On this page you will find a list of resources for parishes to use for small groups, training and development. They are separated into four areas. Click on each heading to expand the section.
Evangelism and Nurture
Just in case anyone hasn’t heard of it(!) Alpha is an 11-week course that creates a space, online or in person, where people are excited to bring their friends for a conversation about faith, life and God. Find it here.
A new course developed by HeartEdge and St Martin in the Fields. For more information contact the diocesan Ministry and Discipleship Team, who are currently engaging in a pilot of this.
The Emmaus course has been an effective tool for evangelism and adult initiation in the UK and throughout the world. Nurture is a 15-session course for enquirers and new Christians that is also suitable for an adult confirmation course. Available from Church House Publishing.
Explore Together is a suite of resources from Scripture Union for all-age nurture groups with a particular emphasis on children and young people. These are free, but registration is required before you can download the resources from the Scripture Union website.
Faith Pictures is a free Church Army resource in six sessions, to help Christians explore how to talk naturally about their faith with those outside the church. The materials are available from this page.
The Pilgrim course has been developed as an integrated Anglican nurture and discipleship course, over several linked modules. The evangelism and nurture strand is the Grow Stage. It assumes no or little knowledge of Christianity. There booklets are available for purchase, and the video and audio for download, from this page.
The Start Course comes from the Leading Your Church into Growth programme, as an introduction to Christian faith. Eacgh of the six sessions lasts about 90 minutes and is based around short, lively DVD programmes - two per session. The course pack costs £50, and sample material is available here.
Discipleship and Spirituality
The diocesan Bishop’s Certificate course is a small group course that runs over 30 weeks, offering a good introduction to the Bible, and an understanding of what it means to belong to the church today. Participants find it deepens their understanding of the scriptures and their faith, and often begins a vocational journey for them. More information is available here.
The Emmaus course has been an effective tool for evangelism and adult initiation in the UK and throughout the world. The Growth stage books take someone on from initiation into the early stages of discipleship. Currently Knowing God and Christian Lifestyle are available from Church House Publishing.
From Liturgy to Life
A four-week course that can be delivered in any parish context, that relates the Sunday Eucharist to questions of daily faith and living. Four PowerPoint presentations are provided with scripts for their use, and it can be used as is, with a mixture of presentation and discussion, or adapted by the leader for the local context. The presentations and scripts are available here.
Holy Habits is a way of life for those exploring or already actively living out the call of Jesus to ‘follow me’, developed initially within the Methodist church and now available from the Bible Reading Fellowship. This course is a series of booklets, each focussing on one of 10 “holy habits” (In more traditional language the spiritual disciplines) Links and more information are available on the Holy Habits website.
From Resource (developed for Anglican Renewal Ministries, this is an eight-session course beginning with Jesus’ attitude to the Sabbath and looking at key issues such as work, the environment and racial justice. It focuses on helping people relate the Bible to these issues for today. The material is free to download, but registration is required. Find out more here.
A range of discipleship resources have been developed by the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, some of which are tied closely in with the Church of England’s Everyday Faith campaign. All these focus on Monday to Saturday faith. Explore the resources here, but you will need to register to download the free versions.
Patterns for Kingdom Living
A tool for people to explore their gifts and how they use them, while getting support from pairing up with a Kingdom Companion (a buddy to reflect with). Churches can decide to do this together, or individuals can use it with a friend. More about this resource on this page.
The Pilgrim course has been developed as an integrated Anglican nurture and discipleship course, over several linked modules. The Follow Stage is an introductory discipleship course. There booklets are available for purchase, and the video and audio for download, from this page.
The Bible Course
This is an eight-session course from the Bible Society which, in their words, “will increase your confidence, equip you to read the Bible better and help you to see its relevance to daily life. The course provides a birds-eye view of the world’s bestselling book.” See this page for more information.
Chaplaincy Essentials Course (Methodist Church) A six-session course, developed by the Methodist Church. These sessions are not meant as a qualification for chaplains to complete, but a resource to help develop the essential skills of chaplaincy work. Access the course materials here.
Ears to hear: a listening skills workshop. This is a one-off diocesan workshop that parish clergy and others can use as a resource for supporting and training people engagd in pastoral care and visiting in the parish. It can also act as a refresher for those who've done this as part of ALM or other training. Leaders are provided with a leaders' guide and three handouts, enabling them to put on a morning in their parish without needing significant preparation time. You can download all the materials from this page.
Mission and Parish Development
Jesus Shaped People
A fifteen-week whole church discipleship programme originally developed in and for urban social housing estate churches, but which has now been used in a much wider range of churches, including some diverse church and theological styles. There are also follow-up resources available. See their website for more information.
Leading your Church into growth
With both residential and local courses, Leading your Church into Growth, in the words of the Archbishop of York, “concentrates on the tried and tested: putting parish and people, evangelism and service front and centre.” For more information, see their website.
Mission Shaped Ministry
Mission-shaped ministry (MSM) is a one year course in how to start and sustain a Fresh Expression of church. It's about how to re-invent church for 21st century culture. It's about how to establish a "church" for the good of people who are not yet members of any church. This course is run regularly within the diocese, and when courses are planned they are advertised on this page.
Partnership for a Missional Church
A three year programme for churches from CMS, where churches join a learning community of 10-15 churches, and explore how to discern God’s work in the local context, and respond to it. There are bursaries available to parishes in areas of deprivation, but otherwise the course represents a significant commitment of time and money which those who have invested in it say they have found worthwhile. More information is available here.
Stepping Stones for Growth
Stepping Stones is a course developed for, and provided by Manchester Diocese. It is based on six sessions, each starting with a video, exploring ways we can grow in numbers and faith, in our own diverse settings and across our different church traditions. The handbook and videos are freely available for download from the Manchester diocesan website.
And finally ...
We point you to two curated directories of material.
Disciplekit is a resource launched by CPAS which they try to keep as up-to-date as possible with a range of resources and courses for individuals and churches. Visit the site and start searching.
Home Groups, developed by SPCK, is in its own words “a site with all the resources and advice you need to run a church home group online or in person” and links to a range of material gathered from SPCK, IVP and others. Search the site from this page.
Both sites can be used without registering, but on each you can register, and gain some additional benefit.