Courses at Woodbrooke

Showing 1–16 of 65 results

    Sing in the Spirit: A Chant-based Retreat

    Song can break open the heart, take us to a place of prayer and refresh soul and body. This retreat is a time to sing simple chants together, allowing words and music to speak deeply to us. You are invited to bring along favourite chants, including well-loved words to turn into chants of your own. What new song will the Spirit put into our mouths? All voices are welcome, and everything will be taught by ear.

    Quaker Studies Conference

    Postgraduate work at Woodbrooke is twenty years old this year and this is the 25th annual Quaker studies conference. Come and join us to present your work or listen to the latest in academic scholarship in every area of the field. Visit to see the call for papers. A weekend of celebration and cutting edge thinking.

    The discounted price for current postgraduate students is £165 for the full weekend. Please use Code QSPG19 when booking online.

    If you cannot come for the whole weekend, why not just join us for one day? Day bookings are available as follows:

    Friday 21 June 2019: 4.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. including supper - £35

    Saturday 22 June 2019: 9.00 a.m to 9.30 p.m. including lunch and supper - £55

    Sunday 23 June 2019: 9.30 a.m to 1.30 p.m. including lunch - £35


    A Time to Speak Out: a guided bible study

    The Quaker tradition deeply values silence. But Quakers have also been led to speak truth to power when that has been required. This tension between silence and speech has biblical roots. Drawing on recent work by the radical Biblical scholar, Walter Brueggemann, we will explore events in the Bible – from both Old and New Testaments – which expose times when maintaining silence allows oppression and coercion to continue and the powerful to keep control. When should silence be interrupted?

    Eldership and Oversight Together

    This is a weekend for Friends serving in joint or corporate systems of eldership or oversight, or with elements or combinations of these. This course aims to help participants identify how the responsibilities of eldership and oversight are met in their meetings, and to share good practice. We will explore pastoral care and spiritual nurture within worshipping communities and consider practical issues. We hope everyone will leave with new skills and insights, feeling more confident about their part in eldership and oversight in their meeting.

    Truth is What Works

    How do we know when our foundational religious beliefs are true? And how does this truth bind us together as a Quaker community? Drawing on the insights of Pragmatic philosophers like William James and Charles Pierce this course explores how Friends might find new ways of applying the Truth Testimony to thorny questions of shared Quaker belief and identity. At the heart of this exploration is the suggestion that the fruits of Quaker practice are the basis and illustration of its truth.

    We are offering a limited number of free places for Young Adult Friends (18-35 years) on this course which include all meals and accommodation. Please contact for more information.

    The Wisdom of the Psalms: spiritual guidance for everyday life

    For centuries people have found solace, challenge, inspiration and companionship in praying with the Psalms. Those attending this retreat can look forward to entering into a living stream in which they may encounter the comforting presence of God through the lyrics of these songs. Meditative reading, worship, song, individual and corporate reflection, writing and sharing will enhance our experience of the Psalms as a part of our daily spiritual practice. This retreat is for those interested in contemplative, reflective practice.

    Speaking of Unspeakable Things: Giving Language to the Spiritual Landscape

    Amongst Friends there is a tradition of attempting to describe in writing what goes on in our spiritual lives, in our engagement with Spirit, and the consequences of these activities in our daily lives. Grounded in worship, we will savor Quakerly writings in this tradition through personal narratives, fiction, poetry, song and film. In addition to exploring these forms, participants can expect to spend time in solitary reflective writing, and sharing in pairs and small groups.

    Finding meaning in the margins

    With a mix of nature, music, poetry, writings and our own experiences, we’ll explore the transformational role of margins in nature, in the lives of social and spiritual reformers and – crucially – in our own lives. Often, what we or society exclude from the centre contains the seeds of new life, potentially enabling us and our communities to become whole. We’ll look at ways of integrating the margins, helping to renew and heal ourselves and the world we live in. It promises to be a fascinating and rewarding weekend.

    Mosaics My Way! A Journey of creative self discovery

    There is beauty in the process of mosaic making. You jig-saw fragments to describe your story, which may include items of personal significance. Within the process of play, we discover a stillness in making. No previous mosaic experience necessary. All equipment and materials provided. During the course you will learn essential skills: cut shapes with tile nippers, score snappers, create with crockery, use a variety of adhesives, translate your ideas into mosaic and learn how to grout. Comments from Woodbrooke 2018 Making Mosaics: “What a week! I have felt completely happy... really good to feel that. So good to laugh and create and to learn” “What an amazing week & how much we’ve all accomplished, much more than expected & no pressure. The seed has fallen on fertile ground & created.” “ Many thanks for your inspiration and expert tuition in your inimitable style! I feel encouraged...” “You’ve bounced us through a week of enthusiasm, joyous creativity & a wonder of mosaic world. Total enjoyment.”

    Quaker Feminism? Exploring contributions of early Quaker Feminists to Women´s Rights

    This course will explore the disproportionate role that early Quaker feminists made to the advancement of women's rights. Women such as Alice Paul, Lucretia Mott, Susan Anthony, Angelina Grimke, Abby Foster, and Elizabeth Stanton were key figures in the first wave of feminism and the suffragette movement. Unfortunately, today they are not household names and their contributions often forgotten or not even known about. We will discuss and celebrate their achievements, while also looking at what role spirituality played in their activism and ideas about gender equality. We will also debate how feminism developed within global Quakerism both historically and today.

    We are offering a limited number of free places for Young Adult Friends (18-35 years) on this course which include all meals and accommodation. Please contact for more information.

    Attention: the way in which we relate to the world

    Our attention is a precious resource. It is essential in learning and love. Religious traditions appreciate its role in meditation and worship. At the same time, commercial and political interests get ever more skilled at attracting and holding it. This course will reflect on the nature and value of attention, its creative role and how we preserve and deepen it. Preparation will include an invitation to engage with carefully selected resources before our onsite dialogue enables us to sharpen our own thinking.

    Telling our Faith Stories

    Stories help to shape how we understand and interpret ourselves, our communities and our world. Faith stories in particular have power to influence how we live. In this course each participant will have an opportunity to tell their own faith story, and together we will look at the impact of our faith tradition and how its stories shape our own. Come prepared to talk freely and listen deeply.

    Drawing a labyrinth

    Labyrinths are creative resources for spiritual practice, and offer space for prayer, play and discovery. Starting with paper and pencil, we'll create labyrinth patterns from around the world, from simple to more complex designs. We'll make labyrinths small enough for postcards - and big enough to walk, using natural and temporary materials. By the end of the course, everyone will know how to create a temporary labyrinth indoors or outdoors.

    Enquiring into Quaker Diversity and Inclusion

    This course will use the P4C (Philosophy for 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. Participants will be given the opportunity to have an in-depth discussion of the deeper meaning and implications of diversity and inclusion. The group will create their own questions to explore what diversity and inclusion mean in practice for Quakers.

    Paths to the Grail: Restoring the Courts of Joy

    The Grail is a quest for all living beings. This medieval myth has familiar resonances with our own times: a wasteland of rapine, wars, exploitation, and the urgency to restore peace and joy. Our study of the unique Elucidation text helps us experience the regenerative Grail as a gift in which all participate. Through discussion, meditation, prayer, and simple ceremony, we will walk its paths. Discovering timeless ways to embody its wisdom, enabling its healing to irrigate our world.

    Dance for Joy

    If you enjoy dancing and music from all around the world, then this is the weekend for you. We will dance to a wide variety of music and in different styles, some lively, some more meditative. Circle dance enhances our sense of community, of wholeness and of harmony, drawing as it does on the diverse heritage of traditional cultures and a range of musical genres. Experienced and less experienced dancers are all welcome.