How to run a course

Leaders

The course is usually delivered by two facilitators who can be LLMs or Clergy (or another lay person working alongside an LLM or Clergy person), preferably from your deanery, though there is a pool of LLMs who are willing to travel to other deaneries. Having two ensures that if one can’t come the session is still held and it helps to spread the load.

Material

Each participant will receive an A4 spiral bound course book with the notes for all the sessions.

Leaders receive the same material but in a file (so as to make it easier to add notes) along with suggested timings and ideas for input sections and group work as well as for the worship/prayer space in each session. The aim is to reduce the amount of preparation time for the leaders but not to cramp their own creativity. Leaders are encouraged to tailor the material for their group as participants can vary considerably in their backgrounds.

Additional material and ideas can be found in a Drop Box which will be made available to all leaders and to which they are invited to contribute.

Time and Format

The timing of courses will depend on the availability of leaders and are arranged in consultation with the course co-ordinator, Lisa Tulfer. Most courses run either in the autumn or post Easter as these are the best times for travel in the diocese, though if the groups are local then any time of the year is possible.

The timing of courses will depend on the availability of leaders and are arranged in consultation with the course co-ordinator, Janet Glover. Most courses run either in the autumn or post Easter as these are the best times for travel in the diocese.

Although the course has been designed to run as a 10 week course with 2 hour sessions (usually breaking for half term or even longer) some are experimenting with alternatives: five Saturday mornings or Sessions 1 and 2 on a Saturday, then six evenings ending with sessions 9 and 10 on a Saturday. The material lends itself to the latter idea. We can let you know the pros and cons of each variation as they are tried.

We will certainly do all we can to help groups to run where and when there is interest.

Size of group

We suggest that optimum number of participants in a group is between 6 and 10, although of course larger or smaller groups are possible if necessary. This is because we value the experience of faith and life that each participant brings to the course and we want to ensure there is opportunity for good discussion as well as input.

Applications

Everyone who wants to attend a course needs to fill in an application form and send it to Lisa Tulfer, Bishop's Officer for Lay Learning and Formation, Ministry Department, Bishop Woodford House, Barton Road, Ely or lisa.tulfer@elydiocese.org.

This also applies to groups which are solely parish groups. This is so we can keep a record of attendance after the course in case anyone subsequently wants to do ALM.

Attendance

We encourage people not to start the course unless they can commit to all the sessions. As the course is an essential part of the Authorised Ministry Course (ALM) we do need to ensure some standard of content and attendance. Those training for ALM need to have attended at least 9 out of the 10 sessions to qualify for authorization. Any sessions missed will need to be caught up with their incumbent.

Venues

To run the course well and with ease we need a venue that:

  • can seat at least 12 people comfortably
  • preferably has round tables as people are moving between course work books and Bibles throughout each session.
  • has space for participants to break into smaller groups without being on top of one another
  • is warm
  • has a toilet
  • has some means of making tea and coffee

Disabled access is also desirable although we know this can be difficult and if a person has particular needs we will try to direct them to a group that does have access.

Cost

The diocese underwrites this course and provides the course workbooks for participants (costs about £5 to produce), as well as any additional costs not covered by the parish or deanery.