In addition to offering courses in Godly Play, the trainers are happy to be contacted about bespoke training for your context. The biographies below give an idea of individual trainers’ special interests.
Lead Trainer for Godly Play UK: Rachel Bainton
Rachel is (by profession) a Mechanical Engineer, however, now she is exploring self-employment as a maker and seller of crafts, including eggs (yes, ukrainian ones too) and spoons as well as being being the UK’s Lead Trainer. She is based in the parish of St. Mary, Monkseaton near Newcastle upon Tyne and has been involved in Godly Play since 2004, using it regularly in church, and taking it out into other churches and schools in the diocese. The church now has a fully equipped Godly Play room, and local schools are invited to visit the church to enjoy full sessions. She enjoys supporting and training others in the art of this Christian nurture, and to offer help and support for all those involved in Godly Play in the North East.
Rebecca Nye: Dr. Rebecca Nye
Rebecca’s research on children’s spirituality (eg The Spirit of the Child, Hay and Nye 1998/2006) brought her into contact with Jerome Berryman and Godly Play, and led her to introducing Godly Play to the UK. She established the first Godly Play room and directed a 2 year project on Godly Play and Children’s Spirituality at the Centre for Advanced Religious and Theological Studies, University of Cambridge. Rebecca’s background is in developmental psychology (co-author of Psychology for Christian Ministry, Watts, Nye and Savage 2002), so her interest in Godly Play is part of a wider interest in faith development, approaches to religious education and pedagogy and the spirituality of teachers. Rebecca enjoys offering post-graduate supervision in these areas, giving talks and most of all enthusing others about Godly Play’s potential for their contexts (aka training!). She has experience of using Godly Play with pre-schoolers, children in parish and school settings, theological students and bishops!
The Rev’d Peter Privett
Peter is the International Training Consultant for the UK, Europe and beyond.
Mary Cooper (Newcastle upon Tyne)
Mary is a retired teacher of many years experience, predominantly in early-years. She uses Godly Play in schools and at her local church, also St Mary’s Monkseaton. She also currently organises and delivers training in the region and beyond. Mary’s current special responsibility within the Godly Play circle of trainers is to support the Godly Play advocates.
Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Midlands
Kathryn Lord (Sheffield)
Kathryn has helped establish ‘Mutual Blessings’ – a Sheffield Christian movement which seeks to support spiritually enriching practices using the method and principles of Godly Play with people of all ages or needs, but especially those who may be on the edge of the church’s ministry. She is particularly involved in the development of Godly Play in schools and amongst older people in care settings. Kathryn is the children’s work co-ordinator at The Vine Church, Netherthorpe in an inner city area of Sheffield. The church has a Godly Play room and uses Godly Play in many different contexts. Kathryn has also advised in the setting up of a number of other Godly Play rooms and spaces. Before her involvement with Godly Play, Kathryn was a Science teacher and is convinced that Godly Play can help us to see what education should really be all about. She is committed to help change the culture and ethos in communities such as schools, religious organisations, care settings and work places through Godly Play and through Deep Talk.
Kate Cornwell (Sheffield)
Kate is currently training for ministry at St Peter’s College in Sheffield and was previously a physiotherapist and self-employed childminder. She leads Godly Play sessions at The Vine Church in Sheffield, and has taken Godly Play into 4 local primary schools. She currently works as a trainer with Mutual Blessings, exploring the use of Godly Play with older people and supporting churches and schools in setting up spiritually-enriching spaces. She also enjoys facilitating adult group discussion using ‘Deep Talk’ – an adaptation of Godly Play which helps working communities to explore their vision and purpose.
Susie Steel (Hull)
Susie is a primary school teacher with an interest in early years and child development. She has experience of running Godly Play groups in schools, churches and after school groups, and most recently has been working with an after school group in a deprived urban context. She is based in Hull, and runs a Godly Play network for the surrounding area there.
The West Midlands
Please contact either Claire Wesley firstname.lastname@example.org or Kathryn Lord email@example.com
Stuart is an Anglican priest working in the Diocese of Southwark, having previously worked in the theatre. He enjoys being alongside people as they grow spiritually through the Godly Play tradition and has used it regularly in church and school settings. He is particularly interested in using Godly Play with adults as a way to nurture faith and deepen the spiritual life. He is currently Chaplain to a large almshouse community in South London where he is introducing Godly Play to elderly residents.
Andrea is employed by the Salvation Army as the Training and Development Officer in the Children’s Ministries Unit. She enjoys travelling the UK to support and encourage people working with children in many contexts. She offers introductory training days in Godly Play and is currently working on a strategy to promote Godly Play in the Salvation Army.
As a Reader in the Anglican church she enjoys using GP with children, older people and in all-age worship.
Sue has been a FE lecturer, primary school teacher and youth and children’s worker. She set up the Guildford Diocesan Godly Play classroom at Christchurch, Ottershaw and now works in developing its use in training for schools, churches and groups of all ages. She is keen to offer help and support for all those involved in Godly Play in the South East. She is happy to travel – so please feel free to contact her!
Judy has been a Speech and Language Therapist, editorial assistant and more recently Children’s leader and worker in her local church. She has been using Godly Play since 2010 and welcomes all opportunities to share stories and wondering with children and adults alike. She runs a Sunday Club Godly Play group with three other team members and also takes Godly Play into a local school. She co-ordinates the thriving Sussex Godly Play Network and occasionally works with a Primary Education Consultant helping teachers to see a different way of being and working with children.
Sian has worked with children, young people and their families in a range of community settings over the years including primary school. She is an Associate Tutor at Bristol Baptist College and Oasis College. In teaching and at training events, she has used Godly Play with ministers in training, youth and children’s workers, students and parents. She introduced Godly Play to her local Baptist church which subsequently committed to following the two year curriculum with children and adults! Sian is a Young Victims’ Advocate supporting children and young people affected by crime through the criminal justice system with a coping and recovery therapy.
Sian has a deep sense of calling to see children develop in their own spirituality and faith journey and is passionate for a Godly Play approach to this. She is currently in the final stages of a professional doctorate in Practical Theology where her research has focussed on girls aged 7-14 years – their identity, world and faith. Any spare time she has, she enjoys sharing with her daughters and grandchildren, her neighbourhood book group and walking her King Charles Cavalier, Pippin.
My amazing job is to inspire, encourage and resource the creative development of mission and ministry amongst children (0-11 year olds) in the Diocese of Exeter. I travel all over Devon offering Support, Training, Advice and Resources (STAR) to paid and volunteer children’s leaders as well as clergy. When I discovered Godly Play 9 years ago, it changed my thinking and my practice and influences many areas of my work. I love it with a passion because it releases children’s Spirituality in a way in a way I have not seen in other settings. Previous to this job I was a primary school teacher for 8 years in the UK, China and Uganda and I love learning about and sharing lives with other people.
Alison is a former children’s nurse and health visitor. Since 2002 she has been part time children and families’ pastor and Reader at St Andrew’s Churchdown. She has been using Godly Play there since 2003, and has learned the most from the children with whom she works. St Andrew’s has a Godly Play room and welcomes groups or individuals to come and experience it for themselves. Alison enjoys travel and has visited places as disparate as Romania and Thailand with Godly Play in her suitcase.
Alex is based in Edinburgh and has set up the Godly Play room at Cramond Kirk. She is part of Godly Play Scotland, introducing and promoting Godly Play across Scotland, she is happy to help and support anyone involved in Godly Play. Alex is also happy to travel and Godly Play Scotland run Discovery Days all around the country. You can find details of these at http://www.godlyplayscotland.co.uk/.
Michelle is the Family Worker at Portobello and Joppa Parish Church in Edinburgh. She is originally from the USA, where she worked in children’s and youth ministry for the Presbyterian Church USA at a church in Boston and a summer camp in New Hampshire. She came to Edinburgh to attain a MTh in Theological Ethics: Media from New College at the University of Edinburgh. Michelle was trained in Godly Play in 2008 and has shared it in a Scottish Episcopal Church, the Church of Scotland, a nursery playgroup, a Scripture Union after school club and at her son’s primary school. She has also been involved with Godly Play Scotland since it formed in 2010 and became an Advocate for Godly Play UK in 2015. She trained to be a Trainer for Godly Play Scotland in November 2017 and she is looking forward to sharing Godly Play with more people around Scotland in the years ahead.
Richard is the Children’s and Youth Development Worker in the United Free Church of Scotland. He graduated with a BA(Hons) in Children’s and Youth Ministry in 2010 and has served with SU Scotland and The Salvation Army before joining the United Free Church in early 2016. Qualified as an accredited storyteller in 2012 and as a trainer in November 2017, Richard has been telling stories and helping others to explore Godly Play in a variety of contexts. Richard lives in North West Edinburgh with his wife and adult son.
Cass is a musician and is training for ministry in the Church in Wales. She lives in Bala in North Wales and runs a Godly Play group in Christ Church, Bala through the medium of Welsh. She enjoys sharing Godly Play with children and adults and is in the process of translating the stories into Welsh.
Mae Cass yn gerddor ac yn hyfforddi ar gyfer gweinidogaeth yn yr Eglwys yng Nghymru. Mae hi’n byw yn y Bala ac yn rhedeg grwp Chwarae yng Nghwmni Duw yn Eglwys Crist, y Bala drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Mae hi’n mwynhau rhannu Godly Play gyda phlant ac oedolion ac yn y broses o gyfieithu’r straeon i’r Gymraeg.
Diana currently works in a nursery and enjoys bringing Godly play to children during primary school years and beyond. She is the trainer for South Wales and runs a Godly Play group at Holy Trinity Church, Abergavenny.
As well as working with children, Diana also loves bringing Godly Play to adults both through training and as a tool for enriching their own spiritual journey. She enjoys watching and encouraging the growth of Godly Play across Wales, in all denominations.
For details of support and training in Ireland please go to https://godlyplayie.wordpress.com/tag/godly-play-training/