    This course will go beyond a generic understanding of Islam to look at the internal diversity in the religion as well as issues of debate between denominations and groupings. It will focus on Shia and Sunni Muslim identities, but also touch on a wider set of different interpretations of Islam and sub-groups, bearing in mind the demographics of British Muslim communities. As well as traditional sects and movements, the course will also cover controversies that are emerging in modern British Muslim life.

    Dances of Universal Peace: Dancing Into the New Year with Hope and Joy: 2019

    “Come into your heart”, holding hands, honouring various religions / spiritual traditions, moving and chanting in a circle. Simple words and simple movements are taught, attuning to love, harmony and beauty: dancing inter-faith. A joyful and powerful experience of oneness, freeing the voice. We move, breathe and sing together, holding hands - like one organism, like a cell in the body, remembering being part of something much bigger than the small self. No singing or dancing experience is required.

    Exploring Eldership – October 2019

    This course will help those with responsibility for Eldership in Quaker meetings gain a better understanding of the role and the confidence to do it. What does the role involve? What is the spiritual basis of eldership? How can elders respond to and nurture the spiritual life of the meeting? Participants will have the opportunity to explore the role and share experiences with others as well as looking at practical ideas and resources that will be of help. This course focuses on eldership in Britain Yearly Meeting but may also be of interest to Friends from other Yearly Meetings.

    Exploring Oversight – October 2019

    This course will help those with responsibility for Oversight in Quaker meetings gain a better understanding of the role and the confidence to do it. What does the role involve? What is expected? What is the spiritual basis of oversight? How can overseers respond to and meet the pastoral needs of the meeting? We will look at the range of tasks, share good practice and explore ways of handling difficult issues as well as looking at practical ideas and useful resources. This course focuses on oversight in Britain Yearly Meeting but may also be of interest to Friends from other Yearly Meetings.