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 Essex and Herts 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.

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.

You can choose to engage with this training in one of two ways:

  1. Attend individual sessions depending on your interest or training needs.
  2. Make a commitment to attending certain sessions which will allow you to work towards a certificate in children’s, youth & families ministry with your denomination. (More detail on this below.)


During 2020 we have had more than 50 people access 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…

We have designed this programme as a menu because there are different ways to engage with this programme depending on how hungry you are.

You can attend one-off sessions (nibbles) or take a particular pathway (set menu).

Our Menu Options

An option for those just looking for a snack!
Have a look through our upcoming events and book onto the sessions you fancy.

Set Menu
To complete the set menu option you must:

  • Attend the 8 mandatory modules (listed with an M)
  • Attend 4 additional modules of your choice
  • Complete your denominations safeguarding training and provide evidence of completion

Then choose one of the following for a certificate of completion

  • Complete a reflective piece of writing
  • Complete a reflective piece of writing and join a manna tutorial group to reflect and learn together
  • Complete a reflective piece of writing and take up some coaching sessions to help you reflect and grow

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.



Reading the Bible For All It’s Worth

Online Session

How do we empower and equip children, young people and families to engage with the Bible?

Tuesday 7th December 2021

Book In


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

Mandatory 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

*modules are only mandatory for those on the set menu path but if these interest you anyway feel free to come along!

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