Being With

Being With
(Leaders’ Guide)

Author Samuel Wells
Publisher Canterbury £12.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781786 224394





Being With
(Participants’ Companion)

Author Sally Hitchener
Publisher Canterbury £6.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781786 224422





This ten-session course can be run on-line or in person. Each ninety-minute session is led by a leader and a storyteller with a standard structure of Welcome (giving participants the opportunity to reflect on their week), Wonderings (using the Godly Play approach developed by Jerome Berryman to enable everyone to enter the conversation at their own level and to be heard), the Talk (5-10 minutes to address the main theme of the session) and Reflection (discussion about the Talk). The leaders’ guide contains the instructions for running the course, the content, commentaries on the talks (for leaders less confident or looking for more background material) and the method for inviting people to take part or to become part of the leadership of the course. There are many examples in the leaders’ guide of how people responded when the course was being trialled and these give insights to its possibilities. As with Alpha, the work of the Holy Spirit is recognised as part of the course. Indeed the point is made that the Holy Spirit is as active in the life of a non-believer, someone of a different faith or the hostile, as in the believer. The material rejects any suggestion of a ‘deficit model.’ Seekers or lapsed believers are not empty vessels to be filled or corrected by the leaders. Rather it adopts an ‘asset model’ because Jesus became what we are. This is summarised in the sentence ‘Grace doesn’t eradicate nature, but perfects.’ Again, this echoes the Godly Play methodology. The participants’ companion is for those who are comfortable with books. There are no pictures and the reading age is slightly above the national average. The course could be run without the accompanying booklet if it created a barrier in some contexts. Other people will find it helpful to remind them of what has been discussed and may use it to record their thoughts. Leaders of any course need to decide what is right in their own context. One advantage of this course is that there is no need for audio-visual technology so it can be run in any comfortable space or via video conferencing – a promising option.

Reviewed by RONA ORME

Exploring Christian Faith


Essential information required for your profile. Click okay to complete.