James Ballantyne, RRC member
October 2019

Massive commendation to the folks at the @ReligiousRC! A fabulous team, who have two peaceful centres and places to learn, to read and study, do make use of this wonderful gift to the north east!

Phyl Carruthers, RRC member and Lindisfarne College of Theology student
September 2019

Resources which I have found particularly helpful have been the Godly Play bags, which have been used by the children in our church – a really engaging way to pass on the great bible stories! The Pilgrim booklets have also been very much enjoyed by those who have used them, and as a student at LCT having access to the centre either to borrow books and bring them home, or look things up in the library while writing assignments or preparing presentations has been invaluable.

Sue Reilly, RRC member
September 2019

For schools, the RRC is a great resource for books and topic boxes to support RE. It is also a great source for ideas for all-age services, Messy Church and assemblies in schools as well as a great place to research particular topics for teaching (small group, lent course etc), sermons and personal interest.

Jane Scott, RRC member
September 2019

I use the RRC to inspire Messy Church. Using the resources gives people, unused to story telling, lots of confidence.

Ann, RRC member
March 2019

Thank you for restoring my confidence in planning and delivering collective worship on Tuesday! It was very much appreciated!
Thank you to all your team who do such a great job!

North Tyneside SCITT students
January 2019

The RE session provided was brilliant. We were able to gain knowledge of the subject itself and plan lessons in groups which we delivered to the rest of the cohort. I found this extremely useful and took lots of ideas away from it along with a lot more confidence in teaching RE.

Great insights into ways of teaching things I considered restricted, the afternoon was very useful.

Libby Taylor, RRC member
October 2018

Just a note to say how inspiring and useful our visit was with the Early Years staff this afternoon. Thanks so much for organising the display of resources, the room and the refreshements. Everyone took at least one thing away and some were close to being ‘maxed out’ on their cards. Lastly, Sean was fantastic at managing all the staff and their requests. He bent over backwards to ensure people got what they needed.
Thanks again; a very successful ‘training’ afternoon.

Mary Judson, RRC member
‘Broken’: six week course, April 2018

How good is this! Well done!
It was an incredible series and I look forward to finding out about the course. So thank you to those who have so generously produced it

Grace Morgan, PCC secretary
March 2018

On behalf of the PCC of St Mary the Virgin, I write to thank you for your help with our Lent Learning Course this year. The theme of Paddington has been very well received and appreciated by all those attending the house meetings. We have had excellent attendances throughout, with significant feedback on the impact of each of the sessions. Even those who have had some reservations in the beginning about the subject for 2018 have been deeply moved by the message it has given and have found the supporting booklet extremely useful
The PCC is very grateful to all those involved in the preparation of the 2018 course and I have been asked, in particular, to express our appreciation to you for your enthusiasm and guidance.

Kefa Nyakundi , RRC member
March 2018

The RRC is so beneficial to me not only in my ministry but also as a person who likes reading and noting.

Anne Gladstone, RRC member
The 4 Lives of St Cuthbert, February 2018

Thank you SO much for this event! It was utterly absorbing and a really good presentation.

Karenza Passmore, RRC member
The 4 Lives of St Cuthbert, February 2018

This was another fabulous day led by the very gifted Revd John McManners. He presents Cuthbert in his time: the religious, historical, social and geographical world of conflicting faiths, nations and powers. We can learn a huge amount from each of the Four Lives of St Cuthbert and all are relevant to how the church might conduct itself today… how it shares the ‘Good News’ and how it engages with’mission’. Lots to learn and lots to still think about. A really inspirational and encouraging day! Thank you John.

North Tyneside SCITT students
December 2017

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this session, other than it involving RE and I think it was ideal the way we were given a topic to discuss as a group and plan how we would teach it in class, finding and using the resources available. The Resource Centre itself was well laid out and we found it easy to locate resources to support our learning.

I was really impressed at the range of resources and expertise available. Opened my mind a bit to what working in a religious school / academy would be like. Made me think about ways to incorporate little and often into school week – mention of multi-faith key dates / festivals / celebrations etc to build children’s awareness and knowledge.

it really brought RE to life. We were given access to such a range of resources and the opportunity to consider how we could draw upon these items to ensure creative and interactive lessons. I believe it challenged a common view that RE is a simple and straightforward subject and helped everyone to acknowledge the complexity of the area. We were given some useful guidance around the types of information we would need to find out about (schemes/ syllabuses etc) before even beginning to research a topic. I also found it helpful that the session seemed to convey the message that we should not and could not have all the answers and information about RE. Instead it was clear that the Resources Centre was a supportive place which would help us throughout our practice.

Rev Michael Unwin
September 2017

Many thanks for making the book available – it has given me much to think about in spiritual life, every good wish

Jane Scott, RRC member
Saints and Followers: The 12 Disciples of Jesus, August 2017

Thanks for this set – we had an amazing messy church using it! Very attentive children and lots of fun!!

Melanie Wilkinson, Reader in Training
August 2017

A fantastic Resources Centre – with the most helpful library staff I’ve ever come across!

Bev Davies, Licensed Reader
April 2017

The RRC has been so important to my training and ministry development – I couldn’t have done it without you. The Resources Centre opened up whole new worlds.

Frances Dower
Deep Talk, April 2017

DEEP TALK was a very good session. I have used it once so far since.
I had a bag made, purchased the sand and made up my own story of the Ven Bede for a presentation of his life as a monk and his writings. It was very well received so I will use the bag of sand again, both for adults and for Godly Play with children.

Jon Wilkinson
Let’s Talk about Benefits, April 2017

Thanks for putting on the event. I found it really helpful. As a result of the event my church, with the help of Val Barron hosted a public showing of the film ‘I Daniel Blake’ which was well attended by members of our community and folk who come to our breakfast club. There was an animated discussion following the film, and we were able to signpost people to our local food bank, the local credit union which is based on High West Street, and to encourage people to seek help if they have difficulties with computers, either finding access to one, or using one.

Durham PGCE students
March 2017

I felt at ease and able to express myself. It will help me to teach with greater confidence.

I really enjoyed the session, it was very inspiring!

Excellent session! Please more, more, more.

Ellen Omobude, RRC member
February 2017

The resources centre provides exactly what we all are looking for: interesting books that provide inspiration and knowledge throughout the year.
But I think it’s not just a passion for books that plays a role here; it’s more a passion for Christ that makes this happen.
The resources centre has been great. It has assisted me in my studies at Lindisfarne, my placements and personal growth and faith.
Nevertheless, I must admit that at times the centre can appear to be a labyrinth, especially when an assignment deadline draws nearer and you rush in to get those books that hopefully match.
The way out of this situation is simply to ask the staff for a helping hand; they are really great. They have proved to me that they know where everything can be found.
Many books come from all over the world and here it’s within our reach and made available to all. I simply think we should all cherish the existence of the resources centre, and help to maintain it in any way we can.

Helen Wright, 1st Year Reader Trainee
January 2017

The Resource Centre team is an integral part of the confidence-boosting support of the learning process.
Without exception, the team is hospitable, welcoming queries and searches,and thereby helping me approach my assignments and other activities with more confidence. That is also achieved by the complete reliability of the service: resources are ready exactly when promised which is important because it contributes to the effective management of personal learning.

Liz Strafford
November 2016

Thanks for your help during the last 15 or more years of Reader and Ordained ministry. Keep up the good work!

Barbara Bailes
RE-Vitalise Mindfulness, November 2016

A big thank you to all concerned with the ‘Mindfulness’ session yesterday. I really enjoyed it and the time went all too quickly. I am so glad that we arranged to meet up again in the new year, and I look forward to seeing everyone then

Visitors to the Codex Sinaticus, on tour at St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne
October 2016

Exciting to get so close to what I’ve been studying

Brilliant to borrow the codex…. to view Matthew and parts of the OT

Inspiring to do more!

Really interesting. The people who wrote and those who told the history were just like us. Thank the Lord for scholars to help us understand Scripture


Sarah, Swiss Foster Care
October 2016

Re today’s training I found it to be EXCELLENT and really enjoyable!! The atmosphere was relaxed, the information was informative. Loved the open discussion and the trainer was very interactive with the group.
Some words that spring to mind: thought provoking, educational, inspiring, made me want to learn more.
One of my carers said they didn’t want it to end and that you would have to come back again as they’d enjoyed it so much

Helen, Swiss Foster Care
October 2016

I found your session very thought provoking, your ability to gently challenge potentially judgemental / unfounded values or thoughts was so impressive. You appeared to be able to offer alternative ideas, insert other concepts, relate expressed concerns to all cultures/ faith so seamlessly.The carers present whom I spoke with found the session equally informative, ‘enjoyable’ , accessible and ‘too short’
Many thanks, it was good to meet you. I know we will all be utilising your website and discussing the library subscription with our manager

Pat Davis, RRC Member
August 2016

Angels in disguise! All of the Durham RRC staff have been nothing but helpful to me throughout my study time with Lindisfarne RTP.

Paul Baker, RRC Member
July 2016

Our Sunday School leaders came away feeling inspired and looking forward to using the Centre next term

Rachael Phillips, Generous Giving Project Officer, Durham Diocese
June 2016

I’ve only recently found this gem of a place and already I’ve borrowed a dozen books, been inspired by the huge amount of multi-faith children’s resources and had very interesting chats with the knowledgable staff. I can’t recommend the RRC highly enough. If you are involved at any level with communicating with faith groups, teaching children (your own or those at school) about world religions or you are just interested in reading about your own faith then you must come and browse the shelves of the RRC and get signed up.

Phil Andre, Equalities Ink – Mailing to Schools
March 2016

..now is the time to ensure you can access the nation’s very best RE resource bank, the North-East Religious Resources Centre with libraries/resource banks of epic proportions in Percy Main and Durham City. It still surprises me on my travels that there are teachers/schools that do not know about this invaluable resource on our doorstep. You want to make a very sound investment to improve RE provision at a time when we have legitimate worries about extremism, radicalisation, the abuse of scripture for malign intent and fragile inter-communal relations? Look no further than the North-East Religious Resources Centre for chats with ceaselessly helpful staff

Kirtida Devi
February 2016

I think you are doing a wonderful job in looking for ways to help the teachers and involve local faith groups.

Norah Storey, RRC Member (via our Facebook page)
(RE-Vitalise Lectio Divina – February 2016

Thank you – it was a group I’ve never had the privilege to join before – I will keep this in my prayer life.

Helen Sage, Adviser to High Schools & Academies, Blackburn Diocese Board of Education
Joint HODRE meeting, Blackburn & Liverpool Dioceses – January 2016

The Joint HODRE meeting last week was an excellent day and the RRC’s input was invaluable as we move forward on this exciting new phase of working with you to provide support for the Illuminating Pathways programme of study.

Sarah Kelly, Teacher
(Examining Judaism and Islam – An encountering faiths day for teachers of GCSE and A Level Religious Studies – January 2016)

It was incredibly useful both in terms of increasing knowledge of Islam for the new specifications but also the analogies/examples which were given to use to share with pupils. Not only did I leave with pages of information which I will use in planning but examples I can give the pupils now to help with their understanding.

Mahshid was excellent and I am hoping that Natalie can organise for her to come and speak to some of our A/A* pupils who would benefit enormously from this before the final exam.

Thanks again for organising a great day.

Natalie Chapman, RRC Member
(Examining Judaism and Islam – An encountering faiths day for teachers of GCSE and A Level Religious Studies, January 2016)

It was a fabulous day! Thank you so much. We learnt loads – when is the next one?

Paul Corrigan, RRC Member
(January 2016)

Thanks to Karenza & Leon for a fantastic, engaging but above all incredibly helpful night.

Alastair Macnaughton, RRC Member
(What has Greek ever done for the New Testament?, January 2016)

Yesterday’s seminar was fascinating. Thanks for setting that up. I wonder if there is scope for something else on this this year?

Ruth Chittenden, Education Officer at Auckland Castle
(Northern Saints Education experience for primary schools, December 2015)

using the RRC Northern Saints bag enhanced the visit to a great extent. Using the objects really helped the children to remember the stories and enabled them to recall the lives of each of the saints in great detail. The bag was also most useful in providing ideas for what to include in the ‘stained glass window’ art activity, as the symbols in the bag are, for the most part, easy to draw and recognisable from a distance. All the activities were significantly enhanced by the use of the RRC Northern Saints bag.

Paul Corrigan, RRC Member
(December 2015)

Our best wishes to all of the library staff and thank you to all for all that you do.

Lydia Revett, Chair of the Federation of RE Centres
(November 2015)

Could you please pass our sincere thanks to Sean for all his energies spent arranging the conference? We appreciate that this required a significant amount of time, perseverance, attention to detail, on top of excellent creative ideas for experiences for us. His kindness and ‘can do’ attitude, putting himself completely at our disposal during the two days, was very much appreciated, particularly as many of us were new to the city. As you know, we are very keen to return and look forward to continuing the relationships started this week.

Revd Alison Hobbs
(Incarnation and Power, October 2015)

An excellent morning, it’s so invigorating to challenge those parts of our spiritual beings that rarely get enough exercise. Great company to do it in too. Thank you so much for having the conviction to go ahead regardless of numbers.

Chris Hudson- Barnabas in Schools team, North-East England
(October 2015)

For the last year, I have been working increasingly closely with the RRC on a shared training project for teaching staff entitled ‘Christianity: Core Concepts’, as part of my work with Barnabas in Schools. In shaping this enterprise, I have especially valued Karenza Passmore’s insights and expertise into local syllabus requirements and curriculum development, based on her extensive background knowledge.
The RRC continues to provide a superb base for training and networking for RE across this region, and ‘Christianity: Core Concepts’ represents just a small part of that valuable work.

David Gray, RRC Member
(RE-Vitalise Advent, September 2015)

The meeting was stimulating thought provoking and the flow of ideas was brilliant. I shall certainly attend in future and will recommend the events to my team. Please book me in for the November event.

Beverley Davies, RRC Member
(RE-Vitalise Advent, September 2015)

I found Tuesdays session very helpful, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and fall into the easy and safe option each year. The ideas that have been shared will be of benefit to all age groups in my church, some are very different to what is normally done – so both exciting and scary!

David Gray, RRC Member
(RE-Vitalise Advent, September 2015)

The meeting was stimulating thought provoking and the flow of ideas was brilliant. I shall certainly attend in future and will recommend the events to my team. Please book me in for the November event.

Elaine Coates, RRC Member
(August 2015)

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Percy Main crew for all their help over the years. I loved going to the Centre as I always found the resources so inspiring. I would inevitably not only find something to enhance the lesson but things to give me ideas for the future. Children in my school loved the huge variety of artefacts ranging from puppets and role play to big books.
The team at Percy Main are marvellous. I would often come with a vague idea and they would suggest and guide me to resources. I always got the impression that nothing was to much trouble for them.
I will miss popping into the Centre and will continue to recommend it to colleagues and friends.

Rob Smith, School Improvement Advisor, North Tyneside Council, Christian concepts CPD
(July 2015)

A very successful session with three areas of focus and three subtly different styles of delivery. All sessions were planned in depth and delivery ranged from didactic, conversation, discussion, storytelling, role play and audio visual, which ensured that all learning styles were addressed.
Content was very suitable and modelled extremely well the agreed syllabus and in my opinion certainly would be a template for delivery of many aspects and faith concept delivery.

County Durham Faiths Network 
(July 2015)

Thank you so much for your welcome, hospitality and guided tour of the resources.

Dr Ann Casson, Research Fellow at National Institute for Christian Education Research (NICER) and member of the Board of Trustees.
(June 2015)

“Two by Two was a successful example of how well the RRC works in partnership with other organisations. I am impressed with the innovation & progress you continue to make – I would certainly endorse the statement… that RRC is the most innovative centre of its kind”.

David Bryan, Director of Studies and Tutor for Ordinands, Lindisfarne Regional Training Partnership
(April 2015)

The RRC provides invaluable study areas for students wishing to work on their assignments.

Joyce McCarty, School Improvement Officer, Langdale Centre

North Tyneside RE Syllabus Launch
(March 2015)

Thank you so much for your support for our meeting yesterday. The event went very well and was well received. The technology worked and the refreshments were fab! The people I spoke to were blown away by the support and resources available.
Many thanks for all your help in that session.

Caroline Smith – King’s Academy Tynemouth
VI Form Spirituality Day

(February 2015)

Karenza came into our school to lead a spirituality day with the focus on Film and Faith. The year 12 and 13 students were engaged and inspired to reflect on their own spirituality and to consider places where traditionally they may not have considered it to be found. During smaller group work sessions, they continued to challenge their own faith and beliefs and presented some moving reflections on the days work. I would thoroughly recommend this kind of approach as a way of accessing spirituality for young people.

Christine Gibson
(February 2015)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all support staff at ‘Carter House’ for the tremendous job done in helping RE co-ordinators and teachers.  I very much valued and appreciated having access to the resources and also the fantastic training sessions. I wish you all well in your new resources centre at Cuthbert House and am certain the outstanding work you do will continue to support another generation of RE teachers in raising the profile of RE and contributing towards more effective teaching of RE.


Julia MacDonald
(December 2014)

I used your costumes yesterday afternoon for the Nativity in Lynesack. I simply told the Godly Play Advent story and we dressed up in the costumes, including some adults, because we were all on the way to Bethlehem. Do you know what? If you want to enthuse children and increase junior church – use dressing up costumes. Because that is what happened.


Robin Molinski, Lindisfarne student
(November 2014)

RRC as a library is one I could happily get lost in. The scope & range of authors & topics is amazing & the staff are knowledgeable & extremely helpful. A hidden gem!


Lydia Woolway, Durham University Archaeology student
(October 2014)

I just want to thank you again for taking us through what the Resources Centre has to offer us during our projects on the Hajj and pilgrimage.  We all found the session very useful and will be popping in again at some point to make full use of your services! We have already started to cultivate ideas as a direct result of the visit.


Tom Constable, St Nicholas Church, Durham
(September 2014)

The RRC is a brilliant resource!”


Richard Goodman, Assistant Headteacher, The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy
RE TeachMeet (June 2014)

“It was a really good event with some excellent RE practitioners and some fantastic ideas. We will definitely be incorporating some of these into the new schemes of learning at the Venerable Bede Church of England Academy” 

Mary Myatt, Religious Education Consultant
RE TeachMeet (June 2014)

“…what a terrific meeting”

Andy Collins, Andy Collins PR
Communicating with RRC Members (April 2014)

“I never cease to be amazed by the Resources Centre. Not just because of its vast store of resources – which is impressive in itself – but also for two other features. First, the range of things available at both sites, all intelligently selected and always thought-provoking. Secondly, although maybe most importantly of all, the helpfulness and knowledge of the staff. You really don’t need to know exactly what you want when you go there: they will quickly intuit it and point it out! I am more than happy to sing the Centre’s praises and hope it goes from strength to strength.”

Tony Palmer, Headteacher, St Mary’s C of E Middle School, Northumberland
RE Ambassador Collective Worship Training (Feedback – March 2014)

“The day was a huge success, empowering pupils, giving them ownership of collective worship and developing the confidence to lead whole school worship. As RE ambassadors the pupils play a lead role in development of the curriculum, raising the profile of RE across the school and setting a good example to younger pupils. Since the training the pupils have confidently lead a number of acts of collective worship, including our lent service. They are now working with pupils from a nearby first school on leading a joint Easter service”

Alison Hilton, RE Co-ordinator, St Mary’s C of E Middle School, Northumberland
RE Ambassador Collective Worship Training (February 2014)

“Thank you so much for the excellent day yesterday (training the Year 8 Ambassadors in how to lead Collective Worship throughout the school). The Year 8s were full of it on the way home and obviously found everything really rewarding.. I will try to follow everything up for you and will let you know how we get on with things. Thank you again.”

Marie-Claire Ericksson, Student on the Lindisfarne Regional Training Partnership,
(January 2014)

“As a non-driving part-time student, trying to fit in a job, it was terrific to have flexibility in the borrowing periods and the staff’s helpful approach to service-mindedness really worked! … With heartfelt thanks.”.

Dorothy Sadlik, Member of the United Hebrew Congregation,
Topic Boxes (November 2013)

Last week I did a talk for Durham University education students in Durham. The course leader had borrowed a Judaism box from Carter House. I just wanted you to know I was very impressed! The artefacts were up to date and appropriate – loved the challah! – and the packaging and labelling brilliant. Well done – so much better than tatty old out of date artefacts which one often finds. All helps to promote Judaism as a living religion and the importance of ‘beautifying the mitzvot’ by using lovely artefacts.

M., Durham University MA Theology Student
29th October 2013

I would like to congratulate you on the efficient, polite and friendly staff you have. Colette and Sean have both been an enormous help to me in tracing various books which I need for my studies. In huge university libraries, use often becomes impersonal and very automated. Contact with librarians, especially for more mature students like myself, is very important indeed. You have got things just about right.

I have used various libraries, both local authority and university, from York to Newcastle and I can honestly say that, with respect to theology and religion, I know of no library library which can equal that at Church House both for efficiency, number of available books, and helpful staff. I confess that I am often astonished to find myself working alone there; I am convinced that more students would be using the Resources Centre if they knew about the excellent facilities available.

Philippa Harpin, Licensed Reader, Newcastle Diocese
Upon Course Completion (October 2013)

Thank you to all the Religious Resources Centre staff for all the help I received while doing the course. I was grateful for all the assistance I was given by everyone.

Chris Riley, Gainford CE Primary
Staff RE Continuing Professional Development  (September 2013)

Many thanks for your invaluable help today.We have returned to school with lots of exciting resources for this term. Our Year 5/6 teacher was quite excited by the ‘Christianity through the Arts’ selection! As a staff we now also have a better understanding of the types of resources you hold, or can get hold of for us, whether they are teacher focused or child focused. A very productive morning. I look forward to returning on the 23rd October to return and replenish!

David Bayne – St Roberts of Newminster
RE-Vitalise: the Problem of Evil and Suffering at Key Stage 3 & 4 (July 2013)

Found yesterday very useful. Its always great to meet colleagues and discuss/share ideas.

Caroline Boardman
Faith Walk Faith Walk (June 2013)

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Faith Walk on Sunday, meeting new people and seeing churches and faith buildings for the first time or in new ways. I appreciated the information which you had researched and then shared with us. Am trying to remember everything!

Mrs J E Robson, Archbishop Runcie CE First School
Twilight RE Resources – Whole School Staff Training (March 2013)

Thank you SO much for spending time working with our staff last night – the twilight training was really stimulating and the staff were so enthusiastic today about all they had seen. They have borrowed all sorts of things already!

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