St. Mary's Church, Theydon Bois

Course in Christian Studies (CCS)

The Course in Christian Studies is a two year course exploring the Christian Faith with others, delivered weekly in local centres around the Diocese of Chelmsford. CCS has a foundational first year and a more flexible second year and leads to the Bishop’s Certificate. For those who desire it, the Course also provides a foundation for further education or training. This could be other local courses; it could be a degree or diploma; or it could be training for a specific ministry in the Church including the ministry of: Reader, Pastoral Assistant, Lay Evangelist or Priest.
Since it began in 1987, over 2500 lay people from Essex and N.E. London have joined the Course in Christian Studies. What has it given them? What could it give you?

The excitement of discovery and learning together: members bring their own varied stories and experiences and share them, finding new truth in themselves and in each other through lively discussion.

Knowledge of the Bible and of the huge riches of Christian tradition, nurtured by tutors and textbooks, and whetting members' appetite for more knowledge - but not providing all the answers.

Delight in that biblical and Christian tradition, finding in it a field for imaginative and practical exploration, for wonder and worship and decision.

Constructive Reflection on the Bible and tradition and on the contemporary world: the Course does not shirk the hard questions posed by the Church's history or by believing in God and seeking peace and justice today.

Spiritual Formation of both the local group and its individual members: the Course does not set out to convert or evangelise, but it is concerned with the whole life of prayer and activity and relationships - not just with the mind.

The programme begins in September in local centres, the nearest being St Stephen's Tye Green in Harlow where Rev Ernie Guest is the Vicar. There is a taster day on Tuesday 25th July from 7.30p.m - 9.30p.m. Alternatively, there is a taster event on Wednesday this week (28th June) from 1p.m.- 3.30p.m. at St Paul's Woodford Bridge.

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