Course search results

The Quaker Way: a rediscovery and a dialogue

As Quakers we are called to follow the promptings of love and truth in our hearts. The Quaker way is grounded in this truth and in following the leadings of the spirit. This event will seek to understand what this means, how we can grasp the nettle of following this idealistic way in current times and explore how our lives can bear witness to this truth. This is an opportunity to explore our roots and reflect theologically on Quakerism today.

Going Inside : training for Quaker prison chaplains

This training is open to all Quaker prison chaplains and to Quaker chaplains working in other secure environments, i.e. secure hospitals, detention centres, immigration removal centres etc. It is suitable for both new and more experienced chaplains, regardless of how much time they spend on chaplaincy work. It will cover the Quaker basis for prison ministry, finding and developing your ministry, practical issues, building trusting relationships and training and support for your ministry.

Tearing Down the Fences

Every passing day raises questions about our consumerist way of life. Meanwhile, around us people are finding new ways of living more simply, more compassionately, more neighbourly. Together they are tearing down the fences that separate - in their streets and in their minds. Dare we be part of all this? What is possible in our own lives? Where to begin? What can we learn from cohousing communities? A participatory, roll-your-sleeves up workshop for people hungry for change.

Exploring Woodbrooke’s Trees

Would you like to spend extended time in the gardens of Woodbrooke exploring the diversity of trees, finding out more about them, where they originate and investigating what they mean to you? This course is a gentle discovery of trees and how we relate to them, and why they matter. We will spend time inside,in group discussions and In the glorious gardens, slow walking and standing involved.You are invited to bring a tree poem to share

Practice and Presence: Experiencing flow, clarity and spaciousness

We will come together to explore and experience spiritual practices and ways of being present from a variety of different faith traditions; particularly those that encourage and allow us to connect more deeply with ‘that of God within’. We will be offered the opportunity to challenge ourselves, and to try something new in the safe space that is Woodbrooke. There will be opportunities for personal space, group sharing and the freedom to go where each one of us is led.

Poetry of the Psalms

Do the Biblical poems we call the ‘Psalms of David’ still speak to us? During the weekend we will approach some of the themes they address – love, war, hope, depression, joy, fear, abandonment, salvation, the absence of God, the quest for the divine, solitude, friendship – to see what connections we have, or can make, with these aspects of life. We will see how the language of the poet takes us into his own inner world, and can help us towards our own. 

Quaker studies research summer school

This summer school is for all those engaged in research into Quakerism at whatever level in whatever discipline. We will create a temporary research community and there will be the opportunity to share work, hear about research process, and have one to one time with the tutors. The Summer School includes the annual CPQS/ QSRA conference in Quaker studies and the George Richardson Lecture. There will also be plenty of time to get on with your own research!

CPQS/ QSRA Conference: Identities, dislocation and migration

The annual conference of the Centre for Postgraduate Quaker Studies (CPQS) at Woodbrooke and the Quaker Studies Research Association (QSRA), the professional academic group for everyone researching Quakerism, in whatever discipline. The conference typically includes papers in history, theology, sociology, and material culture. Afterwards, at 7.30pm, the prestigious annual George Richardson lecture will be given by Christine Trevett. The lecture is a free public event and everyone is welcome. For the call for papers and other details, please see

The path through the woods: a summer labyrinth workshop

This day event will start at 10am (arrivals from 9.30am) and will finish with refreshments at 4pm. The event includes lunch.

Woods are places for exploration: their beauty, light and shadow can be places of deep quietness and healing. In Woodbrooke's lovely surroundings, we will connect with the natural world and bring our reflections to peaceful labyrinth walks indoors and outdoors. This joint Woodbrooke/Veriditas event is for all who would like to deepen their knowledge and understanding of labyrinths. It also serves as a Qualifying Workshop for those interested in training as a labyrinth facilitator with Veriditas.

This event does not include overnight accommodation. If you require this, please book separately on our website.

A sea change – images of transformation: an Appleseed course

Images of the sea are beautiful, inspiring, calming, and sometimes challenging.  We shall consider a wide range of sources, including the Psalms, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Quaker and other writings, including poetry, as well as visual images.  Working with the insights from these sources can help to enable a sea-change in our own lives.  This Appleseed course will have the usual structure of talks followed by kindergarten-simple arts-based response activities and worship-sharing.  The course will begin at 4.30pm.

A Rule to Live By : nurturing our spirituality

How are we to live an authentic spirituality and how can we be accountable within our faith community? This retreat offers the chance to explore what limits and what nurtures our spiritual growth. Building temporary community together through worship and deep listening, we will name our spiritual aspirations and explore, through the writing of a personal rule, how we might find support and be challenged to live more faithful lives.

Re-finding the Quality of Eternity: Jung and Shamanism

Jung said we have lost the quality of eternity so characteristic of indigenous societies,  barricading ourselves behind walls of rationality.  This course explores his interest in shamanism including the wounded healer, shamanic ways of working and his interest in indigenous societies in general. HIs work is also elaborated through contemporary shamanic perspectives. Through input, experiential work and enactment of a Celtic legendary tale, we dig up images from the unconscious that connect us again to the nature in us. 

Dementia and the senses

We will explore our senses as a means to connecting with and supporting someone with dementia. Words tend to be thought of as the units of meaning, but we are sensory communicators too. Learn what sorts of sensory experiences are most likely to engage a person with dementia, and how to craft these into supportive resources. Find out how dementia affects the senses and communication. You’ll have time to explore your sensory selves, discovering what sensory experiences resonate with you

Adventurous disability equality

This training supports participants to further disability equality in their personal lives and communities. It links key ideas of the disability rights movement to Quaker ideas and spirituality. The history and ideas of the Disabled People's Movement are little-known, and recent political developments make their justice implications particularly pressing, particularly to Quakers and others who value equality. Differing levels of experience of Quakerism and disability rights will be catered for.

A Friendly Introduction to the Quaker Way

Are you relatively new to Quakers and keen to find out more? This course sets out the Quaker ‘basics’. It will give you an understanding of the history and international reach of Quakerism, and the importance of spiritual experience to the Quaker Way. We will discuss what happens in a Meeting for Worship and how Quakers make decisions and organise themselves. We will explore what Quakers mean by ‘testimony’ and explain simple spiritual practices for you to experiment with.
*Please note* This course focuses principally on Quakerism as practiced by Britain Yearly Meeting, what is known as the liberal unprogrammed tradition. Participants from other Yearly Meetings and traditions are very welcome.


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Looking, Seeing; Doing, Being

Mindfulness offers a way of taking time out for personal reflection. We will use yoga, meditation and silent reflection to explore our responses to the world through body, breath and mind. We will connect more deeply to our surroundings through mindful photography in the peaceful setting of Woodbrooke’s house and gardens.
Yoga sessions will be suitable for beginners and will include seated, standing and kneeling postures. Please check before booking if you are unsure. Mats are available if required. lease bring any digital camera that you are comfortable using.

Faith, Peace, Power: understanding violence, practising nonviolence

Inspired by Diana Francis’s 2015 Swarthmore lecture and the experience of three courses run by her and Steve Whiting in 2015, this course seeks to increase participants’ understanding of what causes violence and the approaches that underpin nonviolent approaches to peace making. We will explore how our faith can support us in practising nonviolence and working towards positive peace.Two further courses planned for 2018 will support participants to learn more deeply and identify practical ways of taking action.

Look not Out, but Within : a Quaker retreat

For Friends seeking a refreshment of their Quaker spirituality and a deeper understanding of its roots. We will draw on the writings of early Friends and others to enrich and deepen our own experience. Short talks and whole group sessions will alternate with extended periods of silent time with the Spirit, reflecting on what we have heard. Meals will be silent. Individual spiritual accompaniment is not a formal part of this retreat but can be offered if required.

What is Quaker Ministry?

Ministry is central to Quaker life and spirit. This course will give us an opportunity to explore how we can live more adventurously in our ministry. We will be looking at both spoken ministry and faith in action.

Voices of the Earth: exploring the spirit and the natural world creatively

This popular course explores the intimate relationship between the natural world and spirituality through creative responses in writing and artwork. Prompted by poetry, the visual arts, music and Woodbrooke’s extensive gardens, with fresh starting points and stimuli offered each year, there will be abundant opportunity for working in a variety of media and forms. We will engage individually or collaboratively both with the places words can take us and where visual images and making art can lead to beyond words.

Introduction to Peace Education

This introduction to the theory and practice of peace education draws upon the experience of Quaker Peace & Social Witness to explore how we can support the development of children’s inner peace; help children to understand conflict and their relationship with it; engage children with wider peace issues, from the ethics of armed drones to conscientious objection and human rights. We will endeavour to establish a supportive learning community and encourage reflective practice and peer-learning and assessment.


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Quaker Nominations: exploring good practice

An event for members of Quaker nominations committees. 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.

Being a Quaker Trustee

Particularly suitable for new/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.

Being a Quaker Treasurer

For new and prospective treasurers, and those who still feel uncertain. We will cover all the main tasks, from first entries to year-end preparation of accounts, principles, responsibilities, and legal requirements. You will find sympathetic companionship with other treasurers, and explore the spiritual basis of the role.
*Please note times*: The course starts at 11:15am on the Friday with Basic Book-keeping (this runs to 5:45pm and will include lunch). Those without much experience need these sessions. If Friday attendance is difficult, the exercises will be available online to complete at home beforehand. On the Sunday there is an optional session on the Quaker spreadsheet programme which runs from 1:30pm to 3.00pm.

A Sustainable Life : Quaker Faith and Practice in the Renewal of Creation

Sustainability cannot be 'one more thing' Friends are concerned and active about. A fresh look at Quaker faith and practice reveals that it’s all about sustainability. This course reframes the Quaker tradition within the global horizon that defines our lives in the 21st century. We will discover a concern for balance with the earth among the earliest Friends, and way of life that can sustain us together in the work for a peaceful, just, and sustainable world.


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Being a Quaker Clerk

This course is for new or prospective clerks with little or no experience of Quaker clerking. We will focus on clerking local meetings but clerks of other meetings or committees will also find they can learn much about their role. There will be practical sessions including planning agendas, drafting minutes and discipline in the meeting.  We will also consider other responsibilities that come with being a clerk. Participants will learn from each other as well as from the leaders.

A Friendly Introduction to Quaker Theology

This course will focus on how Quaker practices and our lives as Friends reveal the nature of our theology. In a tradition that gives priority to right action over right belief, what we do is who we are. Together we will explore what Quaker spirituality, community and testimony have to say about our understandings of God, human nature, the creation and what the future holds.

The Upside Down Bible : a look at what Jesus said about money, sex and violence

This course is based on Symon Hill’s recent book, The Upside-Down Bible (published by Darton, Longman and Todd in 2015). It arises out of many conversations Symon had with groups of people with no church background or awareness of traditional church interpretation. Expect new insights and fresh interpretation on what Jesus might actually have wanted to teach us on the subjects of money, sex and violence. Participants will need to read Symon’s book in preparation.

Handmaidens of the Lord : early Quaker women and their writings

The early Quaker movement was unusual in its time for the freedom it afforded women to be preachers, prophets and writers. Margaret Fell is well-known as an early Quaker leader, but there were many other women who also made a significant contribution. This course will enable you to explore the lives, ideas and writings of a number of 17th century Quaker women. We will do this using short talks, the reading of texts and group discussing within a safe and friendly atmosphere.

Being a Quaker Clerk: a course at Swarthmoor Hall

*This course takes place at Swarthmoor Hall*
This course is for new or prospective clerks with little or no experience of Quaker clerking. It primarily focuses on clerking local meetings, but clerks of other meetings will also find they can learn much about their role. We will consider why we use our particular business style in meetings. Alongside this there will be practical sessions including planning agendas, making minutes, keeping records and the discipline of the meeting. Participants will learn from each other as well as from the leaders.

Anam Cara : exploring spiritual friendship

An ‘anam cara’ is a soul friend, offering companionship, support and spiritual nourishment. This weekend offers an opportunity to explore what spiritual friendship is and how we can initiate and sustain such relationships. We will spend time together as soul friends reflecting, sharing and listening, beginning to know one another better in the “things that are eternal” and deepening our spiritual lives. We will practise deep, attentive listening to one another and gather ideas for framing spiritual friendships.

Moses on Mount Sinai and the Life of Prayer

Moses’ experiences on Mount Sinai inspired early Christian mystics. They scrutinised the details of Exodus for clues about the practice of prayer and contemplation, focussing on such moments as Moses’ entry into the darkness; the elders’ vision of the divine blue; and Moses’ glorious transformation. Following their example, we will be reflecting creatively on such questions as: What treasures are to be found in darkness? Where for you is the place of God? What transformations have occurred in our lives?

European Quaker voices

This is a 6-week online retreat for European Quakers, using devotional and inspirational material by European Quakers. In addition to readings, there will be suggestions for activities and exercises appropriate to a retreat. Participants will share reflections and experiences with each other along the way. The retreat is thus an opportunity for both individual and group spiritual development, as well as an opportunity to learn from the rich experience of European Friends.


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Exploring Eldership & 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.

Christian Animism : the Christian faith as an earth-based, creation-focused spirituality – a course at Swarthmoor Hall

Animism is such an exciting concept! It describes the traditional lifeways of Indigenous people, stressing their commitment to live in relationship with all persons, of whom only some may be human. This is identical to the biblical vision of shalom and Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom of God. We will explore all this, plus the radical eco-spirituality required to be a Christian animist in an urban-secular world, while seeking its transformation. The course will use teaching, reflections and outdoor activities.

The Impact of Diversity of Belief on Quaker Practice : discernment, decision making, worship

This event will draw together a number of contributors to consider the current Quaker diversity among British Friends from a number of perspectives. The aim is to gain greater clarity about the way in which belief informs practice, specifically, discernment, decision making and worship. Many Friends are exploring this theme. This event will aim to bring a range of voices together. Come and be part of the discussion.

Friends’ Fellowship of Healing and Quaker Fellowship for Afterlife Studies Joint Conference

This conference will offer the opportunity to look more deeply at the interaction between the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical levels of our being.  Participants will have the time and space to explore and deepen their understanding, and share experiences. The conference will explore topics of interest to both FFH and QFAS through talks by invited speakers and discussion in large and small groups. All Friends are welcome, whether members of FFH/QFAS or not.  Previous conferences have been much valued by those who participated.

Welcoming the Soul : creating space for deep listening in our meetings – a course at Swarthmoor Hall

Many of us long for deeper conversations in our meetings: enabling us to be seen for whom we are; supporting us in finding meaning in our life; hearing more clearly what is being shared in business meetings. In this course, we will learn practices and principles to create a safe space for deep listening so we can be more authentic with our Friends. We will learn how to dialogue with our ‘inner teacher’ to find inspiration, growth and clarity.

The Art of Grounding: a weekend retreat

In cultivating the art of grounding, in body and mind, we will follow a gentle programme of sitting and walking meditation and the graceful moving meditation of Qi Gong. To nourish our stability and nurture a peaceful, open heart, the retreat offers a slowing down, some companionable silence, deep relaxation and the practice of Touching The Earth. We will walk in the beautiful gardens. There is the invitation to take our meals in silence to experience eating as a meditation.

Paradise Lost : an introduction

Milton’s great epic is one of the most enduring and remarkable works of English literature. Over eight weeks, we’ll introduce you to both the poet and his work, exploring three core questions: Who was John Milton? What was his message? And how does the poem speak to us today? In the process, we’ll examine key passages, look at other source material, and interpret the poem in its historical and cultural context.


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Eldership & Oversight : an online course

This six-week online course will help all those serving in eldership and oversight to gain better understanding and confidence in their role – whatever the system in their meeting. The six modules cover the full range of topics included in the separate and combined eldership and oversight onsite courses, with options to focus on areas of particular relevance. You should allow 3-5 hours a week for pursuing this course. There is no requirement to be online at a particular time.


Please note some users are experiencing a problem with the booking of courses online. Please download a booking form and return to

Safe Conversations, Difficult Issues

It is often said that we default to silence when faced with conflicts between Quakers. Can we, together, find ways to talk safely about the controversial issues of assisted dying/suicide/euthanasia? With pastoral support and Friendly facilitation, we can share experience, overcoming fear or distress. Debate is divisive: we will experiment with different modes of discussion, art, nature, reflection and, above all, worshipful conversation. We will explore meanings and practices of toleration. Our aim: to be Friends comfortable with difference.

God With Us’: Matthew’s understanding of Jesus

From the birth stories through to the final grand commission to 'Go and make disciples of all nations' Matthew explores the significance of Jesus for his followers. We shall look at this and consider its relevance for Quakers today.

Everyday Prophets

What does the prophetic voice sound like in our time? The Everyday Prophet listens for the Holy in the midst of the turmoil of ordinary life and lives out of the wisdom the Spirit opens in our hearts. We will explore how our Meetings might nurture such Everyday Prophets and create a community that sustains them as well the radical prophets among us.

Shakespeare’s Coriolanus: “What is the city but the people?”

This play has never seemed more relevant than in our time of divided national loyalties, manipulated politics, social stresses, economic inequality and bitter local wars.   This course will explore the insights which the play contains, and ask if it offers any solutions.  The course includes a visit to the Royal Shakespeare production at Stratford.

Being and Silence : a contemplative retreat at Swarthmoor Hall

A chance to experience the simplicity and stillness of retreat in the beautiful setting of Swarthmoor Hall. We will have opportunities for spiritual practice, including meditation, music, mindful movement, sacred reading and extended Quaker worship, as well as time for just ‘being’ and a day spent in silence. There will be a gentle rhythm throughout the retreat of time for contemplative practice, time for spiritual friendship conversations and time alone.

Exploring the Early Quaker Vision : an online webinar series

In this series of six *purely online* webinars run from 7.00pm to 8.30pm every Thursday evening from 12th October to 16 November, we will explore the founding vision of the Quaker movement and consider how early Friends lived a contemplative, charismatic and prophetic faith that very nearly turned the world upside down. How did this vision shape Quaker understandings of spiritual transformation and the Bible and the commitment to peace and equality? How is this vision reflected in Quaker global diversity today?
Only basic computer skills are needed for this course, together with access to e-mail and the internet. The course takes place in Woodbrooke's online learning website, for which easy registration details will be provided. Full guidance will be given on how to access the course's material, and help is available if you get stuck at any point.


Please note some users are experiencing a problem with the booking of courses online. Please download a booking form and return to

A Gathering of Fools Workshop Retreat

The fool, wide awake and simple, lives in the vivid here and now. Yet a large part of us does not live like this and therein lies the challenge! Join others in this 'fool workshop'. It will liberate and make you uncomfortable, stretch and open you, delight and inspire you many ways, giving your emotional self some space and inviting new levels of expression, realization and connection. Expect to be engaged physically, vocally, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and playfully in all sessions.  

Muslim Women: myths and truths

This course, as well as deepening one’s knowledge on Islam’s theoretical position and the status of women, offers the unique opportunity to immerse oneself in a journey of close engagement with the lives of Muslim women from diverse backgrounds talking and answering questions honestly about their experiences of being Muslim in today’s world. Past participant: “The Muslim women we met felt like ‘sisters’ – they greeted us with such a welcome and explained so much – with powerful inner convictions and spiritual strength.”

Being a Quaker Parent

An opportunity for parents, carers and children to explore together some of the blessings and challenges of being part of a Quaker meeting. We will share our experiences and reflect together on what being a Quaker and parent means to us and consider how we and our meetings can nourish and support each other. There will be a full children’s programme with fun and creative activities to help them explore what being a Quaker and a child means to them.

The Inner Light : an exploration of eastern spiritual texts

A wide ranging survey of the ways in which Far and Middle Eastern scriptures and poetry have explored and expressed the nature and consequences of spiritual aspiration. We shall consider the thought and style of texts from pre-history to the Middle Ages, including Lao Tzu, Indian scriptures, Rumi and Hafiz, focussing on their evocation of the difficulties and rewards of spiritual work, and how their insights may assist our own understanding and development. All texts will be studied in translation.

Peace Education in Schools: learning from existing Quaker programmes.

Peace education is needed more than ever in our schools. This course aims to encourage and enable groups to offer peace education modules to schools, (with a main focus on primary), looking at what’s happening already and how we can extend that. We will learn from the experience of existing programmes the skills and resources that we need and how we can build our confidence to deliver them. The course will include ‘classroom’ sessions and lots of circle time exchange.

Experimental Worship

How many ways are there of doing Quaker worship? This course will ask how we can enrich and expand our worship in ways that are in keeping with the Quaker tradition. We will take risks with song, images and words, finding new ways to hear the voice of the Spirit in our midst. Participants will receive a copy of Terry’s book _Consider The Rock_ which will serve as a starting point for our reflections.

Fabric from the Field

A practical and creative course based on traditional crafts with informal workshops to design gorgeous, unique textiles from recycled materials and using natural fibres to make woven fabric on a peg loom and handspun threads with a drop spindle. All materials and equipment are provided.

Philosophy for Quakers

The P4C (Philosophy for Children or Communities) methodology enables in-depth enquiry into matters of belief and ethics. This approach creates a positive environment for deep discussion and safe disagreement. Learning to use this form of philosophical enquiry will provide Quakers with skills to facilitate dialogue about important issues in their own meeting community. During the weekend we will use Quaker faith & practice as a stimulus for our own community of enquiry. For more information about P4C go to

Walking in the Presence : everyday pilgrimages

A regular discipline of spiritual practice can help ground our lives; it can enable us to sink into Meeting for Worship and to listen to our inner teacher. We will be embodying this spiritual practice and walking. It won’t be a stroll in the countryside, but a walk where we are in Birmingham. There will be time to share thoughts on spiritual practice, reflection and individual responses. Please join us for this pilgrimage and come prepared for walking in any weather.

Registering Officers’ Training

A training event for new Quaker Registering Officers. Run in partnership with the Recording Clerk's Office of BYM. Details will be sent to Registering Officers directly.

The Faith of’ or ‘Faith in’ Jesus : what are the issues?

For generations, people have been urged to ‘have faith in Jesus’, a phrase drawn from Paul the apostle. But his words can be translated in another way. It brings a substantial change in meaning if Paul is actually encouraging people to have ‘the faith of Jesus’. This development of the past thirty years continues to attract scholarly interest. We shall primarily explore the scholarship but also address the consequences of looking at faith from this intriguingly different point of view.

Praying with our Lives: journalling as spiritual practice

We are already in relationship with God, for “God comes to us disguised as our lives.”(Richard Rohr). This course seeks to use journaling to explore all aspects of this relationship; drawing on the whole breadth of our lives, and recognising that on the pilgrim path “nothing is wasted”. All are welcome on the course: journaling requires no expertise, but a desire to be led towards a deeper stillness and simplicity, even as we are engaged in the busyness of the everyday.

Towards Forgiveness

Our lives as individuals and communities are often damaged by unresolved conflicts, injury and hurts. How can we deal with painful events and move towards understanding, forgiveness and reconciliation?  How do we help ourselves and others heal and move on? Drawing on their experience, the tutors will deepen your understanding of processes of forgiveness, reconciliation and healing, and help you to become a source of strength within your community.  The course will not address individual therapeutic needs.

Deepening Discernment

Discernment is the heart of being spirit-led. How do we understand this today? Participants' own discernment experiences, both personal and group, will contribute material that, with tutor input, we use to test Quaker discernment and a secular model - Theory U. How do we recognise discernment? What is the source or authority at the heart of our discernment? How do we ‘communicate’ with and discern it’s ‘voice’? How do we test and act on it?

Managing Area Meeting Properties

Are you an AM trustee or on an AM property committee?  Would you like to think about your AM properties as a whole?  Perhaps by considering them as resources that can enhance the spiritual life of your meetings and be cost-effective? We hope during this course to look with fresh eyes at how we can make our properties work for us and to face the sometimes difficult decisions that may need to happen along the way.

Being a Quaker Clerk : an online course

This online course, for new or prospective clerks with little or no experience of Quaker clerking, is based on the on-site course with the same name. The five modules cover the clerk’s role before, during and after a Meeting for Worship for Business. We also consider why we use our particular business style in our meetings. We will focus on clerking local meetings, but clerks of other meetings, including area meetings, will also find they can learn much about their role.


Please note some users are experiencing a problem with the booking of courses online. Please download a booking form and return to

Speaking Out About Peace

Quakers have a long history of being concerned about Peace, every generation faces new challenges but the consistency of our concern remains. How do we share this concern with others? How do we speak out for Peace to those who agree with us and to those who are challenged by our position? This online course will consider ways in which we can speak out and speak up. This course will encourage you to seek out opportunities to practice speaking out.


Please note some users are experiencing a problem with the booking of courses online. Please download a booking form and return to

Friends From the Start : exploring the early Quaker story at Swarthmoor Hall

Do you want to know more about early Friends? If your knowledge of Quaker history is a little hazy or you are relatively new to the Society of Friends, this is the course for you. We will trace the early Quaker story in its historical context, explore the development of the Quaker vision and look at the movement’s leading figures. This will all be done in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere using a mixture of lectures, discussions and group reading. *Please note This course takes place at Swarthmoor Hall. *

The Early Christian Breakthrough: what it was and how it got stuck

The first Christians spoke confidently about an experience that was going to change the world. They felt empowered by the Spirit of God which led them to different forms of witness in the world. The New Testament gives us a sense of this breakthrough power but also does not hide the conflict that emerged among those new communities. We will look at a range of New Testament writings to clarify why this liberating experience was so difficult to live out in practice.

Exploring Oversight

This course will help those with responsibility for Oversight in Quaker meetings gain a better understanding of the role and the confidence to do it. What does the role involve? What is expected? What is the spiritual basis of oversight? How can overseers respond to and meet the pastoral needs of the meeting? We will look at the range of tasks, share good practice and explore ways of handling difficult issues as well as looking at practical ideas and useful resources. This course focuses on eldership in Britain Yearly Meeting but may also be of interest to Friends from other Yearly Meetings.

Exploring Eldership

This course will help those with responsibility for Eldership in Quaker meetings gain a better understanding of the role and the confidence to do it. What does the role involve? What is the spiritual basis of eldership? How can elders respond to and nurture the spiritual life of the meeting? Participants will have the opportunity to explore the role and share experiences with others as well as looking at practical ideas and resources that will be of help.
This course focuses on eldership in Britain Yearly Meeting but may also be of interest to Friends from other Yearly Meetings.

A Friendly Introduction to Membership

What is Quaker membership? How do I apply and what will happen? The weekend gives an opportunity to explore the meaning of membership and belonging, and to share with others at a similar stage in their journey with Quakers. We will look at the history of Quaker membership, the practical aspects of applying for membership, and at the rewards and responsibilities belonging to a faith community brings.

Costing not less than Everything: The Swarthmore Lecture Revisited

Six year ago Pam Lunn delivered us _Costing not Less than Everything_; a lecture that inspired and affirmed many feelings about how we live in the world and the footprint we leave behind. Six years on, what is story today? During our time together we will create a safe space to consider some of the difficult and challenging areas; international travel, the food we eat, the global population. Join us as we listen and learn from one another.

Walking with a Smile into the Dark

"But there is a deeper, an internal simplification of the whole of one's personality, stilled, tranquil, in childlike trust listening ever to Eternity's whisper, walking with a smile into the dark." Thomas Kelly
Accepting that there is much that we do not know and cannot control frees us to walk the path of faith. We will use this weekend to explore alone and together how we can let go of what blocks us and be more open to the guidance of the Spirit.

Be the Change

In a spirited and life-affirming response to the consumerist excess going on around us, we will ask what it means to live a life of sufficiency? What might it mean for the day-to-day decisions that make up our way of life and create our footprint on Earth? How do we to involve our families, friends and meetings? Where do we start? Working together we embark upon a purposeful inquiry through video clips, story, conversation, reflection, movement and stillness.

Woodbrooke and the Community of Interbeing: a joint event

For many years, Woodbrooke has hosted retreats and weekends which have focused on the Zen teaching of Thich Nhat Hanh. On this weekend we will follow a programme where Zen and Quaker practice are deliberately brought together in a balanced way so that we can see what we can learn from each other. There will be time for silent meditation and worship together but also an opportunity to learn more about how we make decisions and act in the world.

Dances of Universal Peace: dancing into the New Year with faith & joy

“Fall into your heart”, holding hands, honouring various religions / spiritual traditions, moving and chanting in a circle. Simple words, simple movements, 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.