Bluebells Love to learn

Training Opportunities

These courses and external training providers are relevant to the development needs of Chelmsford clergy.

To tell us about a forthcomining event you'd like to see publicised here, do one of the following:

share to the facebook group "Chelmsford CMD"

post it on mastodon, using the hashtag #chelmsdiocmd 

or email Andy at

A conversation with Angus Ritchie

Please join us for an online gathering with Angus Ritchie on 27 September 2023 at 12:45pm, aimed at anyone in the Diocese of Chelmsford with an interest in Church Growth, Justice or Community Organising. Join Zoom Meeting

Rev Canon Dr Angus Ritchie is an Anglican priest in East London, the Director of the Centre for Theology & Community and the author of several books such as Just Love and People Power: How Community Organising recalls the church to the vision of the Gospel, as well as the Theos publication From Goodness To God. 

To quote an article on the history of community organising by Caroline Beckett and Andy Griffiths, "The arrival of Angus Ritchie on the scene was decisive for Community Organising among British churches in the 21st century. Ritchie, now the Director of the Centre for Theology and Community, insisted that Community Organising could integrate what had too often been kept apart – congregational development and action for justice, theology and practice, spirituality and church growth, partnership and evangelism, enabling everyone to have a seat at the Table of God and enabling the poor to have a seat at the tables of the powerful (if you haven’t got a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu).

Following his lead, groups such as Partnership for Missional Church and individual denominations and dioceses, often in strategic partnership with Citizens UK, have started to draw on this tradition for the external and the internal, the diaconal and the priestly components of leadership. It will change the world, and it will change the church. It turns out that a relational culture, good listening, planning that is realistic about power, story-telling, a passion for justice and hope is not only effective for making the world better, but also for healthy, growing churches. Who knew?"

Do people seem turn to you as  a person who will give time and listen?

Are you open to new discoveries about faith on your Christian journey?

Are you someone who is seeking to deepen your own ‘walk with God’?

Perhaps God is calling you to be a spiritual companion to others?

The Diocesan Course in spiritual companionship takes as its model the story of the Emmaus Road. Two disciples walk together on a journey of discovery because Jesus comes and walks alongside them.

Spiritual companions are called to walk beside a fellow disciple as a life servant not a life fixer! They help the other person to listen, to see and to name what God is doing in their life, to celebrate their relationship with God and to discern the way forward on their faith journey.

It is often said that spiritual companions need ‘two ears’- one to listen prayerfully to God and the other to listen at depth to the person they are accompanying and only ‘one mouth’ – i.e. to use words carefully, sparingly and helpfully.

If you sense that God may be calling you to this ministry, why not join us on one of our modules?

The Course is built of 4 core modules, and you can simply take one as a stand alone unit or build the modules together. This course is open access  and discernment about becoming a spiritual companion and receiving the Bishop of Chelmsford’s Certificate occurs once the 4 core modules have been completed.

To find out more please contact Revd Ann Coleman

Next modules are running as follows:

Chelmsford Diocesan office .New St Chelmsford: Tuesdays  Time 6pm-8pm

6 sessions ( £30) Spiritual Companionship and the Big Life Questions

3rd,October, 10th October, 17th October, 31st October, 7th November, 14th November      

St John's Stratford   Wednesdays  Time 6pm-8pm( except Tues 17th when timing will be 5pm-7pm)

6 sessions ( £30)  Spiritual Companionship and the Big Life Questions

Wednesday 4th October, Wednesday 11th October, Tuesday 17th October (change as  room being used on Wednesday this week), then miss a week, Wednesday 1st November, Wednesday 8th November, Wednesday 15th November

St Andrew South Shoebury  Daytime  Thursdays Time 12noon -2.15pm ( 15 mins lunch break)   

5 sessions ( £25) Spiritual Companionship and the Big Life Questions

28th Sept, 5th October, 12th October, Then miss a week, 26th October,  2nd November 

Recapturing Joy (John 10:10) — Pleshey Retreat House 

Friday, 24 November 2023 16:00
Sunday, 26 November 2023 14:00


Led by Charlie and Ann Kosla. Looking forward to being with our fellow clergy spouses at Pleshey in November. We will look at “Life from a Helter Skelter.” As we live and work in the roller coaster of life and ministry, where is the pleasure and fun in serving God? There will be input with discussion and reflection, and of course fun!

There is an option to also just attend on Saturday 25th as a day visitor!

Charlie and Ann Kosla are a clergy couple who have been married for some years and served in several churches and ministries for most of that time. Charlie is currently team rector of a group of churches and Ann is chaplain at a hospice.

They have worked in mission and evangelism, encouraging churches and Christians to share their faith and connect with their communities. A partnership that includes having fun with their grandchildren, dog sitting and recently hosting Ukrainians. In previous lives they have worked in telecoms, nursing, and midwifery. Ann never misses an episode of Call the Midwife and Charlie is a Sci-Fi and Sherlock Holmes fan.

More information here

Theological Reading Group

Susannah Brasier writes: "I set up an online theological reading group about 18 months ago. We meet monthly, on Zoom, on the second Tuesday of the month at 2pm for 45 mins-1 hr.

So far we have read a wide variety of books, of varying genres and intensity, and had some very good discussions.

The idea came from one of my own MDRs, where I lamented (not for the first time) that I wasn't getting around to theological reading - so Jill Mowbray suggested I started this group and certainly, even though previously I often thought I didn't have time to read, I now have a discipline whereby I am always reading at least one theological book a month!

It is however not only open to clergy - ordinands, licensed or authorised lay ministers are also welcome, as well as other lay people who have an interest in reading theological books."

Do contact Susannah Brasier if you'd like to get involved.

Online - Just Working? Why the dignity of work is at the heart of the new politics for the common good

6:30PM - 8:00PM, THU 14 SEP

Jon Cruddas MP sets out the importance of the dignity of work for civic and spiritual renewal, and why it must be the cornerstone of a politics of the common good. A seasoned politician and policy expert whose analysis is underpinned by the tradition of Catholic social teaching, Jon asserts why work is fundamentally a spiritual activity through which people collaborate with God for the redemption of humanity.

Jon Cruddas is the Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham and author of The Dignity of Labour. Jon is an Honorary Professor at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham, and a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and a visiting professor at the University of Leicester.

Common Good Lecture #6: Just Working? Tickets, Thu 14 Sep 2023 at 18:30 | Eventbrite

National Estate Churches Network - God With Us: Sharing our journey

9:30AM - 4:00PM, SAT 23 SEP


Exploring three aspects of ministering in social housing estates and disadvantaged communities:

Firstly, what does it look like to start out in a community and what does a church plant look like there? Where does resource, support and accountability come from?

Secondly, what does longevity look and feel like? What are the advantages of staying 10 years plus in a community and does that require a flexibility in approach over time?

Lastly how do we navigate transitions? What could aid local church in the change of leadership? Are there principles we can adopt?

NECN National Conference 2023 - National Estate Churches Network


Breaking New Ground: Creativity, Innovation, and the Role of the Deacon.

This conference is a unique opportunity for Distinctive Deacons in the UK and beyond, many of whom work in isolation, to come together for fellowship, teaching and encouragement in the rich vocation to which they have been called.

Deacons, deacon ordinands, deacon enquirers, deacon Training Incumbents, vocations advisers and DDOs are all invited. The event is happening on Saturday 21 October in Birmingham, with the possibility of joining online - cost £36. ; Alice Smith, a distinctive deacon from this diocese, is among the speakers.

Link here.

The next Motherhood and Ministry seminar is now being advertised - do spread the word.  Rev Lizzy Holland will open up with her own experiences and then there will be time to share with one another and more time for Q&A. Booking and more info here.

These seminars are specifically aimed at women thinking about ministry/ ordination in the CofE or in the early years of ordained life, who may have children or have questions around balancing motherhood with ministry.

Mental Health First Aid

Sunday November 12th, 2.30pm-5pm, in the Chapter House, Chelmsford

Qawah is a Hebrew word that can mean ‘wait, hope and trust’. It’s a charity that will provide training focussing on two themes:

Keeping ourselves well by maintaining proper boundaries and being vigilant about our own mental health

Offering a simple model (using the acronym CARE) for assessing and responding to others who present to us with a variety of behaviours that may relate to their own mental health

This training is available to all ministers in the Diocese (clergy, licensed lay ministers, those with PTO, authorised ministers, churchwardens), EXCEPT curates, for whom a parallel day is being organised with the same provider.

Sign-up here; places are limited, and it’s first come, first served.


A Ministry Resilience Workshop will be held on 21st September 2023, 10am-3pm. This day workshop on resilience is offered with the support of Cognacity.

Cognacity is an organisation specialising in giving professionals tools they can use to help them function better, focussing on developing resilience, selfcare strategies, time and diary management, and how to keep healthy boundaries. The risks of overworking will be discussed, as well as how to respond to anxiety and stress. This event will be via Zoom.

Sign up here.

Please note places are limited






The institutions and providers below all offer courses relevant to the development needs of Chelmsford clergy.

The Anglican Centre in Rome

The Anglican Centre offers a range of residential courses.  Go to for more details.

The Arthur Rank Centre

A charity that supports and resources the rural church. It offers twice-yearly Rural Ministry Courses and Multi Church Ministry Workshops

It also has resources for the creative use of church buildings 

The Buck Stops Here: Leading in MIssion and Ministry in Your First Incumbency

This residential course is offered by CPAS for those moving from a curacy to a first post of responsibility, or for those moving from overseas or sector post to an incumbency or team vicar post.

Los Olivos

A varied programme of courses and retreats in southern Spain, some of which will be eligible for CMD grant – check with your Area CMD Adviser before booking. Travel is not eligible for grant. Go to for details.

LYCIG Leading Your Church Into Growth

A training programme which takes the mystique out of growth and makes it ‘normal’ and do-able. It is likely that a LYCIG course will be run in Chelmsford Diocese in 2013.

LYCiG is a four-day residential course for lay and ordained leaders. Now in its thirteenth year, the course was pioneered by Robin Gamble and others, and is led by a team drawn from many different backgrounds, traditions, and ministry contexts. All are practitioners who can speak from personal experience of leading churches into growth. "The most valuable training we’ve ever done", is a typical comment from some of the 70 churches represented on the course.

For the current Conferences programme click here


Was formed in 1990 to support liturgical education in the Church of England. It offers a series of training events, mostly regional, for those who lead worship - go to

Faith in Business Conferences

This may be particularly relevant to Readers who want to be better equipped to address issues of Christian faith in the workplace. For the programme go to

The Centre for Pioneer Learning

A partnership between Ridley Hall and Westcott House. The Centre aims to serve all pioneers who are establishing new forms of church and taking the church to new places  throughout the UK and the world. Their aim is to establish training for pioneers by pioneers while also recognising the need to learn from others with skills, insights and experiences which may help pioneers. The Revd Dave Male organises 'Break Out', a national annual gathering of pioneers.

Sarum College

In Salisbury is an ecumenical centre for Christian study and research. It offers a variety of short courses and study programmes in theology, culture, Christian leadership, liturgy and worship, biblical study and sprituality; also singing, music and the arts. Many of these are eligible for CMD grant. For upcoming events or for their whole programme go to

The Society of Mary and Martha, Sheldon

The Society of Mary and Martha in Devon has a varied programme of residential weeks and workshops, including Myers-Briggs and Enneagram, and specifically for clergy, the 12,000 mile service, some of which (but not all) will qualify for use of CMD grant. Go to

St John’s College, Nottingham

Offers In-service study weeks. Go to

How to obtain your CMD grant…

Many of these courses are eligible for funding from your CMD grant

If you have questions about these or other training courses, contact your Area CMD Adviser or the CMD Administrator Sue Denham  (01245 294450) .

For Sabbatical Leave and Study contact your Area CMD Adviser.

When requesting money for CMD or Reader grants, it is important to ask for the money before you book or attend the event. To do this fill in an electronic grant form and send it to your Area CMD Adviser, Andy Griffiths, Jane Richards or Ian Hilton who will authorise and send to Sue Denham who will raise the payment. You do not need to send a copy of the brochure. It is preferred to make payments by BACS (see Grants Policy)

For consultation in advance of applications for any CMD events not included here, please contact your Area CMD Adviser.

For more information or to report anything wrong with this page please contact Andy Griffiths