Engaging with the Issues

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A series of Round Table Discussions on topics that are engaging the hearts and minds of the Community, the churches, local and national government at Free Church House, 27 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9HH.



Spiritual Care in Community Health Care Settings – Community Chaplaincy

                          Thursday 4th October 2018   & Tuesday 5th February 2019    

For those who connected with a faith community there is both social and spiritual support. For those who aren’t where is their spiritual support in times of health care crisis? This day will be based on the shared experience of individuals working in Community Health Care Chaplaincy and will enable participants to build their plan to make a difference in their community.


Dementia – caring for the carers as well as those who have dementia

                        Wednesday 14th November 2018 & Wednesday 3rd April 2019

The rate of increase in the incidence of dementia means that everyone knows someone who has dementia or who is caring for someone with dementia. This day will enable churches and individuals to learn from others in looking at opportunities to these needs in the local community.


Dying Matters

Thursday 29th November 2018

It’s a certainty – we will all die. This day will enable participants to explore the contemporary aspects of death and dying and look at ways to provide safe spaces when matter of death and dying may be explored. Ways of meeting the spiritual needs of those who are dying and their families will also be discussed.



Each day will begin with coffee/ tea and registration at 10.30 with a formal start at 11am and finish at approx. 3.30pm, lunch and refreshments will be provided.

The cost is £10 for each day and you are advised to book early as places are limited.

Please contact Thandar Tun (thandar.tun@freechurches.org.uk) with any questions.

This information is accessible to download here.

To book please complete and return the booking form.

A prayer for guidance in education...

Let us pray....  Loving God, We pray for all those who are seeking vocational guidance at this time in the academic year. We pray for all of those who are awaiting GCSE and A Level exam results or the outcomes of vocational course diplomas and exams... 

We pray for all those who are in the sixth form and FE who are visiting open days at Universities and planning the next steps in their vocational education.

Praying for those working in careers guidance and teaching and learning support.

We pray for all young people who are considering taking their first steps into work.

We pray for all adults who have been engaged in further and higher education who are planning to return to work after career breaks, spells of unemployment or raising a family.

May God uphold and direct those in need of support and direction. May the paths be clear and the purpose be steady.

'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and He shall direct your paths' Proverbs 3:5-6.

In Jesus' name, we pray. 


The joy of learning as a family...

Many of our churches have the benefit of toddlers, children, young people and adults of all ages growing, learning and sharing together. I have often found this is one of the most satisfying and uplifting aspects of our lives in our churches. A real joy to share and develop with all ages! 

The benefits of inter-generational learning are well known and in some ways, churches have always known this - but many charities and groups are creating environments where this can flourish and be cherished. Some of you may have spotted the wonderful Channel 4 documentary about 'the old people's home for four year olds' - you can read about the work that St Monica Trust are doing HERE and their history as a Christian foundation HERE

The Workers' Educational Association (WEA) have lots of locally run courses and programmes to support families and parenting - you read all about it HERE and see what is on in your local area. These may be of use to you, your church family or your work in the wider community. The WEA Grow Together – Learn Together campaign celebrates the positive impact of adult learning on families.

  • What kind of inter-age activities do you have at your church?
  • How do you see young and old learning and growing together?

One of our member churches, the Congregational Federation, has been exploring ministry with, for and by older people - you can read about it HERE

Why not share your stories and experiences with us? Contact me, Sara, to tell me all about it! sara.iles@freechurches.org.uk

Perhaps you could use and share some of the Education Sunday materials on 9 September?

Let us pray - Join me as we pray for all ventures and adventures in inter-generational learning; we ask that our living God blesses and guides us in our church families, as we grow and learn together at all ages. Amen

Freedom on the inside to flourish on the outside...

Freedom to learn and study while in prison can have a significant impact to the lives of prisoners while serving their sentence and to productive lives after release......

Good news?! There was a rare positive piece of prison news last week, as government research into prison education showed that prisoners who spend their time studying through distance learning are significantly more successful in securing work after release. The cost of funding prison education courses is tiny when compared with the cost of re-offending.

During my pastoral ministry training, I had the privilege of serving alongside a prison chaplain in Gloucestershire. The work I did there and the amazing people I met, had a profound influence on my life, Christian witness and attitudes to life, learning and love. As the Education Assistant with the FCG, I have seen first hand the power of learning in later life, to transform all sorts of people. As church-folk, we have a unique and awesome responsibility to find ways of contributing to this. What could you do? Please feel free to get in touch with me or Revd Bob Wilson at FCG to find out more about how you can get involved. 

The Free Churches Group support prisons and free church chaplaincies across the nation. You can read more about this work HERE. In a compelling article, Rod Clarke, the chief executive of the Prisoners’ Education Trust, champions the power of learning inside, to help men and women who are serving time to grow and develop and flourish on release. You can read the full article as featured in the Times Educational Supplement HERE.

Good news indeed! 

Revd Sara Iles, Education Assistant, Free Churches Group 

If we were to start from scratch, what would a good school look like?

That's an interesting and thought-provoking question, isn't it?

What would your ideal school look and feel like? 

The Free Church Education Committee recently had an inspiring presentation from the founder of a school in the West Midlands called the King Solomon International Business School. You can read more about the school's founder, Dr Cheron Byfield, HERE

BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour have been grappling with, imagining and discussing what their ideal school would be like. You can listen to their deliberations and ideas HERE

Whether we are in a position to start a new school or not, we can all take an active role in our local school network... for example,

Why not get involved and be part of making education better and more fruitful for all of our children?