manna - Bite-sized youth and children's ministry training


Bite-sized youth and children's ministry training

Welcome to manna: bite-size Children’s, Youth & Families ministry training from The Diocese of Chelmsford and The Salvation Army East of England Division. These monthly sessions are open to anyone involved (or wishing to become involved) in children’s, youth & families ministry, regardless of denomination.

manna is designed to feed you in your ministry with children and young people in a way that gives you the sustenance you need. Join the learning community wherever you are on your journey by attending individual sessions depending on your interest or training needs or make a commitment to attend regularly.

On this website you’ll find an overview of our upcoming training dates and the additional support available to you by becoming part of this learning community.


Since manna began in 2020 we have had more than 100 people engage with our training. Here is what our learning community says about manna:

“I’ve been much more confident and mindful as a volunteer.”

“Helped me to see each child as an individual and to engage with their different learning styles.”

“It has given me different perspectives and helped me reflect more on things that may not have been obvious. As I am new in my paid role and it is a new position I believe this training is helping to shape and underpin what I am doing.”

“Relevant and engaging for local Youth work practitioners – paid and volunteers.”

“An opportunity to learn and reflect on youth ministry with no denomination boundaries!!”

“Michelin star learning with like minded diners!”

To find out more about how manna works scroll down, to book into a training session click here or to contact us click here

How manna works…

A typical manna evening…

Most manna sessions take place online. As we emerge out of lockdown we plan to host one termly event in person as an opportunity for fellowship. We will try to make these worth your while by providing a meal and inviting prominent guest speakers.

Each manna evening has a particular topic and usually includes: elements of theory/presentation, group discussion in breakout groups, theological reflection, thoughts on practical application.

Upcoming Events

Our events links contain more information on the evening.

Look out for more sessions from the team in 2022.





Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Online Session

What are ACEs, how does this affect children's development and what outcomes can this have for the children and families we work with? The workshop offers you the chance to consider issues that shape behaviour such as: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Attachment Trauma Emotional Regulation

Monday 31st January 2022

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manna: Extra – Introduction to Pastorally Supporting LGBTQ+ Young People

'An Introduction to Pastorally Supporting LGBTQ+ Young People’ is designed to equip church youth leaders and those working with young people with the knowledge and information to engage with young people around identity and gender. To be able to offer loving, compassionate and inclusive pastoral support to LGBTQ+ young people in the church community. This resource refuses to take sides, but instead helps to start a conversation around this topic from a perspective of love and pastoral care for young people.

Wednesday 9th February 2022

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Challenging Behaviour

Online Session

What challenging behaviour may we encounter, what may be the causes, and how might we best respond when working with children, young people and families? In this session we'll have a think about some of the difficult behaviour we might encounter and what we might do as a result.

Wednesday 2nd March 2022

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Youth and Children, Culture and Media

Online Session

In this session we will be trying to gain an understanding of the current cultural and media world inhabited by children and young people. Having an understanding of current cultural and media trends that are impacting our children and young people can be hugely helpful in our work with children, young people and their families. It can give us an insight into how young people and children like to interact, it can help us understand the risks and benefits of current forms of media and communication, and it means we can talk in an informed way to the children, young people and their parents.

Tuesday 29th March 2022

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Our two year rolling programme includes the following sessions (use the upcoming events section to see which are running soon).

Core Modules
  • M1: Youth & Children’s Work: The Theory
  • M2: Loving Them Anyway: Challenging Behaviour
  • M3: I Wonder to being a follower: Youth and Child Faith Development
  • M4: The Final Frontier: Engaging and communicating with youth, children and families
  • M5: Getting Your Group On
  • M6: Refresh & Refuel: Retreat Weekend
  • M7: Lead, manage, evaluation: Work-based practice
  • M8: Be the change: reflective practice
Other Modules
  • Wonder & Questioning: A Theology of Childhood and Childhood Spirituality
  • ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and Risky Behaviour
  • What? How? Why? Now! the impact of Prayer Spaces in Schools
  • Come Alongside Them: Mentoring
  • The Missiology of Youth and Children’s Work
  • Working Alongside or as a volunteer
  • Supporting & Pastoring LGBT*
  • Take up your cross and follow: discipleship as a journey
  • Listen. Hear: Youth & Children’s Participation
  • Where He leads: Vocation and Calling
  • Through their filter: Culture & Media
  • Faith at Home

Coaching is a partnership offering support, encouragement, and challenge to our learners. Coaching conversations offer you time and space to think about something that matters to you, 1-to-1, in a robust and intentional way so that you can move forwards. The sessions can be focussed on a theme that has come up during training but you are also welcome to bring any other matters relating to your work with children, young people and families to the session. A coaching approach is a way of working that focuses on ‘ask’ not ‘tell’. Coaching is future focussed. It is listening deeply.

If you would like to book a coaching session, please contact us via

Contact Us

To find out more information email