Hope as a Practice

Can hope be more powerful than simple optimism? What does it mean to ‘practise hope’? How do we maintain hope when things seem to be getting worse rather than better?

In this workshop, we begin by exploring what hope means to us as Quakers. Then, for the major part of the day, participants are guided through a series of activities drawn from the book Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Christopher Johnstone, to develop a personal ‘practice of hope’:

  • expressing gratitude
  • acknowledging our pain for the world
  • finding more positive perspectives
  • developing a vision for personal and collective action.

During the workshop, Friends will be invited to participate in a variety of activities in different formats, including personal reflection, deep sharing and listening in small groups, creative thinking, and discussions together as a full group.

The day ends with a session when participants begin to develop a vision for their personal involvement, however small, in bringing about a change they hope for, and includes an opportunity to identify others in the Meeting who may be interested in the same concerns. To make the most out of the experience, we suggest that the host Meeting makes a plan for ways to follow up on the ideas that emerge.

Although the Active Hope process is not specifically Quaker, it has many resonances for Friends and these will be highlighted in the workshop.

Previous participants have found the workshop useful both to stimulate their own capacity for hope and to have deep conversations with others in their local or area meeting:

“Really valuable day, especially the topic; the chance to meet other Friends outside business meetings; the spiritual nurture.”

“Lots to think about and take action on.”

“Amazing opportunity for deep conversations with other Quakers.”

“A thought-provoking, interesting day [from] which I am taking away a lighter heart.”

“It was a joy to participate, and actually shifted something in me regarding my definition of hope…I hope more meetings get to experience this. It could apply to so many aspects of life, it’s about an outlook, a lens, and it’s certainly helped me reframe.’


Woodbrooke Where You Are – Spirituality & Retreats


Two tutors


1. Online

  • 2 x 2 hour live sessions via Zoom

Fee: £420

2. In-person

  • One whole day

Fee: £1,300

For this course it is not possible to have a combination of online and in-person participants in the same session. 

To arrange this group workshop please fill in the enquiry form below. If you have questions at this stage please either include them on the form or contact us.

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