The Difference course – being a reconciling presence in the midst of conflict

Published: Tuesday September 19, 2023

Difference logoDo you know what real difference you could make to the people you encounter in your day-to-day life? The Difference course, developed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, explores what it means to follow Jesus in our lives and seeing transformation through everyday encounters.

Many of us long to make a difference, but often we don’t know how to respond or where to start, whether that’s in our relationships, our communities or in our wider systems and structures.

The Diocese of Gloucester is inviting you to come and be part of the five-week course, starting 26 September. Over five sessions you will get to hear stories of people facing conflict and consider the way that Jesus engaged with difference and division in the context of prayerful discussion.

The Revd Canon Pauline Godfrey, who is leading the course on Tuesday evenings, says, “No two people are the same – even twins who are brought up in the same home environment will develop different personalities. The trouble is that we often don’t realise how differently others think, act, feel than us. Unless we are curious about others we can, mistakenly, assume that ‘our way’ is the norm. Most of the time that doesn’t impact on our lives until a disagreement arises – by then it may be too late. We have to get over the hurdle of conflict before we can understand the other person.

“This course challenges us to become curious about other people and acknowledge where our own reactions stem. Personally, I’ve found it helps me know myself better.”

One participant said, “The course was very good and very emotive. The key take-aways were the importance of being curious, this brings value into so many situations which are severely lacking. It challenged my own thought process and lack of care in certain situations. It also helped me to think practically about a specific situation.”

While another said, “I have taken three funerals in the last ten days. In two of them there were clear family divisions. Using the three habits made it possible for me to craft services which brought some healing to the families concerned.”


Book your place on the September evening course here: The Difference Course – September 

or the January daytime course here: The Difference Course – January

Read more about the course here: The Difference Course

Watch Archbishop Justin’s invitation to pray for peace and reconciliation in our world

Archbishop Justin Welby

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