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Anabaptist Network of Organisations

Since the Anabaptist Network began in 1991, we have been aware of a number of organisations with similar values. Some are explicitly Anabaptist; others do not generally use this term to describe themselves but acknowledge the influence of the Anabaptist tradition. These organisations are involved in a wide range of activities – church planting, conflict transformation, training, media work, campaigning, etc. But links between them have grown through friendship and recognition of shared values and concerns.

For a number of years, some of these organisations related to each other via the ‘Root and Branch’ network. Representatives met periodically to share news and plan occasional joint initiatives. This network had ceased to function by 2009 and was succeeded in 2010 by an ‘Anabaptist network of organisations’. This section of the website introduces each of the participating organisations and provides links to their own websites.

The Anabaptist Network’s theology forum takes place twice a year – an opportunity to explore topics of mutual interest, to investigate aspects of Anabaptist history and theology and to read and discuss papers. We meet for 24 hours, usually at Offa House, near Leamington Spa.

Currently there are about 40 people to whom we send information about these events and invitations to participate and generally somewhere between 12 and 25 people attend each forum. No theological qualifications are required, but the conversations require at least some familiarity with theological language and concepts.

If you are interested in receiving information and an invitation to a future forum, please contact the forum convenor.

At the June 2005 forum we explored three unrelated subjects. Sue Sainsbury presented a session on Menno Simons and his understanding of suffering (based on her PhD thesis). Ruth Gouldbourne led an interactive session on the implications of being personally committed to or inspired by Anabaptist values but belonging to a church that had little interest in these. And Veronica Zundel stimulated our thinking as she suggested nine examples of unbiblical ways of thinking within Evangelicalism.

Graham Old from Northampton has written a brief report of this (his first) forum:

On Thursday June 9th, the Anabaptist theology forum met for 24 hours of dialogue, learning, worship and fellowship. For some present, myself included, the forum represented something of a breath of fresh air – an Anabaptist oasis! Here are some highlights:

Sue Sainsbury, soon-to-be lecturer in Christian Doctrine at Mattersey Hall, led us in a session on Menno Simons and his approach to suffering. This was a stimulating and fascinating time! Sue began by encouraging us to be aware of how historians have often been guilty of re-writing Anabaptist history – and Anabaptist themselves are far from innocent on this count (i.e. it’s not only those who still describe Anabaptism in the light of Munster!).

We then examined Menno’s own account of his ‘Enlightenment, Conversion and Calling,’ which struck me as peculiarly Pauline – whether Menno intentionally wrote it that way or not. At times, Menno almost appears to veer into self-righteousness as he explains how he has suffered for the gospel – sleeping in ditches and jumping at the sounds of dogs barking – whilst the ‘preachers lie on comfortable beds and cushions.’ Again, some might say this is reminiscent of Paul the apostle. Yet, the following quote, taken from The Cross of the Saints, gets to the heart of Menno’s teaching on Christian suffering:

When we consider, worthy brethren, our very weak and sinful nature, how that we are prone to evil from our youth, how that in our flesh no good thing dwelleth, and how we drink unrighteousness and sin like water… and when we consider how that we have a tendency at all times (although we do seek and fear God) to mind earthly and perishable things, then we see that the gracious God and Father, who through his eternal love always cares for His children, has left behind in His house an excellent remedy against all this, namely, the pressing cross of Christ.

Essentially, Menno is expounding the thought found in Scripture that it is precisely because we are beloved children of God that he disciplines us. Discussion then followed on whether such an emphasis might be unhelpful, particularly for a people committed to peace. Do we really want to produce passivity in victims of violence by encouraging them to embrace it joyfully? It’s an important question and one that I feel we need to discuss much further, but I note that it is as much a question for the biblical authors as it is for Menno Simons.

Sue then left us with two questions to consider further: What if ‘perfect peace and prosperity’ really is the ultimate killer in God’s economy? What if suffering (for Christ) really is the blessing of God to keep us from true death?

On Thursday evening, Ruth Gouldbourne (Tutor in Church History at Bristol Baptist College and a Baptist minister) and Chris Burch convened the first meeting of Anabaptists Anonymous! For many, an interest in all things Anabaptist is not the kind of thing that can be talked about too often or too openly – hence the forum being something of an oasis. Christ Burch, former Canon Precentor of Coventry Cathedral and now working in an Urban Priority Area, knows how that feels. Chris feels the tension of working within the establishment, whilst sharing the values of those at the margins. Ruth invited us to address Chris about these tensions and a lively discussion followed (surprisingly and probably thankfully, infant baptism only came up in passing!)

This was an important discussion as we looked at the dissolution of Christendom from a number of angles and questioned how we might best respond. Do we recognise the errors of the past, but still gladly embrace the remaining opportunities that it presents? Or do we employ a hermeneutic of justice and refuse to accept the position of privilege? My own response is very different to Chris’, but I guess it helps to have people on the inside!

Finally, Veronica Zundel (from Wood Green Mennonite Church) led us in an exploration of ‘Unbiblical Evangelicalism’ (or, as one participant described it, ‘9 Evangelical heresies’!). Essentially, we were looking at the question, How does (popular contemporary) Evangelicalism differ from Scripture – and how can we as Anabaptists learn from that? One point that repeatedly occurred was the individualistic and ‘other-worldly’ nature of much popular evangelicalism (though it was suggested by a number present that this is changing). In contrast, Scripture – and Anabaptism – emphasises the importance of building Kingdom communities.

For a number of people present Veronica managed to capture the journey that we had been taking in recent years. Speaking as someone who might be considered part of the emerging church, it was fascinating to hear Veronica sharing ideas that are sometimes presented as a recent re-discovery or even a post-modern innovation! One statement particularly struck me – and fed into later discussions on the relationship between Eastern Orthodoxy and Anabaptism: As salvation is a process (rather than a single crisis event) then we ‘cannot separate the means of sanctification from the means of salvation.’ Again, this is discussion that needs to continue!

Other events included the sharing of news, prayer, book reviews, planning of future forums, discussion of potential books in the After Christendom series and web-site recommendations. Yet, at the end of the day, nothing could beat the refreshing sense of fellowship that came from knowing that, regardless of how we might differ theologically on many other issues, this one thing we shared: a living passion for the tradition of Jesus-centred discipleship. That, for me, is what Anabaptism is all about.

At the December 2005 forum the three main sessions were led by Philip Meadows, Christopher Rowland and Stuart Murray Williams. The overall theme was ‘Christian Perfectionism’. Some of the papers from this forum are available in the Articles section of this website.

There was no forum in June 2006 to make room for participants to attend the Mennonite theological forum organised by Vic Thiessen in London.

The December 2006 forum explored environmental and medical ethical issues with contributions from Michael Northcott (paper, not in person), Jo Rathbone, Chris Walton and Alun Morinan.

The December 2007 forum discussed papers on ‘Knowing and Following’ by Brian Haymes, ‘What has God to do with Religious Freedom?’ by Ruth Gouldbourne and ‘Creating Community: Marianne Farningham and her girls’ class, 1857-1901’ by Linda Wilson.

At the October 2008 forum, Lloyd Pietersen presented material from his forthcoming book, Reading the Bible after Christendom.

At the May 2009 forum, there were presentations from Fran Porter on ‘Faith and Feminism’, Simon Barrow on ‘Putting the Difficult Peace of Christ into Practice’ and Simon Woodman on ‘Can the Book of Revelation be a Gospel for the Environment?’

At the May 2010 forum, we discussed papers on ’16th Century Anabaptism in Central and Eastern Europe – a forgotten story’, ‘The Nakedness of The Naked Anabaptist’, and ‘Anabaptists, Atonement and R S Thomas’.

At the December 2010 forum,Mike Pears gave a paper on ‘A Theology of Urban Landscapes’, Jonathan Bartley explored ‘Christian Persecution in Europe? Why history is not repeating itself’, and Simon Barrow led a session on ‘Worship and Mission after Christendom: a discussion on Alan and Eleanor Kreider’s new book’.

At the May 2011 forum, there were papers from Simon Perry on ‘Different Truths: Fiction and the Bible’, Paul Lusk on ‘State and Society in Christian thought: Anabaptist Perspectives’ and Andrew Francis on ‘Reflecting on Anabaptism as Radical Christianity’.

At the November 2011 forum, speakers included Professor Chris Rowland on ‘Blake and the Bible’ and Symon Hill on the debate about religion. There was also some discussion of the book in honour of Alan and Ellie Kreider.

At the May 2012 forum,the themes included the significance and function of memory and its loss, the way Bridge Builders tackles conflict transformation, and religions as ‘vestigial states’.

At the December 2012 forum,Ruth Gouldbourne spoke about Balthasar Hubmaier’s Communion Service, and there was further discussion of where we are and where we are going with the post-Christendom analysis.

The May 2013 forum sadly had to be cancelled because the venue used for many years (Offa House) closed.

Anabaptism in relation to the developing ministry, profile and theology of the Churches of Christ (Andy Vail), urban mission (Stuart Murray Williams), restorative justice (James Fehr), political witness, and learning from early Anabaptist women (Linda Wilson) were the topics that produced lively input and discussion at the forum meeting in Birmingham in December 2013.

The October 2014 forum was led by Tom & Rebecca Yoder Neufeld, visiting Canadian Mennonites.

The April 2015 forum focused loosely on ‘God and the nations’, with sessions on nationalism and two of the new ‘After Christendom’ books. There was no forum in October 2015.

Bridge Builders’ purpose is to encourage and promote mature and skilled leadership within the Church, and to effect a change in the culture of how disagreement, tension and conflict are handled in church life. Bridge Builders is working with a new strapline: Bridge Builders – Transforming church culture: the way leaders lead, the way conflict is handled. The goal is that the Church, by developing a new culture of peacemaking and conflict transformation, will better reflect the reconciling work of God in the world.

Bridge Builders’ principal activity is training church leaders to be more self-aware and effective leaders, and to find better ways to understand and handle conflict within the Church. In addition, Bridge Builders provides interpersonal mediation, group consultancy, and individual coaching and consultancy, to assist those facing escalated tension and conflict within the Church. Bridge Builders also trains others to provide such services, and coordinates a network of people who have completed its foundation training.

As well as running tailored courses on request, Bridge Builders offers a core training programme of longer courses comprising:

  • Transforming Church Conflict: a foundational training course for church leaders (with a special version of the course for senior leaders with oversight responsibilities).
  • Training of Trainers: a course that equips participants to be able to lead a one- or two-day workshop using Bridge Builders’ materials.
  • Mediating Interpersonal Conflicts: a course to train Christians in a structured mediation process to address interpersonal conflicts in the Church and beyond.
  • Consulting with Church Groups: a course that trains Christians to lead a consultancy process for groups facing escalated tensions.
  • Church Leadership and Family Systems: a course that helps leaders to reflect on their ministry in the light of their family background, from a family systems theory perspective.

Founded in 1996 as a service of the London Mennonite Centre, and growing out of Mennonite work in conflict transformation, Bridge Builders has established a strong reputation for its work among the leaders of many different church traditions in Britain. In September 2011 Bridge Builders was established as a charitable organisation independent of the London Mennonite Centre.

Bristol Baptist College, the Anabaptist Network and the Mennonite Trust announce the launch in October 2014 of a Centre for Anabaptist Studies, based at the college in Bristol.

In recent years the Anabaptist vision has inspired Christians from many traditions as we face the challenges of post-Christendom and offered fresh insights on peace and justice, faith and politics, hospitality and community, church and mission, discipleship and biblical interpretation.

But there are currently few opportunities or resources for studying Anabaptist history and theology in the UK. We hope that the Centre for Anabaptist Studies will fill this gap.

In 2014 Bristol Baptist College inherited the library of the Mennonite Trust, the foremost collection of Anabaptist resources in the country. The college has access to scholars with the expertise to supervise research, produce further resources and develop programmes at various levels. The Anabaptist Network and the Mennonite Trust are the main connecting points for people in the UK interested in the Anabaptist vision and also have relationships with Anabaptist scholars in other parts of the world.

We anticipate that the work of the Centre will include:

Public lectures and other events in Bristol
Webinars accessible from anywhere in the world
MA modules on Anabaptism
Supervision of postgraduate research
Book launches
Maintaining and updating the Mennonite Trust library
Visits from overseas Anabaptist scholars
Projects in partnership with others

The founding director of the Centre is Dr Stuart Murray Williams, previously chair of the Anabaptist Network, currently chair of the Mennonite Trust and the author of The Naked Anabaptist, whose doctorate was in Anabaptist hermeneutics.

Honorary fellows of the college who will contribute to the work of the Centre include Dr Lloyd Pietersen and Dr Linda Wilson.

Inaugural Lecture

The inaugural lecture of the Centre for Anabaptist Studies will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 8 October 2014 at Bristol Baptist College (The Promenade, Clifton Down, Bristol BS8 3NJ).

The lecture will be given by visiting Canadian Mennonite scholar, Professor Tom Yoder Neufeld. His subject will be: ‘Anabaptists, the Bible and Violence’ Professor Yoder Neufeld retired at the end of 2012 from teaching at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo since 1983. Among his writings are a commentary on Ephesians, Recovering Jesus: the Witness of the New Testament (a text book on Jesus, and more recently Jesus and the Subversion of Violence: Wrestling with the New Testament, exploring the way violence intersects with the New Testament, which was shortlisted for the Michael Ramsey Prize in 2013. There will be no charge for this lecture.

MA Modules

The Centre for Anabaptist Studies will offer three MA modules in the areas of Anabaptist origins and distinctives, Anabaptist ecclesiology and missiology, and Anabaptist ethics and hermeneutics (comprising 60 of the 120 taught credits needed for an MA). These modules will be taught in block weeks to enable students living some distance from the college to attend. The MA can be taken over 1, 2 or 3 years.

Alongside these will be a module on research methodology and a choice of two further modules. Students will also be expected to write a dissertation on an Anabaptist topic.

A Postgraduate Diploma will also be available, consisting of the taught elements of the MA without the dissertation.

Research Supervision

Bristol Baptist College offers postgraduate research supervision (MPhil, MLitt and PhD). The director and associates of the Centre will offer supervision of research topics related to the Anabaptist tradition.

Webinars

The Centre will offer six or more webinars (web-based seminars) during each academic year. These webinars are free and can be accessed via a home computer. They will last between 60 and 90 minutes, and there will be a mix of presentation and interaction. The webinars will all be recorded and so can be watched subsequently.

During 2014-15 six webinars have been arranged, each of which will feature an author of books (already published or forthcoming) in the ‘After Christendom’ series. These will take place at 7.30pm on the following dates:

21 October: Stuart Murray Williams, author of Post-Christendom
20 November: Lloyd Pietersen, author of Reading the Bible after Christendom
29 January: Andrew Francis, author of Hospitality and Community after Christendom
26 February: Nigel Pimlott, co-author of Youth Work after Christendom
6 May: Simon Perry, author of Atheism after Christendom
2 June: Brian Haymes & Kyle Gingerich-Hiebert, co-authors of God after Christendom?

Mennonite Trust Library

The collection of books, journals and other material previously housed at the London Mennonite Centre has been donated to Bristol Baptist College and from October 2014 will be housed in the college library.

This is the most extensive collection in the UK of resources relating to the Anabaptist and Mennonite traditions. The Mennonite Trust is committed to updating this collection year by year and is delighted that these resources will be readily accessible within the college library.

Anyone interested in consulting this collection should contact the librarian, Mike Brealey at Bristol Baptist College, The Promenade, Clifton Down, Bristol BS8 3NJ or email library@bristol-baptist.ac.uk.

Information

For further information about any aspect of the Centre for Anabaptist Studies, to receive invitations to lectures, webinars and other events, or to enquire about studying at the college, please contact:

Stuart Murray Williams: Centre for Anabaptist Studies, Bristol Baptist College, The Promenade, Clifton Down, Bristol BS8 3NJ or email stuart@murraywilliams.co.uk.

The Centre for Anabaptist Studies also has a Facebook group, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/anabaptiststudies/, and a blog, which can be found at http://anabaptiststudies.wordpress.com/.

Christians across western culture are facing profound challenges and fresh opportunities. The long era of ‘Christendom’ is coming to an end. We now live in a plural society, with multiple religious options alongside the prevailing secular assumptions, in which Christianity has lost its position of dominance and privilege and churches are on the margins of society. Although we seem to be declining in numbers and influence, this context offers many new possibilities – if we have the courage and imagination to grasp them.

Crucible is for Christians with courage and imagination, who suspect:
*We need to operate as cross-cultural missionaries because we live in a cross-cultural mission context.
*We need to think creatively about incarnating the gospel and planting new kinds of churches in emerging and diverse cultures.
*We need to recover the biblical vision of shalom and reflect on how we live as followers of Jesus in light of this all-embracing vision.
*We need to pay particular attention to the margins, because we serve the God who frequently does new things there: on the margins of society among the poor and disenfranchised; at the margins of culture, where creative thinking explores new possibilities; on the margins of the familiar, the spaces all around us, neglected or ignored, but full of potential.

Crucible runs three intensive training weekends each year to equip Christians to follow Jesus on the margins. Two streams are available on each weekend. Each stream flows separately, but the subjects can be done in any combination:

Stream 1 After Christendom investigates the opportunities, as well as the challenges, that the end of imperial Christianity presents. Urban Challenge examines the dynamics of mission and ministry in multicultural urban communities, where Christendom has faded first. Creating New Churches offers resources for pioneering new churches – and new kinds of churches – in emerging cultures, and renewing existing churches.

Stream 2 Restoring Hope asks how, in light of God’s mission to bring shalom (peace) to all creation, we can live towards that hope and create communities of peace. Becoming Human explores the dynamics of discipleship in a multi-everything culture and asks how we can become more fully human as followers of the Son of Man. Jesus Unplugged imagines how we can re-tell the story of Jesus today in ways that connect with contemporary cultures.

Urban Expression, another member of the Anabaptist network of organisations, is the lead partner in the Crucible course. Workshop is another of the partners.

Website: www.cruciblecourse.org.uk

Ekklesia is an independent think-tank seeking to examine the role of religion in a creatively critical way, and also to advance ideas in a range of policy areas from a forward-looking religious perspective. Ekklesia’s approach to issues of religion in the public sphere is primarily shaped by a strong theological and political critique of ‘Christendom’ – the historic collusion of institutional churches with governing authority and vice versa.

Through research, publishing and commentary, Ekklesia seeks to reinvigorate a different understanding of the church as an alternative-generating ‘contrast society’ within the wider civic order: one that is politically aware, intellectually curious, spiritually refreshing, theologically rooted, voluntarily associational and radical in its social commitment.

While remaining committed to a positive exchange between mainstream traditions (Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, Pentecostal and indigenous), Ekklesia naturally draws much of its specific inspiration from the dissenting strands within Christianity, not least the ‘historic peace churches’ (Quakers, Mennonites and other Anabaptists), some liberation theologies and non-conformism.

Ekklesia is ‘radical’ in its conviction that the Gospel subverts power and privilege, both personally and corporately. And it is ‘progressive’ in the sense that it sees change coming through risk-taking hopefulness, not through a destructive lust for security and certainty. In proposing a renewal of religious-political discourse, Ekklesia is especially concerned to develop the public significance of concrete practices like reconciliation, non-violence and peace-building, economic sharing, hospitality (welcome and inclusion), restorative justice, social equality, forgiveness, neighbourly freedom, the community of women and men, nurturing life as ‘gift’, environmental sustainability, and global solidarity with all those pushed to the margins.

Website: www.ekklesia.co.uk

SPEAK is a network connecting the emerging generation to campaign and pray on issues of global justice. Through bringing change to situations of injustice we aim to share our faith in our creator: God.

SPEAK combines campaigning and prayer because we believe that they make a powerful combination to bring social transformation. We believe in networking because only together, when acting and praying in unity, can we really make a difference.

SPEAK began in the UK and now connects people internationally. The thousands of people involved have already played a role in influencing key decisions and policies for justice.

SPEAK connects both individuals and groups. Local groups are central to the network, and there are now over 30 groups in the UK plus others in the USA, France, Spain, and a number of countries in Africa and whole other networks affiliated to SPEAK in Brazil, Holland, Sweden and Germany!

In the local group context we are aiming to unite our faith with our action. We campaign for change in unjust structures like unfair trade rules and the arms trade, and seek to connect others to our source of hope. We want to be a movement that follows Jesus in a radical way in personal discipleship as well as striving for social transformation. We want to bring together the personal and the social in a holistic way.

Through motivating and connecting our generation, we want to see a whole movement catalysed that will transform the Church and wider society. As young adults move into business, politics, charities and the church we want to see them equipped to bring change.

Involvement in the SPEAK network can range from using the “Pray & Post” cards to becoming a SPEAK Link or running a SPEAK Group in your university, college or local area.

‘At the end of the 21st Century most of us will have to repent, not of the great evils we have done, but simply of the great apathy that has prevented us from doing anything.’ (Martin Luther King Jnr.)

Website: www.speak.org.uk

The Mennonite Trust is based in Birmingham but for many years was based at the London Mennonite Centre in Highgate, north London.

The Centre started as a student hostel in 1953, undergoing several changes, but was a seedbed encouraging the development of the Anabaptist Network, the Bridge Builders conflict mediation service and Wood Green Mennonite Church, amongst others. Attached in an article about its history.

In the past few years the Trust has changed direction and has established new priorities. The Centre in London was sold and the Trust now uses its resources to support the wider Anabaptist movement in the UK. The Trust employs a development worker and an administrator (both part-time).

Website: www.menno.org.uk

Under-churched, culturally diverse and economically deprived areas of the inner city continue to challenge Christians to engage in incarnational and contextual mission. Urban Expression is one response to this challenge. Since 1997 we have deployed small church planting teams in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Stoke and Bristol, from which new churches are gradually developing. In 2007 Urban Expression Netherlands began and in 2009 Urban Expression North America was launched. We also have several mission partners involved in other contexts, and many associates involved in urban ministry and church planting across and beyond the UK.

Our mission statement reads: ‘Urban Expression is an urban mission agency that recruits, equips, deploys and networks self-financing teams pioneering creative and relevant expressions of the Christian church in under-churched areas of the inner city.’ We are a values-based agency and our teams comprise members from diverse Christian traditions. Although not explicitly Anabaptist (except for our North American sister agency), we are widely recognised as Anabaptist in ethos and approach. Our core values are relationship, humility and creativity.

Urban Expression is one of the sponsors of the Crucible course. Crucible is a training programme for Christians with courage and imagination, who suspect that:

  • We live in a mission context and need to think like missionaries.
  • We need to think creatively about church in diverse and changing cultures.
  • We serve the God who constantly does new things on the margins: on the margins of society among the poor and disenfranchised, at the margins of culture, where creative thinking explores new possibilities, and within the margins of the familiar, those spaces all around us neglected or ignored but full of potential.

Crucible, which ran for the first time in 2005-06, consists of three intensive training weekends each year to equip Christians to follow Jesus on the margins. Two streams of subjects are available on each weekend:

Stream 1 After Christendom investigates the opportunities, as well as the challenges, that the end of imperial Christianity presents. The Urban Challenge examines the dynamics of mission and ministry in multicultural urban communities, where Christendom has faded first. Creating New Churches offers resources for pioneering new churches – and new kinds of churches – in emerging cultures, and renewing existing churches.

Stream 2 Restoring Hope asks how, in light of God’s mission to bring shalom (peace) to all creation, we can live towards that hope and create communities of peace. Becoming Human explores the dynamics of discipleship in a multi-everything culture and asks how we can become more fully human as followers of the Son of Man. Jesus Unplugged imagines how we can re-tell the story of Jesus today in ways that connect with contemporary cultures.

Websites: www.urbanexpression.org.uk; www.cruciblecourse.org.uk

Workshop is an exciting Christian learning experience designed to encourage and inspire you on your spiritual journey in today’s fast-paced, constantly changing, ever demanding world. It runs one weekend every-other month on a two-year cycle. Each of the twelve core weekends explores an important theme in detail. Each weekend is complete in itself, yet also links seamlessly with all the other weekends in the cycle. You can join the programme at any time and may continue as long as you wish. Come and simply do a single weekend of your choice, choose to do a cluster of weekends, or enjoy the full Workshop experience at a steady pace over two years.

Workshop weekends run at regional centres in London, Birmingham and Leeds. Each day runs from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. There are teaching times with group work and discussion, and forum times for questions and debate. The course is largely interactive. The learning space includes an area for those that prefer or need to relax whilst participating. Handouts are provided, with further substantial notes to support and develop the ideas presented in the learning sessions e-mailed to you following each weekend.

Workshop started in 1983. Each weekend is Jesus-centred in its approach to the subject being studied and in its understanding of values. It aims to stretch the mind and excite the heart and inspire a radical response. It is a safe environment where you are encouraged to think, reflect and question. A place where every person, question, insight and idea is valued. Participants will discover a greater insight into a faith that is biblical and historical as well as living and relevant, along with a creative spirituality that blends devotion, experience, reflection, action and insight. They will also learn the skills to think for themselves along with the ability to make biblical and Christian ideas relevant to life today. The course offers real debate about hard questions that are both challenging and true to biblical values, giving the confidence to discuss faith issues in a way that is relevant and effective. Participants will make friends and learn with others from a broad range of backgrounds and experience and together develop a passion for truth, hope and action that is shaped by peace, justice and love.

Workshop offers inclusive Christian learning in today’s diverse world. Everybody from16-years upwards is welcome, from every denomination, or none. It is open to mature church leaders and to those struggling with questions of faith and doubt. Workshop celebrates difference and diversity! It is ‘open access’ so learners do not have to have previous educational qualifications. All that is asked is that learners have a serious interest in the Christian faith and an eagerness and enthusiasm to learn.

Website: www.workshop.org.uk