Boyd Varty: What I learnt from Nelson Mandela

ted_logoThere are loads of videos and social commentaries worth watching on

Click this link to see a video of a talk by Boyd Varty, a wildlife activist, who shares stories of animals, humans and their interrelatedness, or “ubuntu” – defined as, “I am, because of you.” He dedicates this talk to Nelson Mandela, the human embodiment of that same great-hearted, generous spirit.


PostScript: now on Twitter

rootstightlycroppedNot sure what PostScript is?

It’s up-to-the-minute commentary on the week’s news – published on Thursday and linked to the coming Sunday’s Bible readings. PostScript includes a reflection, a prayer, discussion points to use with young people, and an action point.

PostScript is now available to non-subscribers, via the ROOTS on the Web homepage. If you have friends who you think would find PostScript useful, please do spread the word – either via Twitter (@roots4churches) or by sending them a link to the homepage.

Free resources for the winter from ROOTS on the web


Winter has its own beauty, and sometimes the sparseness of the trees and cold mornings reflect how we feel after the colour and bustle of Christmas. Click here for a prayer of thanksgiving for winter and here for a seasonal way into prayer.

Plus don’t forget the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (18 – 25 January). You can find resources on the theme of ‘Is Christ divided?’ on the website of one of our partners, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. Click here to find out more.

Helping all ages to respond to the Bible reading


When we hear a Bible reading, we all engage and connect to it in different ways. Each week, ROOTS provides activities to use across the whole age-range, helping us all to think about the reading. ROOTS offers a range of activities to supplement the sermon or talk, to help people make sense of the passage for themselves. Worship leaders can choose from a wide range of ideas, and ROOTS also provides all the supporting material that you will need, including templates for craft activities, images and drama scripts.   

Click here to see the summary text for the week beginning Sunday 12 January 2014, and then scroll down and click on any of the Respond to the Word activities. They’re all linked to one of the lectionary readings for that Sunday, Matthew 3.13-17, which explores the baptism of Jesus.

These activities are normally only available to ROOTS subscribers, but ROOTS has provided these free for you to try.         
ROOTS resources are published in two magazines – Adult & All Age and Children & Young People, plus a supporting website. If you’d like a free sample magazine, phone 0845 680 5317, or email to request a copy.

Digital safety training for professionals who work with young people

Youth UK
UK Youth have developed an interactive training course you might be interested in: Just £50 + VAT per person for the day. They say:

How well do you know your Snapchat from your AskFM? Are you concerned about the impact of the digital world on young people? Are you up to date with current research on young people and digital safety? Do you know how to manage your digital footprint? Would you like the opportunity to explore cyberbullying, sexting and online safety with other professionals and gain strategies and activities to work with young people around these issues?

This is a dynamic and challenging day to discuss and deepen our understanding, and to consider how we meet the needs of young people in today’s society.

Who would benefit from this course?

Practitioners and volunteers who work with young people such as youth workers, social workers, teachers, counsellors and school health professionals.

Participants will also have the opportunity to gain CEOP ‘Think You Know’ Introduction Course accreditation from the day giving them access to a range of additional resources.

Click here for full details.


The Diocesan Lent Course 2014, Living the Mission of Jesus

If you’re thinking ‘hang on, I didn’t know the diocese did a lent course’ that’s because we don’t. But all that is about to change.

You may be aware that in September of this year, Bishop Tim took the Diocesan Synod and guests away for 3 days on a conference in order to create the strategic priorities for the Diocese as we move forward in our calling to live the mission of Jesus. And if ‘strategic priorities’ sounds as dull as dishwater then you need to check this out:

Under God, delighting in his grace and rooted in the Diocesan rule of life, we will be a diocese in which:

  • We grow authentic disciples
  • We re-imagine the church
  • We are agents of social transformation
  • We belong together in Christ, practising sacrificial living and good stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us.

These amazing statements will form the basis of all that we do as a diocese as we move forward in the coming years. But regardless of how good those words sound, if all they ever do is remain on a few pieces of paper tucked in desk drawers, they will make no difference to our communities.

So +Tim has asked Pete and Andy to head up a fantastically gifted team of people to create a lent course that not only seeks to help everyone in the diocese get to grips with the four strategic priorities, but to discover how they can become a part of our day by day discipleship. And we really do mean everyone. So as well as adult small group material and sermon notes, we have also prepared resource for children’s groups, youth groups and even an outline for a Messy Church service.

Clergy across the diocese have been sent a letter from +Tim encouraging churches to commit to the diocesan course, so speak to them if you would like to get your children’s, youth and Messy Church groups involved. They have also been sent an outline of the themes for each week, a copy of which you can download here. Training is provided around the Diocese on the dates below – we would love to see you there.

We’re really excited about the Lent Course, and would love to tell you more about it – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Pete or Andy if you have any questions.

· on Tuesday 14 January at St Paul’s Church Centre in Andover (7.15pm – 9.45pm)
· on Wednesday 15 January at Christ Church, Chineham in Basingstoke (one session 2.00pm-4.30pm, one session 7.15pm – 9.45pm)
· on Thursday 16 January at St Barnabas, Weeke in Winchester (7.15pm – 9.45pm)
· on Tuesday 21 January at St Paul’s, Throop in Bournemouth (7.15pm – 9.45pm)
· on Wednesday 22 January at St Andrew’s, Dibden Purlieu in the New Forest (one session 2.00pm-4.30pm, one session 7.15pm – 9.45pm)
· on Thursday 23 January at the Church of the Ascension, Bitterne Park in Southampton (7.15pm – 9.45pm)
· in Guernsey and in Jersey on a date to be confirmed between 28 and 30 January.