Parish courses and spirituality

A stained glass depiction of the Holy Spirit as a dove

There are a number of resources and opportunities on offer through Diocesan teams to help nurture the spiritual life of your parish

On this page we cover:

Short courses
Retreats and quiet days
The Prayer Pack
Diocesan Pray-ers

We also have other dedicated pages on the website to help people on their personal journey of faith:

Deepening your relationship with God
God's plan for you

Short courses

Diocesan short courses provide a way to develop discipleship through intentional learning which draw on theory and practice applied in a local context. Some courses are a route to exercising a specific local ministry as part of a church ministry team.

The aim of these Short Courses is to enable Christians together, to deepen their understanding and experience of the Christian faith, in order that they are better equipped to live out that faith in their varied contexts: to be disciples growing in confidence and reliance on God.

To book courses, please contact

Parish-led courses

The following courses can be purchased (£15 per course) from the Diocese and then run by the Parish/ Deanery themselves in their own location. View the short courses available below

Caring Concerns

Duration: 2 Saturdays or 5 evenings
Aim: Basic information about Christian pastoral care

What does the course cover?

Caring Concerns is an introductory course that covers areas of pastoral ministry:

  • Who we are in Christ
  • Listening skills
  • Skills in spiritual care with different age groups
  • Coping with stress
  • Introduction to loss and bereavement
  • Boundaries and confidentiality
  • Setting up a pastoral care team
Hearing God's word

Duration: 2 Saturdays or 6 evenings 
Aim: Teaching on Interpreting and applying the Bible

What does the course cover?

Hearing God’s Word is an introductory course covering areas of:

  • The God who loves to speak;
  • Interpreting and understanding God’s Word;
  • Ask, ‘Why?’;
  • How the New Testament came to us;
  • Truly hearing God’s Word
Follow-on Course: Speaking God’s Word

The aim of this course is to encourage and enable lay people who currently lead home groups or who preach/teach on an occasional basis in a church setting. It is also hoped that the course will be of use in encouraging others to take part in these activities as is appropriate in their own ministry and in their own particular context.
The course has been designed to run over two and half days, but it would be possible to adapt it to fit into a weekly single session slot. The topic areas covered are by no means exhaustive and other areas could be added if required and so feedback is always welcome.

Each session has a PowerPoint slide presentation and leaders notes which make reference to the slides. It is likely as the course leader that you will have extensive experience in the area of preaching and teaching and this should be brought into the sessions - the notes provided are a guide and, inevitably, you will not agree with all we say!

It is intended that this course is used to obtain ‘permission’ from Bishop Jonathan for lay people to preach or teach on an occasional basis within their own parish context. Those wishing to gain this ‘permission’ must attend all sessions of both the Hearing and Speaking parts of the course and must take part in the assessment element of the course. The final decision as to whether ‘permission’ will be granted will be with Bishop Jonathan and not with the course creators or leaders.


Caring for God's Creation

Duration: 8 sessions
Aim: To help people think about caring for Creation from a biblical perspective which leads to practical responses.

What does the course cover?

This short course runs over eight sessions, six study sessions, and two sessions of Nature Lectio Davina. There is no prescribed timescale so you could do it over eight weeks or eight months, whatever suits your group best. The idea is not to rush, but to give time following each session for people to implement new ideas so they become habits of creation care.

The course content includes bible study, discussion points, and practical activities. It can be run for the whole church or across a deanery/group of churches.

It is possible for people to receive a certificate having completed the sessions and adopted a new habit of creation care. This habit may be individual or something the group/church or deanery decide to adopt.


Tutor-led courses

The following courses are delivered by those with appropriate experience and run in various locations around the Diocese - the Diocese arranges the venues and leaders and invites participants to come along.  Local assistance with refreshments/logistics/ pastoral support is requested where needed (£15 per course)

Introduction to Healing and Wholeness

Duration: 2 Saturdays
Aim: To equip and nurture individuals in the gifts of the healing ministry.

By the end of the course, participants will have had the opportunity to develop their skills of listening and reflecting, explored the concept of wholeness, gained experience in prayer ministry, reflected on healing in the bible, and have discerned whether this ministry is for them at this time.  Needs incumbent approval.

A minimum number of 10 attendees are required for this course to take place.  Participants must be able to attend on both days.  The cost for the two days is £30.

To book contact the Formation and Ministry Team on:

Follow on day courses:

(after completing Introduction to Healing and Wholeness)

  • Dying and Bereavement 
  • Addictions and Mental Health
  • Inner Healing 
  • Developing a Healing Ministry Team
  • Forgiveness and Reconciliation 


The Prayer Pack

Developed by the Diocesan Spirituality Network, the Prayer Pack offers twelve different ways of praying in the pack, each one explained in a single leaflet that outlines the simple steps to help people get underway.  

Packs can be ‘personalised’, and tailored to your own needs, and/or the needs of a group you lead.

If a parish is interested in using the prayer pack, they are encouraged to choose the leaflets they feel are most appropriate for their church community and plan a day or an evening (1 ½ hour) to introduce each way of praying: 

  • A 30-minute introduction to the way of praying,
  • 30 minutes practice and 30 minutes sharing in small groups.
  • The sharing is optional and it is up to you to decide if it would be appropriate for your group.

The pack also includes a ‘Review of prayer’ leaflet that aims to encourage further spiritual growth through reflection after the prayer experience.   

Find out more on our dedicated Prayer Pack page or contact Susanne Carlsson, Spirituality Coordinator


Retreats and quiet days

The Spirituality Network in Rochester Diocese provides shorter courses in spirituality, such as quiet days, retreats, and spiritual accompaniment. 

If you are interested, please look at our dedicated pages on:

Quiet Days and Retreats
Spiritual Accompaniment
Closer Course

You can also contact Susanne Carlsson, Spirituality Coordinator on:


Diocesan Pray-ers

The Pray-ers are a network of people committed to a regular time of prayer each day for their Parish, Deanery and Diocese, from a few minutes to an hour or more, depending on their circumstances.

Many pray through the requests in the Praying the Way while some deaneries have their own Pray-ers’ newsletter.

Find out more on our dedicated Pray-ers page


Key Contacts

The Rev Ethlyn Roy-Johnson

Formation  & Ministry Team Administrator

Get in touch

The Rev Canon Susanne Carlsson

Spirituality Coordinator

Get in touch

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