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You will be advised of your workshop choice a few weeks before the conference.  We are pleased to advise that the majority of you have your first choice.




Workshop Summary


Workshop Leader

Sent by Jesus: Living His Sayings 



Christian Living




Putting what Jesus said into practice.  This workshop is based on his new book about living the sayings of Jesus and aims to draw connections between what Jesus said and how we live today in all its messiness and complexity.  Based on the passages where the gospels present Jesus saying ‘if you want to follow me you need to do this…’ it reflects on acts of loving service, the command to love, prayer, money, forgiveness, self-sacrifice, mission and the Eucharist (Communion).


Ian Black is the Vicar of St John the Baptist, Peterborough; Canon Residentiary Peterborough Cathedral; and Rural Dean of Peterborough. He has written a number of books on intercessory prayer.

 Sent by Jesus to Listen, Reflect and Be Thankful


Contemplative worship



Listen to him…… remembering the gift of God.  This workshop will provide space for participants to reflect on the importance of listening as the basis of our being sent by Jesus, using guided meditation, Bible reading, story and images.

Sister Rachel Overton is the Bishop’s Adviser for Spirituality.

After practicing as a doctor, she became a member of a religious community for 23 years before being called to live as a solitary religious.  She has been actively involved in the ministry of spiritual direction and retreat leading since 1989.




their theology


Icons in Prayer. This workshop will focus on icons and their use in prayer and worship, which include an exploration and discussion of the conference icon.


Ian Holdsworth is the Vicar of Northampton St Mary the Virgin and an Iconographer.  He trained as a designer before ordination, and worked for a number of top design led commercial groups.  He is the founder of St Mary’s Icon School and teaches Iconography as a spiritual discipline.





Don't Just Do Something — Sit There! Leading a Quiet Day.  This workshop will explore the practicalities of leading a quiet day and the spiritual benefits. There will be both input and an opportunity to share ideas. It will be suitable for those who have little or no experience of this ministry, as well as for those who have already led quiet days.


Bill Croft is Vicar, Holy Spirit Church, Bretton, Peterborough and Honorary Canon of Peterborough Cathedral. During the course of his ministry in parish and other contexts, Bill has led a variety of quiet days and retreats.


Sent by Jesus to Serve Those In Need





“What do you want me to do for you?”  Asking Jesus for healing. This workshop will be structured to cover: (i) Why are you here? (ii) What is the Healing Ministry and how does the Church teach it and administer it?  (iii) Theological Reflection on Mark 6; (iv) Sharing stories of the healing ministry; (v) Available resources, and (vi) Closing Prayer.

Amanda Cuthbertson is Honorary Canon of Peterborough Cathedral.  She retired as Vicar of Wellingborough St Mark at the start of this year, and she has recently been appointed as the Bishop’s Adviser for Healing.

Anne Hindle is Vicar of Warmington, Tansor and Cotterstock, and Fotheringhay.




Below the Water’s Surface - the hidden causes of addictions.  This workshop will examine what lies beneath eating disorders, self-harm and other addictions. As well as paths to recovery, incorporating the physical, emotional and spiritual components.  

Helena Wilkinson is a recovered anorexic who has worked with addiction issues for over 25 years. She is a trained counsellor, a freelance writer of daily Bible reading notes, and the author of 11 books.  She is based at Nicholaston House, a Christian Retreat Centre in South Wales.






Ministry, young offenders and the justice system.  What’s it like for a young person being taken into custody?  What’s their journey?  What’s the impact on their community and on their family?  Where does the church fit into all of this?  This workshop will give insight into these questions, and help participants think about faith and ministry alongside the lost - both inside and outside the prison fence.

Sarah Morris is Managing Chaplain at HMP/YOI Drake Hall, and Diocesan Advisor to the Bishop of Lichfield for Prison Ministry.  She has 10+ years of experience working in the field, having worked with men and women; young people and young adults; YOI, Cat C and Cat D prisoners. 





What do the Bible, Christian teaching and the Church have to say about how money affects us?  This workshop will look at the theology and practice of the church regarding credit, debt and its management.

Andy Walton is a writer and broadcaster with a background in community organising. He has worked for the Centre for Theology and Community for the past five years, and is a churchwarden.  He works closely on finance and debt issues with the Just Finance Foundation, which is a subsidiary of the Church Urban Fund.


Sent by Jesus to Share His Love with Others





How can church schools be deeply Christian whilst ministering to diverse communities?  This will be an inter-active workshop exploring possible areas of sensitivity: the non-negotiables for upholding the integrity of the Christian character of a school, and a case study of a church school successfully serving a diverse community.

Miranda Robinson is the Diocesan Director of Education, a SIAMS inspector and a former secondary school senior leader. 

Liz Youngman is the Deputy Diocesan Director of Education, a SIAMS inspector and a former primary school head-teacher.




young people


Reaching younger people.  We all know the statistics about how the Church of England is struggling to reach and disciple younger people. This workshop will offer some suggestions about how parishes could creatively reach the younger generation.  


Mark Russell was a Youth Minister for 10 years before he became CEO of Church Army.  He is a well-known advocate for evangelism to and with younger people.



rural areas


Living out the “Way of Jesus” in Rural Ministry.  Rural parishes and benefices come in all shapes and sizes. We minister with things that we have inherited, with the challenges of contemporary living and for many the uncertainties of the future.   This workshop will consider how God`s Kingdom can be made real in each community, and how the local Church can show the Way of Jesus.


Philip Davies is Parish Priest to six rural communities in East Northamptonshire, and is particularly involved in working with local schools.





at work


Ministry and discipleship at work. This workshop will explore ideas and ways to influence our own workplaces for Jesus, through influencing in the church, influencing in the workplace, and developing a personal work plan.


Andrew Walker is a Chartered Accountant who retired in 2016. Andrew was licensed as a Reader in 1989.  Recently he became Secretary to the Central Readers Council, and now seeks to influence the Church’s commitment to lay ministry from within. 





Beginners’ Guide to Starting a New Mission Initiative.  “We really need to do something to reach out, but don’t know where or how to start before there’s no one left."  The workshop Includes: (i) What’s the big idea? ; (ii) Simple model of the various stages of a new initiative; (iii) Who’s in? - gathering a team; (iv) Lots of stories and examples from others; and (v) Opportunity for follow up support and training back in the parish.

Charlie Nobbs has experience in church planting, new housing areas and community building.  He has set up New Initiatives reaching pre-school kids and families, residents at a retirement home, young people, outdoors, and film lovers – some went really well others didn’t!  He has been supporting Pioneers and Starters for several years, and now works full-time for Peterborough Diocese.  





Justice in Trade: Engaging in Cultural Mission.  This session will explore what churches can do to reverse the erosion of Christian culture in society with a special focus on Christmas, Easter and the ethical trading, as well as cultural crossovers and opportunities. There will be free chocolate (!) and examples from the Christmas Starts with Christ and the Real Easter Egg/Real Advent campaigns, with practical steps that churches can take to engage through key festivals and ethical trading.

David Marshall was ordained in 1992 and has served in the Dioceses of Liverpool, Manchester and Chester. He has a 25 year career directing communications for the Church of England, the University sector and as a consultant, as well as experience in running national campaigns across the Third Sector.  He is also a member of which campaigns to reclaim Christmas.  He is the founder and currently the CEO of The Meaningful Chocolate Company.

Sent by Jesus to Take up Our Cross




Eyes Open, Ears Open, Mouth Open. Spotting and Nurturing the Ministry of Others...a workshop to help us to help others discover how they might be called to serve.


Steve Benoy is the Diocesan Director of Ordinands for Peterborough Diocese. 

Jenny Opperman -Lay Vocations Officer.




Leadership in Ministry: Leading when we and our churches are anxious.  Our world, society and churches can be driven by anxiety.  How can we work together as ordained and lay leaders in the midst of this, when our churches may be functioning as anxious family systems?  What are the triggers to be aware of in church life?  How can we manage our own anxiety and still be present as effective leaders? How can we hold the vision and protect the system from sabotage?  How does all this relate to our experience on the ground?  So many questions, a bishop, a training offer, hopefully some wine and maybe even some fairy lights.  Do join us.


Bishop Donald is passionate about the Church and its leaders.


Liz Holdsworth – Training Officer, Lay Minister, Conflict Conversations Partner, Training Partner with Bridge Builders, Anxious Mother and Grandmother.




single life


Ministry and single life: gift or challenge?  This workshop will provide an opportunity to talk together frankly about some of the issues around singleness and ministry, the best bits and the worst bits. It is open to all, married or single (whether never married, widowed or divorced).

Linnet Smith is Parish Training Officer in the Adult Training Team for the Peterborough Diocese.

Sent by Jesus to Make Disciples





Telling Tales: Unlocking your Creative Potential.  Jesus was a storyteller who knew how to grip an audience. Do you burn to tell stories, too? This workshop offers a chance to unlock your potential as a writer. Through a series of practical exercises, explore how to get started – and what makes good writing better. Enjoy some time out to get creative. Note: please bring a laptop.

Sarah Meyrick is a journalist and novelist. Until Easter this year she was Director of Communications for the Diocese of Oxford. She is the author of Knowing Anna (a novel) and Married to the Ministry (non-fiction), and writes features for the Church Times. She is the Director of the Bloxham Festival of Faith and Literature.





Top tips for creating an effective parish website.  In this workshop, Kyle will talk about the pitfalls of a parish website, the essential webpages every parish site should have, and how to effectively use a website as a tool to reach a local community.  

Kyle Cottington runs the UK's largest Christian Software Company.  Through Church Edit and iKnow Church, it supports over 1,000 UK churches. 







 With grateful thanks to Ecclesiastical Insurance, Carter Jonas, Church Edit and Hunt and Coombs for supporting the 2017 Diocese of Peterborough’s Ministers Conference