New discussion courses for groups

Monday October 15th 2018

York Courses are inviting parishes and groups across Connor Diocese to consider their two newest discussion courses Daring to See God Now and Life to the Full?

As featured in the autumn issue of Connor Connections, these courses are suited to Advent and Lent, but can be used any time.

Traditionally Advent and Lent are times in the church calendar when groups gather to discuss and explore their faith together. York Courses has around 30 four and five-session courses created with this in mind – although all courses can be used at any time of the year.

These ecumenical course materials are carefully designed to minimise preparation time. They are suitable for inexperienced group leaders, yet versatile enough for more confident leaders to adapt to their own preferred style. A wide choice of questions at the end of each session means that, wherever you are on our journey of faith, you can join in with the lively discussion!

Why do a course at all?

Because it’s good to discuss issues of faith, doubt, morality, conflict, and so on with other people – especially if they take a different view from you. Discussion of important issues helps you grow, both as a person and in faith.

It is always useful to keep up with new ways of thinking. One way to keep things fresh is to have members of other congregations and denominations in any group you may form. And, just as important as anything above is that, if you’re doing it right, it’s fun!

Why do it in Advent?

Advent, traditionally a period of anticipation and preparation, is an ideal opportunity to put aside time for regular meetings for joint study. It’s easy not to forget if it becomes a regular annual event.

About Life to the full?

Modern mindfulness techniques stress the importance of emptying yourself in order to feel better inside. Not so with the Christian faith. Our chief pursuit is fullness. ‘I have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full’, says Jesus Christ (John 10.10). And yet – if we’re honest – it doesn’t always feel like that. We are running on empty at home, at work, at play and, yes, at church. In practice this ‘full life’ seems maddeningly elusive. This course explores what it might actually mean to experience fullness in the midst of our messy lives. What does it look like? Why does it seem so elusive? What causes us to run on empty? And how can we lead others to experience this fullness?

  • Session (1) Hummingbird or Arctic Fox?
  • Session (2) Murdstone or Peggotty?
  • Session (3) Rotten or ripe?
  • Session (4)  Desert or Oasis?

The course booklet is written by the Rev Matt Woodcock, who is a pioneer minister and mission enabler for the Diocese of York. He helps churches to grow. Matt was a former newspaper reporter for the York Evening Press. Matt is a regular Pause for Thought contributor on Radio Two and author of Becoming Reverend.

The course audio is produced by Simon Stanley, co-founder of York Courses, who interviews the participants. He is a Canon Emeritus of York Minster, and a former BBC producer/presenter.

Want to know more? has an information sheet for download – as well as an organiser’s checklist – with plenty of tips on how to get started.

Current prices for printed materials:

  • CD Taster Pack (comprising 1 CD, 1 course booklet, 1 transcript) @ £16.20
  • Course Booklet @ £3.75
  • CD @ £8.99
  • Transcript @ £3.50

Current prices for digital downloads from

  • Taster Pack (comprising course audio, course booklet, transcript) @ £14.70
  • Course Booklet @ £3.10
  • CD @ £8.50
  • Transcript @ £3.10

Free packing and 2nd class postage within UK, regardless of order value. Please order at or by phone or post from: York Courses, PO Box 343, York, YO19 5YB, UK. Tel: 01904 466516; Email

Back to latest news

Site Directory