Courses at Woodbrooke

Showing 1–16 of 58 results

    A Spiritual Anthology: A Toolkit for Silence from Quakers and Others

    Is Quaker experience of the Divine unique, or have similar insights bubbled up in other contexts? This retreat blends silent time alone with tutor-led offerings on the experience of silence. We will use writings and practices from a range of spiritual and secular sources, offering an “anthology” of wisdom to draw upon. Meals will be silent. Individual spiritual accompaniment is not a formal part of this retreat but can be offered if required.

    Friends to the End: Accompanying Dying Friends

    When a life is being completed, what can we offer? There are books, organizations and training in bewildering numbers. How can we in a meeting offer support, in partnership with family and friends, medical and other professionals? Quaker pastoral care, Testimonies and clearness are a framework for sharing insights from experience and observation. We will discuss preparation for death, and then bereavement. Above all, we will consider the role of a 'Bedside Friend' and the end of life vigil.

    Answering that of God

    What do we mean when, as Quakers, we speak of ‘that of God’? What would be the implications if we held an awareness of the Divine in everyone all of the time? How can we live out this belief in our relationships and encounters with other people?
    This retreat will provide an opportunity to explore these questions through a combination of facilitator input, small-group activities and time for sharing and listening. There will be space for individual reflection.

    Cinema and Spirituality: Finding the Sacred on the Silver Screen

    We will explore how cinema can offer us a unique spiritual experience. We will look at how biblical stories have been interpreted by film makers and examine how Christianity has influenced other cultural narratives; asking how its theology and symbolism have been incorporated into popular culture. Finally, we will consider cinema as a uniquely spiritual experience in its own right. We will reflect on how film language can guide us in our encounters with the divine via experiences of both transcendence and immanence.

    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 realities that had limited it even before the writing of the New Testament documents.

    Being a Area Meeting Treasurer

    This course for Area Meeting treasurers will show how to produce collated area meeting accounts that meet the requirements of the Charity Commission and OSCR. Participants will be guided through practical exercises to illustrate the stages of the work. We will look at ways of presenting information that will engage Friends' interest and promote their understanding of Quaker finances at the area and local level.

    ALICE: A Light Hearted Introduction to Confidence

    There are times, particularly at change of career or retirement, when we lose our self-confidence and even begin to feel invisible. This course is an opportunity to restore and enhance your self-confidence – both in engaging with small groups and in speaking in public. We will explore the factors affecting communication and develop an awareness of our personal strengths through a mixture of tasks and group work. Participants will have the chance to practice presentation in a safe-setting.

    Children & Young People’s Work Advocates Conference

    An opportunity for Area Meeting Children and Young People’s Work Advocates and those who support them to meet, share and learn together. Details about this role can be found at  Over the weekend we will explore common issues affecting the advocacy of Quaker children and young people’s work. On the Saturday we will link up with the Quaker Youth Work conference that takes place at Woodbrooke, to help build relationships and networks.

    Shalom – The Peace that Changes Everything

    The Hebrew word 'shalom', understood from a Jesus perspective, distils into a single word the totality of his message, mission and hope.  First and foremost 'shalom' is about relationships. Here is both the spirituality that contemplatives seek, plus the inspiration for assertive activism. During the weekend we shall explore both the biblical foundations and practical implications of 'shalom'. Discovering it as the peace that transforms everything. There is nothing vague about 'shalom', it is as practical as it is profound

    Faith in Food

    Food is political, controversial, companionable, joyful, anxiety-inducing, nourishing, depleting, and more. It says something about who we are and what is important to us. Sensitive to talk about, fearful to examine – we stay silent even when we know our food choices carry the ‘seeds of war’ causing harm to us, other creatures and our planet. What makes this so difficult for us? A compassionate and uplifting exploration of how we move towards a life-affirming food story for ourselves and our communities.

    Silence in Circles: Meditating to Create Mandalas

    Across cultures and ages, the ‘sacred circle’ can open a window into our human dreams and aspirations. Jung adopted the term ‘mandalas’ from his work on the collective unconscious. In exploring our own circles, no art skills or meditation experience are required. Various examples, different templates and open-ended options for mandalas will enable all to participate. We will all explore the colours, shapes and silence of the circles we choose or create.

    Friends with a dual religious identity

    Many Friends today maintain some level of dual religious identity – they may have come to Quakerism from another church or faith, or reached out from Quaker beginnings to explore other traditions. This course provides a supportive space for Friends to share experiences of what it’s like to hold more than one religious identity. The course also explores how these diverse religious backgrounds affect our Quaker identity and the wider Quaker community.

    Area Meeting Clerks Conference

    This conference is being jointly organised by Woodbrooke and Quaker Life and will be an opportunity for all serving area meeting clerks to come together for learning and to share experience of current practices.  There will be speaker sessions, group discussions and workshops covering a wide range of relevant topics. All area meetings will receive a formal invitation to the conference in early 2018.

    How to Teach and Lead Meditation and Mindfulness

    Enjoy a practical and reflective oasis in which you deepen your own meditation practice and learn the core concepts and strategies for teaching and leading meditation. Includes: • Contemplative preparation • Physical and mental health benefits • Different traditions - Vippasana, Zen, Christian, TM, Raja and Agni Yoga, guided visualizations, mantras, inner dialogue, healing and prayer. • Core skills of embodiment and compassionate witnessing. • Appropriate language and closure. There will also be time for the practical preparation of sessions you might lead.

    Thy Kingdom Come?: The Lords Prayer for Quakers

    How might Quakers understand the Lord's Prayer today? We shall look at the prayer in its different forms and contexts in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, to see what we can learn for our praying and our living.

    A Pre-Christmas Retreat: Woodbrooke and the Community of Interbeing

    As Christmas draws very near, this joint retreat provides a wonderful opportunity to open the senses and purify the heart and mind. For many years, Woodbrooke has hosted retreats and weekends which have focused on the Zen teaching of Thich Nhat Hanh. On this weekend we bring Zen and Quaker traditions together. Come and enjoy mindfulness practice and Quaker silent worship, vegetarian food from Woodbrooke’s kitchen and Buddhist and Quaker teaching on joy and peace.