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Called & Equipped – a year long programme

What is God calling you to do next?


Called & Equipped is a year-long programme, offering a foundation in Catholic teaching and a journey of faith formation.

*For anyone active in parish life or coming into ministry

*Starts with a residential foundations weekend 8-10th September (tbc), and will have 24 weekly group sessions over the following year.

*All materials are online, and small groups can meet face-to-face or over zoom.

*Choice of small groups for participants running in different parts of the diocese, and on different days of the week.

*Possibility of a bespoke group if there are enough people from your parish or pastoral area doing it.

*The cost of the course, £480 including the residential weekend, will be split three ways: £160 from the diocesan Together in Faith Fund, £160 from the parish, and £160 from the individual.

*There will be bursary places available for those unable to meet the individual payment.

To find out more, register for one of our webinars.

I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them.

Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel, 3


Or you can watch the video of last year’s webinar here:


So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-13

Course Content

We begin with a foundations weekend on 8th-10th September, at the Kings Park Centre in Northampton (cost included).  We will explore why Jesus came, died and rose again, coming to know him in a new and personal way.  We will also have opportunities to explore different forms of prayer and spend time with our small groups and mentors.

After that there will be 8 units, three sessions each.  Our course creators feature some fantastic national and internationally known names, as well as our own home-grown talent.

  1. Prayer and spirituality – Helen Burgess
  2. Old Testament – Brian Purfield
  3. New Testament – Brian Purfield
  4. Sacraments and the Mass –  Jo Boyce and Fr Francis Higgins
  5. Catholic Social Teaching and ethics – Debbie Purfield and Jennifer Ossei-Brainoo
  6. Mission and sharing our faith – Mission Northampton Dr Maria Heath
  7. Pastoral skills – Deacon Erik Kerr
  8. The laity, vocation and the Church – David Wells

All the content will be housed in our online learning platform that you can access at any time.  There will be 24 weekly sessions in small groups either in person or online hosted by your mentor.  Written reflections will be based around applying what you’ve learned to your life and ministry so that you grow in skill and faith through the course as well as knowledge.

Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire …

St Catherine of Siena

Person on mountain top

Discipleship Elements

The course aims for a balance between theological learning and personal spirituality.  The specifically discipleship elements are:

  1. Foundations weekend – an emphasis on personal encounter through teaching, prayer opportunities, and small group discussions.
  2. Mentors trained as accompaniers: to walk with their group on their journey of faith
  3. Prayer time in each study session, with participants encouraged to plan and lead this through the course
  4. Written reflections
  5. Retreat day

Skills Elements

This course is designed to help everyone grow in ministry and confidence.  The skills we will practise over the year include:

  • Applying Scripture to our everyday lives
  • Sharing our faith with others
  • Developing our prayer life
  • Leading prayer with others
  • Pastoral Ministry skills
  • Applying Catholic ethics and Catholic social teaching to real world situations

Don’t worry if you’re not confident in some (or all) of these, this is a very safe environment to learn.

Next steps

Who should apply?

Anyone currently in ministry or considering it.  Although this sounds very grand, it just means being involved in your parish, from being part of the first communion team, to taking communion to the sick.  We also welcome applications from people on parish pastoral councils or pastoral area councils, or members of staff in the diocese.

The units don’t presume lots of knowledge of theology and would be suitable for anyone wanting to go deeper in faith.  We will explain new terms and concepts as we go.  Don’t worry if you grew up learning about your faith in a different language, the fact that the materials are online and can be revisited whenever you want makes it possible to go at your own pace. Zoom groups help to make the course accessible, whether you have small children or a disability.

Finally, the cost of the course is split three ways: £160 diocesan Together in Faith fund, £160 from the parish and £160 from participants.  We would not want cost to prevent anyone from taking part, so we have a number of bursary places.  It is also possible to sponsor someone else’s course costs.  You can donate online here via the Northampton Diocese giving page or phone the finance office on 01604 712065.  Please quote Called & Equipped.

How to apply:

*Register your interest here and sign up for one of our introductory webinars: or watch the video session above.

* Download the application form here:

C&E Application form

*Have a chat with your parish priest.  The parish is going to pay part of your course fees and support you in your ministry so it’s essential to talk this through before going further.

*Complete the application form and send in by 15th August.

*Once you’ve been notified that your application is successful, and paid your fees, we will give you the options for meeting times and places ahead of our foundations weekend on 8th-10th September (tbc).

Key Dates

Tuesday 27th June or Wednesday 2nd August. Introductory webinar: an opportunity to hear more about the course and get a chance to ask questions.  Register here:

15th August: Closing date for applications

8-10th September: Residential weekend at Kings Park Centre, Northampton

Other in person events include a Safeguarding day and a retreat (dates to be confirmed).  We finish with a Celebration Mass with Bishop David.

There will be 24 2hr sessions spread through the year from September 2023 to June 2024.  These will be on zoom, and the groups will be distributed through the week.  There will be options to choose from on booking although we will ask you to give first and second choices so that we can keep the numbers in the groups roughly even.  You will first meet your small group on the residential weekend.