Renewing Hope in Smaller Churches

11am on Wednesday 15th - after lunch on Friday 17th May 2024

FULLY BOOKED - Please email [email protected] if you would like to be put on the waiting list or be informed about future dates

A two-night retreat for clergy and lay leaders from smaller churches*. The Church of England has several thousand such churches, but their specific needs and potential are too often overlooked. Run in partnership with ReSource, which works particularly with smaller parish churches and groups of churches, this retreat will enable participants to explore what it means for hope to be renewed in such contexts.

Drawing throughout from the Parables of the Kingdom in Matthew 13, themes under consideration will include the significance of prayer beyond Sundays; building and nurturing effective lay teams; growing younger; refreshing established patterns of worship; having the confidence to start small and do one thing well.

This retreat follows last year’s fully-booked event with ReSource, Spiritual Renewal in Liturgical Churches. Please note that while there is plenty of time for personal retreat and reflection, there will also be opportunities for discussion and conversation, and we hope participants will be keen to share about, and learn from, one another’s contexts.

Led by Cuddesdon alumnus Revd Dr Christopher Landau, director of ReSource, along with ReSource Ministers Rod and Jan Allon-Smith, who bring both ordained ministry and leadership development experience to the retreat (see Our Team — Resourcing Renewal). We also look forward to welcoming College Principal Bishop Humphrey Southern for an evening session.

(*by which we mean 50 or fewer people at worship – perhaps many fewer! – on a typical Sunday).

£160, includes accommodation and meals



Wednesday 15th May

11:00  Arrivals and coffee

11:45 College Community Eucharist

13:00 Lunch

14:30 Inspired by the Mustard Seed and Yeast: the encouragement that ‘small is beautiful’ in the kingdom of God

16:00 Tea

16:30 Individual or small group reflection

17:15 Evening Prayer

18:00 Supper

19:30 ‘Fireside conversations’ sharing experiences of, and/or hopes for, renewing hope in smaller churches

21:30 Compline in Chapel (optional)


Thursday 16th May

07:30 BCP Eucharist (optional)

08:15 Breakfast

09:00 Morning Prayer with college community in Chapel

09:45 Sowing for (yet) another season: the place of prayer and renewed worship

11:00 Coffee

11:15 Living with the Weeds: naming and facing challenges in smaller church ministry

12:30 Lunch

followed by free time for prayer, rest, or a local walk;

and opportunities to meet with the retreat leaders for conversation and prayer

15:45 Tea

16:15 Optional session on Healing ministry and the renewing of hope

17:15 Evening Prayer

18:00 Supper

19:30 Bishop Humphrey Southern in conversation

21:30 Compline in Chapel (optional)


Friday 17th May

07:30 Eucharist (optional)

08:15 Breakfast

09:00 Morning Prayer with college community in Chapel

Check out of rooms

09:45 Seeking the Hidden Treasure as you look ahead

11:00 Coffee

11:30 Closing Holy Communion service in Chapel, with anointing

13:00 Lunch followed by departures