Courses and Training

See links below for training courses and online training programmes held in and around the Synod.  

York Courses

Welcome to York Courses

york-courses-logo-150 copyEasy-to-use ecumenical courses, bringing famous voices and challenging opinions into your discussion group.

New for Lent 2020! Ideal for Lent – 5-session ecumenical course for discussion groups Superstar Course booklet written by David Wilbourne Comprises course booklet, audio and transcript READ MORE…. Looking for Digital Downloads? CLICK HERE to see what’s available.

York Courses is based in historic York and we produce courses specially designed for groups of Christians from different traditions to use together. Our discussion courses are used in more than 20 countries, all over the world, helping people to share their experiences and understanding of the Christian faith. Although the most popular times to use our courses are Lent and Advent, they’re not ‘season-specific’ and so can be used at any time of year. If you want to:

Learn more about the Christian faith  - Tackle the biggest questions facing humanity  - Examine your own beliefs, in fellowship with others

Then York Courses are for you. We recommend

A course booklet for each group member and a copy of the course audio (CD/digital download) – plus transcript

We’re a small family business, proud of our courses and keen to give you excellent service. Due to the nature of our work, our office hours are irregular – at our very busiest time of year between Autumn and Lent, we’re rarely out of the office and the telephone is red hot! Between Easter and Autumn we try to recharge our batteries – and even take the occasional day off! If you do come through to our voicemail, please leave us a message and we’ll come back to you just as soon as we can. Please email us on York Courses Help    Website: York Courses for booking details

Stepwise: for all of life

Stepwise: for all of life - Introduction

stepwise-2018Stepwise, is the United Reformed Church’s inter generational discipleship programme. From here you can read our leaflet to get an overview of what’s involved, and watch an introductory video.

Eastern Synod were due to launch the Stepwise programme at March Synod Meeting. Unfortunately the meeting was cancelled due to the Coronavirus shutdown, and this will be postponed, therefore until the October Synod Meeting. Some established Stepwise groups are continuing using online technology, but this would be a difficult programme to initiate under these circumstances.

Pilot sessions of Stepwise became available in September 2018, providing participants with a combination of learning opportunities through: a local group, one-to-one sessions with a mentor, project-based activities, and online materials.The programme is offered on a modular basis across five streams. The first, Faith-filled Life, is recommended as the starting point for everyone who signs up, whatever their background, and will take about three months to complete, each stream contains stepping stones or modules. The streams are being designed ecumenically where possible, to include new and existing resources. The five streams are: Find out more about the five streams here

Faith-filled life      Faith-fuelled leadership    Faith-filled confidence      Faith-filled community      Faith-filled worship

Stepwise is a programme of learning and discipleship development for everyone – including you! – whether you are exploring and enriching your personal faith life, discerning where God’s call on your life may be leading, preparing for a new direction, or developing a specific role within your community or church.

Each stream will include optional assignments for participants who are taking the programme for recognition purposes by their congregation, Synod or the URC General Assembly. An internal validation system is currently being developed, with the intention that credit can be accumulated across the streams. It is for people of all ages and backgrounds. Stepwise is an integral part of Walking the Way , the United Reformed Church’s focus on whole-life discipleship and mission. 

How Does Stepwise Work?

Stepwise works by combining different kinds of activities. In order to complete any Stepwise stream you will do all of the following:

  • Be a member of a local Stepwise group; 
  • follow guided material online via the Stepwise Hub; as well as
  • have meetings with a Stepwise mentor.

Faith-filled Life, the opening Stepwise stream, will take you about three months to complete. The other streams contain more material and may take up to 12 months each.   View:  How Does Stepwise Work  for more information.

Fresh Expressions Mission Shaped Ministry Course

mission-shaped-ministry1Mission shaped ministry A year to be equipped in planting and sustaining fresh expressions of church

Mission shaped ministry is a one-year, part-time course which takes people on a learning journey as part of a supportive community, training them for ministry in fresh expressions of church. Run ecumenically, msm has been presented over 115 times across the UK with more than 3,600 participants – and it is also offered internationally. 

FX Resourcing is the new website which houses all of Fresh Expressions resources, training and apps.
Now under one roof you can find:

msm rucksack 2015jpg

  • The Godsend App with details how it works and how to download it.
  • The Mission Shaped Ministry Course.  Sign up, get resources and access your own online account.
  • The Mission Shaped Intro Course – available to download for free.
  • Books with titles like Mission Shaped Church, Fresh and Church for Every Context.
  • Other useful resources.

At  FX Resourcing you can create an account, buy or download what you need and sign up for courses.

For more information please download the course flier or prospectus.

You can find your local course by looking at the map of course locations. If you are interested in running msm in your region, please contact us.   It is also possible to undertake an msm online version of the course.          Website: Mission Shaped Ministry  

Westminster College


Welcome to Westminster, where imagination inspires faith and living

Imagine a worshipping community open to all… Imagine a place of learning where ancient Christian traditions and wisdom meet contemporary questions to inspire faithfulness today and tomorrow. Imagine a home for the training of our ministers that is as much a home for anyone in the United Reformed Church wanting refreshment, retreat and space to reflect and grow. Imagine a beautiful and historic building in the heart of Cambridge refreshed and renewed with facilities for relaxation and learning fit for new decades of service. Imagine a campus of hospitality that is home to several exciting partners within the Cambridge Theological Federation sharing the opportunities for encounters this home gives us. Imagine visitors from across the world sharing a welcome together.


Website:    Westminster College Resource Centre for Learning 

Website:    Westminster College News and Training Events  

Website:    Westminster College Windows of opportunity 

    Westminster College Facebook

Arthur Rank Centre

Rural Ministry Course details     

arthur-rank-new-logo-2020Since 1972 the Arthur Rank Centre, an ecumenical Christian charity, has served both the spiritual and practical needs of the rural community through a programme of community and social projects, resourcing and training.

We provide hundreds of resources for rural churches including a comprehensive range of worship resources and rural stories, ideas and inspiration though our magazine, Country Way. Our highly popular Rural Ministry Course has been running for over 30 years.

Newer projects include Germinate Leadership, a training programme developing the creative and entrepreneurial skills of rural church leaders, and our biennial Germinate Conference, a major national day conference for all those involved in rural mission and ministry.

We have also developed Rural Mission Sunday, an annual celebration of the life and work of rural churches, an opportunity to remember all the things they do well, and challenge themselves to do one new thing.

We are the home of the National Rural Officers for the Church of England, Methodist and United Reformed Church; and also the hub for the church network of Rural Officers and Agricultural Chaplains. Our focus is to support and strengthen the UK's 15,000 rural churches, so they can respond positively to change and impact the communities they serve.

Website: Arthur Rank Center Creative Leadership in the Rural Church     Website: Arthur Rank Center - Germinate Leadership

Course in Spiritual Direction

The Church of England in Essex and East London - Courses in Spiritual Direction

spiritual-direction-course-In order to resource this ministry. The Chelmsford, Diocesan House of Retreat, Pleshey, Essex, and the ecumenical coordinating group for spiritual direction offer two courses. The Essex and East London Course in Spiritual Direction is an ecumenical course for mature Christians. It is a five term course with twenty participants and a core group of six. These twenty six people are from different strands of Christianity, both lay and ordained. The present core group come from the Baptist and Anglican churches. The course has been running, with different core groups, for over thirty years with the aim of developing Christian souls to the point where they can act as Spiritual Directors and help others discern where the Holy Spirit is leading them. The course aims to cover all areas of spirituality and is experiential, requiring a high degree of openness and willingness to share.

The Next Course in Spiritual Direction  - An experiential learning opportunity for those who listen and pray with others from September 2019 - April 2021 at The Chelmsford Diocesan House of Retreat, Pleshey, Essex.

Spiritual Direction is a one-to-one ministry of prayer and listening. The Course in Spiritual Direction is an ecumenical one, sponsored by the Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops of the diocese, which has been adjusted and developed over the years. It is open to lay and ordained Christians of all traditions. It takes place at the Retreat House in Pleshey, a quiet place, offering space for prayerful reflection and spiritual renewal.

The present course fees are £1200 but are under revue. Ministerial grants may apply. Fees include all accommodation, food and refreshments. If you have any questions these can be discussed confidentially with the Course Administrator - Valerie Thompson

Consultants to the Core Group:  Visitor The Revd. Canon Philip Banks Precentor at Bury St Edmunds Cathedral and
The Revd. Ann Coleman Spiritual Direction Coordinator Chelmsford Diocese and Trustee of the London Center for Spiritual Direction.

Website: The Church of England in Essex and East London - Spiritual Direction -   View the latest Course Modules   

NFP Workshops Bid Writing

NFP Workshops Bid Writing : The Basics


Affordable training courses for charities, schools, associations and social enterprises

TOPICS COVERED  - Who are the winners and losers in grant funding. How to identify the weaknesses in your project. What questions will funders will ask themselves about your bid. Common reasons for applications being rejected. The key terms in bid writing explained with examples of each. Make your application short but effective.

Start telling funders the things they really want to hear. How to build greater credibility in the eyes of funders. Demonstrating that the beneficiaries of your project are involved. The importance of getting your numbers and totals right. What to do with all your supporting documents. Make your proofreading fool proof. Each attendee will receive a full set of notes and copies of eight real successful funding bids by e-mail after the workshop.

ATTENDEES - Staff members, volunteers, board members or trustees of charities, schools, associations or not for profit organisations who are about to submit grant funding applications to grant making trusts and foundations.

BOOKING DETAILS - £95 including booking fees. Refreshments provided. Attendees receive full notes and sample bids by e-mail after the workshop. The workshop consists of talk, questions and answers. There are no power points or audio visuals used. All places must be booked through the online booking system using a debit or credit card. We do not issue invoices or accept bank or cheque payments. If you do not have a debit card from your organisation please use a personal one and claim reimbursement using the booking confirmation e-mail as proof of purchase.

BOOKING TERMS - Workshop bookings are non cancellable, non refundable and non transferable between dates. If you are unable to attend on the date booked you may send someone else in your place.    If you have a question about the workshops please e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   and you will usually receive a response within 24 hours.                            Website: NFP Workshops 

Springs Dance Company for Churches

SPRINGS Dance Company   -  Dance for Churches

SPRINGS DANCE COMPANY offers churches, cathedrals and Christian organisations an excitingSprings-dance-14 programme of performances and workshops to suit every occasion.  Springs Dance Company offers:

  • full performances to entertain and inspire
  • short performances to fit into special events or services
  • workshops for adults and children

Springs Dance Company aims to make dance accessible for everyone and encourages the use of dance as a form of praise, worship and teaching. Dance can be used along-side speakers ‘saying’ what words sometimes cannot and giving opportunities for reflection. Dance is also an innovative and effective outreach within the community. To find out more about how to use Springs Dance Company effectively in your Church contact the SDC office. Dancers of all levels can apply for courses, each with a different focus.

To book or for more information on courses, call us or visit Springs Dance Website.    Website: Springs Dance Company for details  

Mission Tools

walking -the-way-module

Vision Initiatives

Find out more about:  Walking the Way Vision4Life Vision2020 and Fresh Expressions

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Safeguarding Children and Adults at Risk. We work to the United Reformed Good Practice Policy and Procedures 

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The Purpose and Mission of the Synod; the Synod Meeting; our Area Partnerships; each of our Committees and the calendar of meeting dates.

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Who's Who?

whos who

Find out who's who on the Synod Office Team.  If you are unsure who to get in touch with, use the Contact Us 

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