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Welcome to the Affiliated section of the Friends on Faith Adventures website.

Here you can find the latest news and information for your group and download electronic copies of materials and resources for this half term.

If you can’t find what you are looking for or need any help or information, please contact the Pilots Desk on 020 7916 8637, or or write to us at 86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT.

Remember to send us stories and photos from your group each term and to send us your feedback forms to let us know how things are going.

fofa bearResources for January 2020

  • Samuel
  • Fishing Frustration
  • Samson the Strong
  • Daniel
  • The Widow’s Pennies
  • The Good Foreigner

 A blog from Tragedy and Congregations written by the Revd Dr Carla A. Grosch-Miller.

A year ago today the Prime Minister announced the first lockdown. All but essential workers were sent home, places of worship and other public venues closed and we began our crusade against Covid-19. It’s been a bumpy ride. A summer of relaxed restrictions was followed by the alarm of rising rates in the autumn and the introduction of tiers which rapidly became new lockdowns. Next week we hope to begin our way out of lockdown number 3. Watching a third wave rise in Europe, we hold our breath – wanting our vaccination programme to spare us and enable more and more freedom over time.

Read more: One year on: feeling our way towards recovery and rebuilding     

The Church Leadership Programme (CLP) is a comprehensive programme to refresh experienced lay and ordained leaders in authentic leadership, helping church leaders to develop external skills from their core sense of being.

A mix of physical and virtual learning, the course threads from September to June every academic year. Each year, participants form into a faith community, committed to each other for encouragement and support. Participants learn in joint sessions and become part of smaller learning groups with a dedicated tutor. Each participant has an individual spiritual accompanier throughout the academic year.

What does it seek to achieve?

  • to continue to place Christian leadership within the context of vocation and ministry within the United Reformed Church
  • to enable growth in personal formation for participants, and extend the knowledge and skills necessary for effective Christian leadership
  • reflection on personal leadership experience, alongside new ways of leadership discernment
  • to develop leaders who enable United Reformed Churches to become communities of more faithful disciples, better equipped to share in the Mission of God – Walking the Way of Jesus Today

Who is it for?

People in recognised lay leadership roles and those in public ministry as Ministers of Word and Sacraments and Church Related Community Workers. The course benefits those with some experience of Christian leadership, including those nearing retirement. There are up to 16 places each academic year.

What can I expect as a participant?

The CLP includes a beginning residential weekend followed by six virtual sessions, breaks over Christmas, resumes with a second residential weekend, continues with six more virtual sessions and concludes with a one night residential. The first residential and six virtual sessions concentrate on the personal qualities and skills which are core to a leader; the second residential and six virtual sessions focus on how these are translated within public leadership.

During the academic year, each participant chooses their own particular personal development project. This helps to put learning into practice and embeds the spiritual, emotional and intellectual changes which the CLP highlights.

The whole CLP year is structured to contain time for worship, development of community, and personal reflection as well as formal input by tutors, all of whom understand the United Reformed Church and have experienced the CLP for themselves. Small group work and discussion encourage the growth of informal support networks among participants, which often continue after completion of the programme.

Each participant is assigned a spiritual accompanier, able to reflect with participants with insight about changes and challenges, growth and joy. Each participant receives a range of books and tools as part of the course fee.

What does it cost?

Each residential/virtual period costs £250, making the total £500. Each residential/virtual period is in a different calendar year, making it possible for grants to be sought more easily from various sources. Whether you are a lay, commissioned or ordained leader, you are encouraged to discuss costs with your synod’s training officer. Grants are available from:

  • a CLP grant fund specifically for lay people
  • usual EM3 grant funding
  • the continuing studies fund (decisions made in July each year)
  • synods directly in some cases
  • pastorates or places of work in some cases

The Education & Learning Committee of the United Reformed Church has undertaken to ensure that no-one for whom the programme would be helpful will be prevented from participation through lack of funds.

Dates for 2021/22

First residential 17 - 19 September, 2021 at Hinsley Hall, Leeds
Virtual sessions 2021 10am until 1pm, 6, 13, 20 October; 3, 10, 17 November
Second residential 11 - 13 February, 2022 at Hinsley Hall, Leeds
Virtual sessions 2022 10am until 1pm, 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 March; 6 April 
Third residential 10 - 11 June, 2022 at Hinsley Hall, Leeds
Final virtual session 10am until 1pm, 29 June, 2022

What have previous participants said about CLP?

  • “A regaining of confidence and a new feeling of empowerment, real excitement at much of what I've seen and heard.”
  • “I think every minister would benefit from this and should be encouraged to come.”
  • “Space to have time to reflect on my journey, help in self-awareness building. It has opened up issues in social change and concepts in leadership.”
  • “A valuable course giving space and reflection. Besides the formal input, the informal contact with other course members is invaluable.”
  • “Lots of materials and tools which I hope to implement and other prompts to refocus my life and ministry.”
  • “This is the best, most challenging, most thought provoking and most inspirational course I have had the pleasure of attending.”

How do I find out more?

If you would like to discuss any aspects of the programme, please send your email and telephone details to the contact below and someone directly involved with CLP will get in touch with you. To be accepted on the programme you will need a recommendation from an authorised person in your synod, usually the Training or Development Officer.

The deadline for completed applications is Friday 30 July, 2021.

Please register your interest via: Philippa Linton, Administrator to Education & Learning

Click here to download this information as a PDF

The officers of the General Assembly will convene Mission Council, the executive body of the URC, for business (by Zoom) on Monday 15 March to Wednesday 17 March 2021. This meeting is open to Synod representatives and their Moderators to attend online.

Mission Council papers

We make these papers available to the wider URC membership asking that people be aware that they are discussion documents and that many changes may be made as a result of Mission Council decisions. 

Mission Council papers will be added below throughout this week.



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