Courses at Woodbrooke

Showing 1–16 of 41 results

    Jews and Quakers: prejudice and privilege (hosted by CRQS)

    Religious prejudice and privilege manifest in multiple ways in our society and our lives. Antisemitism is still common, and Quakers are not immune from it. Historically, some Quakers experienced brief periods of persecution, but most now experience the privileges of the majority Christian culture. Both Jewish and Quaker identities are intersectional, only one aspect of a person’s complete identity. We are inviting proposals for short papers (20 minutes + Q&A) or panels (two to four papers). See for details.

    An Introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion

    This Introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) teaches the core principles and practices that will enable participants to respond to difficulties in their lives with kindness, care and understanding. The course is based on the eight week training programme that was designed by Drs Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer and is designed to cultivate the skill of Self-Compassion.

    Courageous Living in the Midst of Climate Crisis

    To create a world where we all survive and flourish , changes will need to be made, and soon. Some will be straightforward, even easy, but many changes will challenge us out of the comfort we have grown attached to. Join with others as we create a community to explore what sacrifices might be called forth from us in order to make the world sacred. This weekend will include spiritual practice, time alone and together, reflection and solidarity.

    Challenge and Consolation: Brahms’ German Requiem

    Brahms’ German Requiem is not a requiem mass or a statement of conventional religious dogma; it is a meditation on our mortality—truthful, challenging and deeply consoling. The course will explore the music and its background, and hear a performance in Symphony Hall by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.

    A Timely Retreat

    Is time a scarce resource for you? Or an endurance test? A tyrant? A gift? We live in both clock-time and kairos – the unbound moment of opportunity. Which gets our attention? Which sets our pace? On this unhurried, interactive retreat we will feel into, explore and perhaps revitalise our relationship with time. Come to reflect, try different perspectives and share your experience, insights and questions. We will ‘attend to what love requires of [us], which may not be great busyness.’

    Read Katie’s blog post about time and spirituality to get a feel for this retreat. 

    Being a Quaker Trustee – March 2020

    Particularly suitable for new or less experienced Area Meeting trustees; it may also be of interest to anyone wanting a refresher. We will be factual and practical. What does the law require? What is considered good practice for charities? How does this fit with Quaker good practice? How do trustees, area and local meetings relate to each other? How can trustees best serve our meetings? We aim to provide easy-to-understand information and enjoyable learning, to make trusteeship approachable and rewarding.

    Exploring Quaker Nominations

    How can we root ourselves in good practices of discernment whilst responding to the particular issues that face us? Nominations are at the quiet heart of the way we live together as Friends, when we listen faithfully to the Spirit. We will include the practical aspects of being ‘on nominations’. Friends can expect a renewed insight into the potential of nominations to strengthen meetings and enabling them to flourish. This event is for members of Quaker nominations committees.

    The Writings of Luke: seeing beyond power and privilege

    ‘Do you see?’ Jesus asks this question in Luke’s Gospel as an invitation to look deeply, to see beyond normal conventions of success and power. The neat contour of Luke’s story-telling skilfully hides its disruptive intent, written with the awareness that only a change of heart in each reader will make sense of what he tells us. So we will approach these writings awake to the possibility that even today, through the power of the Spirit, eyes might be opened.

    Kindful Eating: making peace with food and our bodies

    Imagine a world where no-one wakes up hating their body and where health campaigns acknowledge that factors like privilege, racism, loneliness and trauma impact our overall wellbeing whatever our lifestyle.
    Based on the innovative Well Now approach, this course offers real-life ways to make sense of self-care and social justice starting with how we talk about food. Find out how to join-the-dots between food, health and body respect to help build a world where no-one is starved of food, connection, dignity or security.

    Circle Dance

    If you enjoy moving to music, 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 spiritual wholeness and of harmony, drawing as it does on the diverse heritage of traditional cultures from around the world. You don’t need to be an experienced dancer to enjoy this course – all are welcome.

    Navigating Life Transitions

    Life changes can be like gentle waves, small and hardly noticed, or sudden and dramatic, like violent storms. Changing location or employment, retirement, conflict, bereavement, the onset of a long term illness or disabling condition, becoming a carer, ending a relationship are examples of major life changes which can challenge our sense of identity and direction in life. Working individually and together we will explore loss and continuity in change, seeking new perspectives, spiritual insights and growth.

    Radical Listening

    This course has been postponed until 4-6 December 2020 – click here to be redirected to the new course.


    Resurrection and Renewal: the teachings of Richard Rohr

    A weekend of encounter through video and reading around the book, The Universal Christ (2019). Here Franciscan Richard Rohr explains how Jesus’ life reaffirms God’s constant, unfolding love in the world, since the First Bible – Creation. We are invited to transform the way we ‘see’ everything in order to change how we live in the world.

    Signs of Life: an Appleseed course

    Spring and Easter both bring messages of new life. Can the greening we see taking place in the outer world be mirrored with signs of potential growth in our inner lives? The Appleseed process balances thinking and feeling and provides a safe place for a personal exploration of our theme. Short talks and meditation will be followed by simple art-based activities (no skills required) and worship sharing. The course is suitable for those with and without Appleseed experience.

    Quaker Approaches to Mental Health

    This weekend will explore Quaker ministry in mental health. We will share experiences and concerns, looking at spirituality, community support, and political ideas. We will build a community of connections, listening and acceptance. We may prepare a response to the coverage of mental health in ‘Faith & Practice’; develop ideas about a Quaker Recognised Body ‘Quaker Action on Mental Health’; think about a project of ‘Mental Health Friends’ – and more…

    All are welcome – but we cannot help with current distress.

    What Do We Mean by ‘Christian’?

    As Professor Joad used to say, “It all depends on what you mean by…!”

    Discussion of Christianity is made more difficult by the problem of defining what it is. Is it belief, ethics, practice, spirituality? We look at some of the wide variety of expressions of Christianity and how it is adapted in its cultural contexts. And we consider how early Friends interpreted it and what Quakers might mean by it today.