Courses at Woodbrooke

Showing 1–16 of 93 results

    T.S. Eliot: The heavy burden of the growing soul

    This course will track the remarkable evolution of Eliot’s poetry – from his early modernist forays, culminating in The Waste Land, via the intensifying spiritual preoccupations of subsequent years, leading to his crowning contemplative masterpiece, Four Quartets. We shall focus especially on the poet’s intensifying quest for meaning against the often hostile background of the modern world, and consider how these challenging – but intensely human, subtle and honest – works stimulate insights into our own quandaries and aspirations.

    In Humility of Heart

    One of the foundations of the spirit-led life, humility is at the heart of our witness. However, in this age of individualism, status and celebrity to turn oneself over to a life of faithful service is a radical act. Together we’ll explore how we can let go of the need to judge and be judged, and learn to accept, forgive and be content. It will be a space in which to be encouraged by those who have faced the troubles of life with grace-filled hope.

    Nurturing Authentic Spirituality: a rule to live by

    Please note: There is an error in our latest brochure. The correct non-resident price is £240.00.

    How are we to live an authentic spirituality? What spiritual principles do we apply in our daily lives and how can we be accountable to our faith community in our quest for spiritual authenticity? This course will give us a chance to share our spiritual aspirations, histories and practices and to identify those areas where we feel we need help. Building community through worship and creative listening, we will define personal strategies for daily faithfulness and explore how we might challenge and support one another along the way.

    Being a Quaker Treasurer

    Please note: There is an error in our latest brochure. The correct price for this course is £325 for resident and £250 for non-residents.

    For new and prospective treasurers, and those who still feel uncertain. We will cover all the main tasks, from first entries to year-end preparation of accounts, principles, responsibilities, and legal requirements. You will find sympathetic companionship with other treasurers, and explore the spiritual basis of the role. Please note times: The course starts at 11:15 am on the Monday with Basic Book-keeping (this runs to 5:45pm and will include lunch). Those without much experience need these sessions. If Monday attendance is difficult, the exercises will be available online to complete at home beforehand. On the Wednesday there is an optional session on the Quaker spreadsheet programme which runs from 1:30 pm to 3.00 pm.

    Being an Inclusive Faith Community

    Do you long for your faith community to be truly inclusive? This course will give you tools to put inclusion at the heart of your faith community life. We will ask how inclusion is rooted in our theology, how inclusion is different to diversity, and how we can include all people in our faith communities, regardless of economic power, gender, mental health, physical ability, race or sexuality.

    Icon Painting as a spiritual practice

    Please note: There is an error in our latest brochure. The correct non-resident price is £350.

    Practicing icon painting helps us to look into ourselves, make time to be in the silence of our hearts and learn who we are. How can we then after knowing more about what we are develop a connection and relationship with the Divine. Learning technique will be a very important part of the course. Feeling confident in creating an image helps to forget about all distractions, things we can’t achieve, things that we don’t understand and simply let our hand be an extension of our souls. Participants will learn all stages of icon painting and principles of the technique but will focus on meditative aspect of the process. Each session will start with short guided meditation to help us reconnect with our bodies.

    The Dance of Compassionate Communication: an introduction to Nonviolent Communication

    At home or at work, the way we think about ourselves and communicate with others affects a fundamental aspect of our lives - human connection. Develop ways of expressing the heart of your messages with power, and learn to hear the essence of other’s communication, instead of hearing blame and criticism. This workshop introduces you to the concepts and tools of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) developed by Marshall Rosenberg. It will improve your best relationships and ease the conflicts and misunderstandings of your worst.

    Inspiration and Practice: the spiritual grounding of our ecumenical and interfaith work (booking page for Area Meeting representatives)

    Ecumenical and interfaith work can bring moments of real breakthrough as well as sticky challenges. Our speakers will help us explore the spiritual depth in such moments. What helps encourage moments of openness and insight? How do we honestly face and deal with the barriers of substantial difference?  We will bring such reflections together with examples of practical work on the ground, making use of the up-to-date snapshot of current Quaker interfaith and ecumenical activity produced through research undertaken for QCCIR by Woodbrooke.

    Booking for this event is now open to everyone, please now book on the general booking page: HERE

    Being a Quaker Clerk

    This course is for new or prospective clerks with little or no experience of Quaker clerking. We will focus on clerking local meetings but clerks of other meetings or committees will also find they can learn much about their role. There will be practical sessions including planning agendas, drafting minutes and discipline in the meeting.  We will also consider other responsibilities that come with being a clerk. Participants will learn from each other as well as from the leaders.

    Exploring Oversight – March 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.

    Exploring Eldership – March 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.

    The search the Deep Self

    The course will help people discover their deeper selves and what gives them meaning and purpose. It is based on stories of people finding insight into who they are and what their life is about. Stories are drawn from the well known and the not so well known eureka moments and slow dawnings. All, however, are liberating and life-giving. By exploring these often intimate and moving stories, participants reflect on themselves – and are empowered to take further steps in their own lives.

    A Friendly Introduction to Gender Diversity

    In recent years we may have become more aware of transgender people – in our meetings we may encounter a transgender newcomer seeking a spiritual home, a longstanding Friend may ‘come out’, or we might have a relative who is trans or non-binary. This weekend aims to demystify gender diversity by hearing personal stories. We will explore the distinctive role of our meetings in embracing the richness of gender diversity based on our testimonies to truth, equality and simplicity.

    Transforming the World

    How can we, as Quakers, bring about non-violent, peaceful transformation in our Meetings, in our families, in our workplaces, in our society, and in the world? In this course, we will explore together how transformation starts and unfolds – and how we can make it happen. We will learn from Quaker history and experience, as well as from current creative approaches, to better understand our roles in bringing about transformation in line with our testimonies.

    Chaplaincy Retreat

    This weekend retreat will provide the opportunity for Quaker chaplains working in any setting (prison, education, hospital or others) to reflect, relax and reconnect with our spiritual foundation. We will use a mix of creative listening, the labyrinth, journalling and a range of spiritual practices to provide opportunities to recharge our batteries and remind ourselves why we do this important work. This weekend is not a training event and may not be suitable for people with no chaplaincy experience.

    Appreciative Inquiry in Quaker settings

    Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a strengths-based approach to development and change that is particularly relevant to Quaker principles and practice. This course provides basic training in AI, which will equip Friends with the understanding and skills to facilitate AI processes in their meetings or committees. It will be especially useful to Friends serving in roles, employed staff and any Friends with experience in leadership or facilitation wishing to develop their skills and learn a new approach to real issues.