Events & Training Archive

To get an idea of the kind of topics we have covered in the past, please have a look at our previous events pages:

Conversations@theRRC

  • Conversations in 2018 (4 events)
    • Reading Bible Stories with Children - 9th October 2018, 6:00-8:00, Percy Main

      Dr  Melody Briggs has recently published How Children Read Biblical Narrative: An Investigation of Children’s Readings of the Gospel of Luke.

      In this Conversation Melody will explore aspects of her research including:

      How do adults tend to guide children to read Bible stories?
      What happens when children read Bible stories on their own terms?
      What are the implications for how we approach Bible stories with children?

    • The Genesis of Fiction - 16th May 2018, 6:00-8:00, Percy Main
      trw

      A religious tradition remains alive by telling and retelling its foundational stories with reference to the present time. Newcastle novelist and academic Professor Terry Wright will discuss some of the themes and issues revealed by modern novelists when they retell stories from the first book of the Bible.

       

      Drawing upon his book The Genesis of Fiction, he will look at the work of writers such as Mark Twain on Adam and Eve, John Steinbeck on Cain, Jeanette Winterson on the Flood, Jenny Diski on Abraham and Anita Diamant on Dinah. This highlights those elements in the tradition which are problematic and those which remain helpful too.

    • 'Lollards or Lutherans?: Whose fault was the Reformation?'- - 15th February 2018
      2017 sees the quincentenary of Luther’s ’95 Theses’ and many people see this act as marking the beginning of the Reformation. Did you know that, at the time, many Church of England theologians thought that it began with the Lollards (followers of the Oxford theologian John Wycliffe) in the latter half of the 1300s?

       

      Join Dr Susan Royal, Assistant Professor of Reformation Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University, for a Conversation where questions explored will include:

       

      • What were the origins of the Reformation?
      • When did it actually begin?
      • How much does ‘history’ count when talking about the Church of England?

    • ‘What should Christians do about war?’ - 16th January 2018, 6:00-8:00, Percy Main
      nick-map

      This age-old question has become more pressing given Western governments’ recent overseas military interventions and the rise of extremist Islamist jihadism.

       

      This talk argues the historic church position that it is inadmissible for Christians to use violence or take part in war. The church’s propensity to support the “just wars,” crusades, rebellions, or humanitarian interventions” of its host nations over time has been disastrous for the reputation of the gospel. Instead, it is argued, the church’s response to war is simply to be the church, by preaching the gospel and making peace in the love and power of God.

       

      The talk considers challenges to this argument for “gospel peace.” What about warfare in the Old Testament and military metaphors in the New? What of church history? And how do we deal with tyrants like Hitler and terrorists like Islamic State? Charting a path between just war theory and liberal pacifism, numerous inspiring examples from the worldwide church are used to demonstrate effective and authentically Christian responses to violence. As Christians increasingly drop their unbiblical addiction to war, we may be entering one of the most exciting periods of church history.

       

      Nick Megoran is a lecturer and chaplain at Newcastle University, co-convenor of the Martin Luther King Peace Committee, and author of Warlike Christians in an Age of Violence (Wipf and Stock, 2017).

  • Conversations in 2017 (7 events)
    • An Honourable Estate? - 7th November 2017, 6:00-8:00, Percy Main
      Join the Rev’d Jane Penn as she shares some of the insights gained whilst working on her dissertation on the theology of marriage. Questions we will be exploring include:
      • How has the Church’s view of marriage evolved through the centuries?
      • What is Scripture saying to us about marriage?
      • What do our liturgies tell us about the Church’s theology of marriage?
      • What would the theological implications be if the Church were to extend its view of marriage to embrace same-sex couples?

       

      The answers to these questions depend on your point of view, your approach to Scripture and your life experience. We will be considering them in a spirit of sensitive listening and understanding.

       

      Jane Penn is a priest in Newcastle diocese. She describes herself as an ally of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) people, and she has a number of LGBTQ family members. She is motivated by a conviction that God’s love for every human being embraces our personal relationships with one another, and that we are called to show that love to one another in the Church.

    • A Survivor's Story - 10th October 2017, 1:00-2:30, Percy Main
      Marta Josephs is a retired teacher, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and will be telling her father’s story.
    • Broken: What's the point of Fr Kerrigan?' - 19th September 2017, 6:00-8:00, Durham
      On Tuesday 4th July more than 4,000,000 people watched the final episode of Jimmy McGoverns TV Mini-series Broken: the story of a few days in the life of an inner-city Roman Catholic priest, Fr Michael Kerrigan, played by Sean Bean. Social media lit up, those watching on catch up TV are still responding. If this series touched you and you’d like to discuss it with others then do come and join us!
    • Mission - Are we on the right track? - 20th June 2017, 6:00-8:00, Durham
      What does it mean to be a Railway Chaplain? How does it differ from other forms of chaplaincy if at all? What are the challenges, opportunities and dilemmas of the chaplains role?

      This is an open invitation to anyone interested in mission, or any form of chaplaincy* , to come along, share stories, experience and some of the questions around ‘mission’. People interested in trains and the railways are especially welcome!

      *Chaplains are welcome to bring along anything to a pre-Conversation marketplace to highlight their own area of work.

    • Mindfulness and Meditation - 5th June 2017, 10:00-12:00, Durham
      An introduction to Meditation and Mindfulness with the Rev’d Rupert Kalus
      Rupert has been introducing and leading meditation and mindfulness sessions in 15 churches/parish settings in the diocese of Durham. These have proven extremely popular as a way of deepening personal faith, connecting with others in the local church and making connections with those outside of the Christian faith in the wider community.
      Participants will learn something of Rupert’s current work and about how mediation and mindfulness may be used in other settings to broaden people’s connections with themselves, each other and with God.
    • ‘When I had a Proper Job!’ - 25th April 2017, 6:00-7:30pm, Durham
      KevinDunne1
      This Conversation, led by Revd. Kevin Dunne (who was an Insurance Underwriter before Ordination), will attempt to address the following issues (and more):

      • What gifts and skills can we bring/have we brought into Ministry?
      • How do we /did we adjust to taking orders and advice     instead of giving them?
      • How will/did the change impact on Family life?
      • How we felt when our last pay/salary went into the bank!
      • What major adjustments have we made/will we have to make?

    • Tell us a Story - 14th March 2017, 6:00-7:30, Percy Main
      joannethorns No matter what your age, or the age with whom you are working, Story telling can be a challenge! Finding the time to prepare, or the energy to remember, a script can be a struggle no matter what your church or faith setting. ​

      ​This session, led by the Revd Joanne Thorns, is for anyone who wants to build their storytelling confidence and skills.
      ​We will be exploring improvisation, free-form storytelling, tips and suggestions and lots of resources to help you improve your ‘performance’.

      No matter what your denomination or role, if you participate in school assemblies, toddler groups​, Sunday schools or other ​ministry settings and would like to keep your Bible stories fresh join us!

  • Conversations in 2016 (6 events)
  • Conversations in 2015 (6 events)
  • Conversations in 2014 (6 events)
  • Conversations in 2013 (2 events)

 

RE-Vitalise

  • A Miraculous Christmas? Preaching the Incarnation - 2nd October 2018, 12:00-2:00, Percy Main
    Join Jon Russell to explore how narrative preaching can RE-Vitalise your Christmas sermon, school assembly or public event.
     
    Christmas is a wonderful time to engage with, and recreate, the wonder of God’s incarnation in the world. How can we help people to partake of this miracle through active story telling, imaginative preaching and open wondering?
     
    Participants will be able to hear Jon’s thoughts on this style of preaching/teaching, listen to some examples and to have a go at creating and sharing their own.

     

  • RE-Vitalise Advent through Film - 20th September 2018, 12:00-2:00, Percy Main
    This RE-Vitalise session will be led by Karenza Passmore (Director of the Religious Resources Centre). We will be considering how ‘popular’ films can be used as theological stimulus and reflective tools in parish ministry during Advent.

    Participants will be able to share ‘off the shelf’ courses, create their own bespoke sessions as ‘one-off’ events or a group of sessions on a given theme and consider the practicalities of using film in this context.

     

    Anyone who has used film in this way to create their own courses/events please bring and share! If you haven’t used film before but would like to nibble your popcorn in company please join us! If you have a film that has fired your brain do come along and share! All welcome!

     

  • RE-Vitalise Lent - 9th January 2018, 12:00-2:00, Percy Main
    FrancesWilson

    Led by the Revd Frances Wilson, we look at the, often overlooked, women in the Bible: Miriam, Ruth, Tamar, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of God. Frances will explore different learning styles to share with us a way of looking at women in the Bible for Lent.

     

    This RE-Vitalise session is also an opportunity to explore and discuss materials from the RRC in preparation for Lent groups and courses.

     

    Frances Wilson is priest in charge of Balkwell, an estate to the west of North Shields. She has a passion for using a variety of learning styles to stimulate deeper thought, reflection and sharing.

  • RE-Vitalise Narrative Preaching - 7th November 2017, 12:00-2:00, Percy Main
    jon-russell What did you preach about last Sunday? When Jesus is asked ‘who is my neighbour?’, he doesn’t explore the concept of the neighbour in the Old Testament, nor derive it from his doctrine of God. He says, ‘a certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves…’ and two thousand years later, we all remember the story that he told. Narrative Preaching is about ‘incarnating’ our preaching within story and image. This RE-Vitalise session will introduce Narrative Preaching to those unfamiliar with what it can offer.
  • RE-Vitalise Advent through Film - 20th September 2017, 12:00-2:00, Percy Main
    This RE-Vitalise session will be led by Karenza Passmore (Director of the Religious Resources Centre). We will be considering how ‘popular’ films can be used as theological stimulus and reflective tools in parish ministry during Advent.

    Participants will be able to share ‘off the shelf’ courses, create their own bespoke sessions as ‘one-off’ events or a group of sessions on a given theme and consider the practicalities of using film in this context.

     

    Anyone who has used film in this way to create their own courses/events please bring and share! If you haven’t used film before but would like to nibble your popcorn in company please join us! If you have a film that has fired your brain do come along and share! All welcome!

     

  • RE-Vitalise Mindfulness - 9th February 2017, 12:00-2:00, Percy Main
    This session will follow up the question in the previous session “Do Christians know how to be spiritual?” as a missional question aiming to think together about how we can connect with spiritual seekers and help them discover the treasures of Christian spirituality. You are welcome to come if you didn’t attend the first session but please make yourself familiar with what we looked at in the first session.
  • RE-Vitalise Lent - 25th January 2017, 12:00-2:00, Percy Main
    Pat Moran
    Come and explore Lent and Lent resources, with input from Pat Moran on the Lent course she has written.

    Thy kingdom come is a six-week course aimed at exploring Jesus’ teaching on the Kingdom through scripture, film, music, conversation, experiential learning and prayer. It is adaptable to different contexts and settings, and is accessible to people with different learning styles and levels of engagement.

     

    The Rev’d Dr Pat Moran is an NSM curate at St Mary the Virgin, Monkseaton, and has a a background in education, and research interests in adult faith formation and ecclesiology.

  • RE-Vitalise Mindfulness – 10th November 2016, Percy Main
  • RE-Vitalise Advent – 19th October 2016, Percy Main
  • RE-Vitalise Christian and Buddhist Dialogue – 4th October 2016, Percy Main
  • RE-Vitalise Social Media – 21st June 2016, Percy Main
  • RE-Vitalise Harvest – 7th June 2016, Percy Main
  • RE-Vitalise Your IPad 2 – 26th April 2016, Durham
  • RE-Vitalise Lectio Divina – 11th February 2016, Percy Main
  • RE-Vitalise Your IPad – 19th January 2016, Durham
  • RE-Vitalise Lent – 17th Novemmber 2015, Percy Main
  • RE-Vitalise Advent – 15th September 2015, Percy Main
  • RE-Vitalise Collective Worship – 8th July 2014, Percy Main
  • RE-Vitalise Easter – 4th March 2014, Percy Main
  • Re-Vitalise Lent  – 21st January 2014, Percy Main
  • RE-Vitalise the Problem of Evil & Suffering – 16th July 2013, Durham
  • RE-Vitalise Small Group Courses – 27th November 2012, Percy Main
  • RE-Vitalise Holy Week– 19th March 2012, Durham
  • RE-Vitalise Small groups – 2nd October 2012, Durham

Other Training

  • Deep Talk - 16th October 2018
    DeepTalk
     
    Are you engaged in Christian community outreach or engagement with adults or young people?
     

    Would you like to explore a way of stimulating and encouraging meaningful conversations in a non-threatening ‘wondering’ way that opens up minds and hearts?

     

    If this is for you come and join the Revd Canon Sheila Bamber (formerly Provost of Sunderland Minster) and experience Deep Talk – a method of extending Godly Play into an adult community setting.

     

    The founder of Godly Play, Jerome Berryman, has encouraged Tuula Valkonen from Finland in this creative work, which is being used in institutions such as Nokia and through Sheffield University Chaplaincy.

     

    This session will be ideal for anyone who has undertaken the three day Godly Play training course but experienced practitioners of Godly Play are welcome as in anyone interested in learning about this model.

     

    All are welcome but places are limited and must be booked. Early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment
     

  • St John's Gospel - One in Four, with the Revd Richard Ferguson - 22nd May 2018
    RichardFerguson
     
    This illuminating talk on St John’s Gospel will place it in its context as one of four accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus.

     

    Why might we have four Gospels and not one? How are they different and how do these differences help us to understand and use them?

     

    This will be of interest (and support) to Readers, preachers, teachers and the simply curious.

     

    Join us as we learn and explore together one of the most fascinating texts in the New Testament.

     

  • Eggsplorers Training Day with Sue Tinker - 21st April 2018
    Eggsplorers1
     
    Would you like new resources and ideas to help your pupils engage with Bible Stories in a meaningful and stimulating way?

     

    Bible Eggsplorers are so much more than hand-made, attractive, accessible, colourful wooden toys in the shape of eggs! They are a very well thought through ‘tool’ for getting a better understanding of the concepts and beliefs that underpin key Biblical narratives.

     

    Come to our Eggsplorers Training Day!

     

    You will experience a wide range of Bible stories and explore how crafts and activities encourage children to explore the meaning of the stories to people of faith. There will also be time for you to make some cheats and props that will help you to tell the stories in your own context!
    Fun, Practical and Educational – this will be an essential day for any-one who wishes to develop their confidence in their teaching of Christianity.

     

  • Deep Talk - 21st November 2017
    DeepTalk
     
    Are you an experienced Godly Play Practitioner? Have you completed the three day training? Are you looking to take your skills further?

     

    Deep Talk takes a number of Godly Play principles and some Godly Play stories—along with some new stories—and adapts these for a spiritual process suitable to secular and religious settings, to help groups consider their organisation’s / workplace’s vision, mission, issues or challenges. This has been used in Finland in secular and church contexts usually with existing adult teams (such as a staff team).

     

    Deep Talk sessions -similarly to Godly Play — begin with the making of a circle; the showing of a story; and the wondering time; but then everyone changes places and a dialogue game is played, arising from the story: when the group explores their work and life together. Then a celebration and chance to say farewell.

     

    Following our very rewarding introduction to Deep Talk led by the Revd Canon Sheila Bamber we now offer a full introductory training day led by the Revd Dr Jeremy Clines and Kate Cornwall. Trained in Deep Talk by the renowned Tuula Valkonen. Jeremy has been involved in offering Deep Talk training since 2016 and Kathryn is a trainer for Godly Play UK.

     

    Come along and experience Deep Talk, explore how you might use it in your context and discover how it can change the way we might work with teams, groups, adults and youth in secular and Christian settings.

     

  • The 4 Lives of St Cuthbert - 16th September 2017
    StCuthbert
     
    Join the Rev’d John McManners in a study day exploring (in very condensed form) the fourteen hundred year narrative of Cuthbert’s life & legacy, focussing on the “Four Lives of St Cuthbert”:
    • His life in Melrose
    • His life at Lindisfarne and Farne
    • The life of his cult and community in Chester-le-Street
    • The life of his cult and community in Durham

     

  • What is the Song of Songs and What is it doing in the Bible? - 4th July 2017
    HE
     
    A half day interactive event looking at one of the most intriguing and enigmatic (and short) books in the Bible; the Song of Solomon or Song of Songs.
     
    Join Hilary Elder, who worked on the book for her PhD, to explore what this book is and what it does as a member of the biblical canon; and how it can help us to think faithfully about the very topical themes of gender, beauty and desire.

     

  • A Reading of John - 13th June 2017
     
    Hear from local author Rev’d Richard Ferguson as he launches his latest book, A Reading of John, examining the gospel in a fresh light and offering insights which challenge the way it has been approached up to now.

    During the event, we will be discussing:
    • What do the Gospels themselves tell us about themselves?
    • First and second generation Gospels – the difference between John and the Synoptic Gospels
    • We have four Gospels – why not one?
    • “What is truth?”

     

  • Exploring Judaism - An encountering faiths day for teachers of RE

     
    A chance to meet faith members in their own community setting, boost your subject knowledge and equip yourself to teach any aspect of Judaism with confidence and enthusiasm and explore resources, teaching and learning strategies to ensure your classroom delivery is professional and stimulating
     
    Time: 13.00-17.00
    Available Dates: 26th April, 27th April, 23rd May, 24th May 2017

    Please note that there are only 30 places available and will be allocated on a first come, first served, basis. If you would like to make a booking, please do so via our contact form
     
    Venue: United Hebrew Congregation, Culzean Park, Graham Park Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 4BH [Please note that parking is available on the streets around the synagogue.] Cost: There will be no charge for the training but contributions to the United Hebrew Congregation may be made via the RRC at any time before, after or during the event.
     
    Presenters:
    Rabbi Aaron Lipsey, United Hebrew Congregation of Newcastle upon Tyne
    Deanna van der Velde and members of the United Hebrew Congregation
    Karenza Passmore, Director of the Religious Resources Centre
     
    Programme:
    13-13.20 – Welcome and outline of the afternoon.
    Three sessions on a Carousel basis. (Colleagues into 3 groups):

    – Jewish Worship in the Shul – Led by Deanna van der Velde
    – Jewish life, Kosher food and worship in the home – Led by Rabbi Aaron Lipsey
    – Resources, teaching and learning strategies – Led by Karenza Passmore,

    13.20-14.20 Session 1
    14.20-15.20 Session 2
    15.20-16.20 Session 3

    16.20-17.00 – Question time and Plenary

  • Deep Talk - 13th February 2017
     
    Are you engaged in Christian community outreach or engagement with adults? Would you like to explore a way of engaging with the Christian story, its key concepts and a non-threatening ‘wondering’ that opens up big conversations?
    If so then you might like to join the Revd Canon Sheila Bamber (​formerly Provost of Sunderland Minster) discuss Deep Talk – a method of extending Godly Play into an adult community setting. The founder of Godly Play, Jerome Berryman, has encouraged Tuula Valkonen from Finland in this creative work, which is being used in institutions such as Nokia and through Sheffield University Chaplaincy.
     
    This joint event (sponsored by Communities Together Durham and the Religious Resources Centre) will be ideal for anyone who has undertaken the three-day Godly Play training course but experienced practitioners of Godly Play are welcome as in anyone interested in learning about this model. 
  • Let's talk about Benefits - 4th February 2017, Durham
    The benefit system is complicated and yet is so much a part of daily lives for those in our parishes.
    The film I Daniel Blake highlighted some of the complexities and, after a weekend where there will be many viewings of the film across the diocese, we are holding a session to help us gain a deeper understanding.
    Please come and join us whatever your knowledge.
  • Women in the Bible – 24th November 2016, Durham
  • “What have the Greeks ever done… for our appreciation of St John’s Gospel?” – 14th July 2016, Percy Main
  • Hinduism CPD Day – 5th July 2016, Percy Main
  • The Christmas Journey – 21st June 2016, Durham
  • What has Greek ever done for the New Testament? – 10th May 2016, Percy Main
  • Drop in to Godly Play – September 2015 – January 2016
  • What has Greek ever done for the New Testament? – 26th January 2016, Durham
  • Open the Book Introductory Sessions – 12th January 2016, Percy Main
  • Incarnation and Power: A practical exploration for those engaged in ministry – 7th October 2015, Durham
  • Two by Two: A Creative Event Exploring Strategies for Engaging Children with the Bible – 13th June 2015, Durham
  • More TV, Vicar? Book Launch – 9th June 2015, Durham
  • Film and Faith for Absolute Beginners: An Introduction to using Contemporary Film in Public Ministry – 4th October 2014, Durham
  • Open the Book: Sharing Bible Stories with primary school children  – 2nd July 2014, Percy Main
  • RE TeachMeet –  1st July 2014 Percy Main
  • Open the Book/Speaking Volumes: FREE book offer and schools support –  24th April 2014, Percy Main
  • Film and Faith for Beginners: An Introduction to using Contemporary Film in  Public Ministry – 22nd February 2014
  • Newcastle SACRE Regional RE Teachers networking event  – 7th November 2013, Percy Main

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Written by Kent University Reader in Theology and Religious Studies, Christmas as Religion takes a serious look at the religious nature of Christmas..

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