01 August 2016
Feedback from the Faith Pictures Course
A course designed by the Church Army, followed by St Antony's and St Edmund's during the summer of 2016.
If a friend asked you why you go to church what would you say?
Recently at St Antony’s and St Edmund’s we were excited to run a new short course produced by the Church Army called Faith Pictures.
It isn’t a traditional Bible study or enquirers course rather it’s designed to help Christians talk naturally to friends, neighbours and colleagues about what they believe. The heart of the course is about helping people to identify a single picture or image that embodies something of their faith.
Starting on 11 June an average of 11 church members plus Susan met weekly for 6 weeks though in all there were 17 taking part. The group consisted of members from the 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock congregations as well as members from both churches.
Here is what some of those who took part have to say:
“I have just finished the 6 week Faith Pictures course. Every week I attended along with a mixture from our 8 O'clock & 10 O'clock congregations, some of whom I knew very little about other than their name. After watching the short DVD clip for each week we entered in to discussion either as a large group, smaller groups or as a two, depending on the question and how appropriate it was to share.
I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, the ease with which we were led in to discussion, not just by the group leader but by the material given for each week. I learnt how to respond individually to a partner and in the group setting. As the first 3 weeks weren't particularly bible based I learnt a lot about people in my group or partnered that I would never have known otherwise.
By week 4 we were very much beginning to think of a picture and the DVD really did help with ideas.
My only stumbling block was finding a Faith character from the bible that I could identify with and for me I never really did get to grips with it or take example from the DVD.
I do have a Faith picture that works for me and the course has opened up for me several conversations at work, just talking about the course and how much I enjoyed it.”
“This course has been an enjoyable experience… I felt that keeping the sessions to about an hour was good for focussing and yet allowed time for considered discussions, one to one or in a group, and was not in any way threatening or embarrassing. Watching the video snapshots then choosing our own subjects, themes and experiences to talk about with others as a lead into deeper matters seems so obvious - hopefully practice will make it easier to bring faith into everyday conversations now.
I hope others will take up any future opportunity to join in.”
“The Faith Pictures course appealed to me because it sounded quite informal and an opportunity to help me learn how to talk to people I meet about why i am a Christian & my faith journey. Building a “picture” was easier than I thought it would be and I was able to add a little more to it as the weeks passed by. Our group was made up of two churches and it gave us all an opportunity to listen and talk to people we probably would not normally mix with. I do not normally sign up for courses, but I am so pleased I attended. My journey is still ongoing, but this has definitely given me some foundation to build on and would strongly recommend it.” Gill Tobin.
Faith Pictures was “a real opportunity to step back and look at personal faith and our own journey to the current day through a different lens. A brilliant way to talk with St Edmund’s and St Antony’s members in a protected environment. Whilst the 6 weeks is over this is just the start of looking for leopards!”
If you want to know more about looking for leopards you can always ask us.
Revd Susan Atkinson-Jones