Creative Courses

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    Introduction to Life Writing for Transformation

    ‘Greet yourself in your thousand other forms. As you mount the hidden tide and travel back home’ Hafiz. Whether you are looking for practical tips to kick start your writing, or seek deeper personal transformation, this course provides a safe, inspiring retreat. Introducing key tools of Transformative Life Writing™ that minimise your inner critic, enabling you to re-connect with your authentic voice. On completion, writers join the wider community of Transformative Life Writers™. This includes newsletters, and an annual retreat at Woodbrooke.

    Young Friends offer: we are offering a limited number of free places for Young Friends who book onto this course. To take up one of these places, please contact or call 0121 415 6785. 

    Pattern of Seasons: a handicraft retreat

    Using informal worshop sessions, we will explore and develop the traditional handcrafts of rug-making, quilting, patchwork and applique to create fabrics reflecting and inspired by the colours of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. A group project is included and all materials and equipment will be provided.

    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.”

    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.

    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.

    The Wonder of Seed: the whole world in your hand

    An oak tree inside an acorn, a conker on a string, the wheat grains that makes our bread – seeds will provide beauty, wonder and inspiration to stimulate creative ideas and writing. We will also draw on the rich meanings and resonances of seeds by dipping into myths, our imaginations and memories, finding how the seed offers a way of thinking and speaking about our deep selves and inner growth.

    Experiment with Joy

    Christianity exhorts us to rejoice and give thanks. It’s quite hard to do in the face of our many world challenges. We’ll come together in an experimental spirit to enquire together as to what might support us in the practice of joy. We’ll include singing/sounding, giving thanks, praying for each other.

    A Taste of Life Writing for Transformation™

    This self-paced course introduces a process of writing for authentic, creative self-expression and personal development. A “no red pens” approach results in greater awareness, mindfulness and self-acceptance through a gentle stream of guided tools you can use just five minutes at a time. The course includes three multimedia modules and a workbook, based on the work of Joanne Klassen, creator of Life Writing for Transformation™. Each module introduces key concepts from the book followed by exercises, examples, a review and additional optional learning activities.

    This course involves a time commitment of approximately two to three hours per week.

    Please note the change of course dates: This course now runs from 23 September to 3 November, one week later than the dates originally published in our brochure.


    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.

    Journaling: A Way to the Centre – at Swarthmoor Hall

    This course is for those who wish to use journaling as a tool to deepen spiritual life. In reflecting on our current condition, via a series of exercises designed to image our lives, possibilities are opened for becoming more deeply centred. We hope to take ourselves to the place where we are more composed, more still, and words become irrelevant because we are writing the Living Minutes of a faithful life: we will be engaged in prayer.

    To book Woodbrooke courses at Swarthmoor Hall please email or ring 01229 583204