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Jo Williams

Peace and Quiet Days in June and July

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Friday 17th June and Saturday 30th July

Sometimes in this world we just need to slow down and look for some Peace and Quiet. We need to take the time to pause and reflect upon our role in society and our community. As the politicians of this age seem determined to take us further and further into chaos, we need to stop and reset.

The Blackley Centre are running a series of Peace and Quiet Days both before the summer holidays and then just after, starting on the 17th June.

This is your chance to join us at your own personal retreat day. Throughout the day you are free to enjoy the Centre, Chapel and grounds, a lovely environment in which to spend a day of reflection. Resources are available for you to use to create a personal retreat, appropriate for you.

The prefect place to relax, contemplate any issues that are important to you and hopefully find a path forward.

The first day is Friday 17th June followed by Saturday the 30th July.

All are welcome and to book just call 01422 646803 or email admin@blackleycentre.co.uk.

We’d love to meet you here.

Blackley Centre and Church – the perfect environment for reflection in the Peace and Quiet

Having Difficult Conversations – An Inter Faith Dialogue

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How can we have difficult conversations and remain in good relationships in our families, faith communities and among faith communities?

In life we often find ourselves in situations where we need to discuss topics that may be sensitive to others or we may hold different views.

How can we have difficult conversations without causing offence and remain in good relationships? At the Dialogue on the 3rd of May you’ll have opportunity to draw from the wide experience of our Director for Reconciliation as we discuss together how this helps us in the situations we face.

Centre visit to the Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre, 16th January

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A group of fourteen of us, visited this exhibition in the Schwann Building at Huddersfield University. We were offered welcome refreshments and heard an introduction to the museum by two volunteers. Opened in 2018, it is one of the 2 Holocaust museums in the UK (the other being in London.) Cooperation between the Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association and Huddersfield University, plus funding from the Lottery and other sources, led to this remarkable exhibition. It is by no means a ‘fun’ visit but it felt to be a great privilege to share in these experiences.

The Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre (Huddersfield) - 2022 All You  Need to Know Before You Go (with Photos) - Huddersfield, England |  TripadvisorThe presentation is excellent, the format is very accessible and not overpowering. Against the backdrop of the politics and situations in their homelands, the individual stories of 16 children and young people from Poland Hungary, Germany, France and Lithuania were told. They had arrived as refugees to the north of England, some survivors from concentration camps, some smuggled away by their families, some on the Kindertransports of 1938/39. 

As we made our way around the exhibition we viewed explanatory text panels, touched screens of life stories, short videos, interactive displays, plus photographs and displays of artefacts and possessions. These included the yellow stars that Jews were obliged to wear in Nazi Germany. The displays were modern, instructive, and compelling. I did notice that as we went around there was very little conversation.  I think we were all so completely absorbed.

Some of the background information about conditions and treatment was very disturbing, but there was a positivity about this exhibition because it dealt with survivors who gained a new life locally and a chance of recovery. Elland people in particular will remember Lady Margaret Kagan, a Lithuanian who went into a concentration camp and eventually made a new life in the West Riding. It was heartening to read that the country of Denmark managed to evacuate nearly all its Jewish population to Sweden early on in the war. Also Albanian Muslims, including their civil authorities, refused to co-operate with the Nazis in any persecution of their Jewish population.

One lovely little story was of a young boy unable to speak any English who arrived by train in Leeds. His few possessions were put into left luggage and he was taken off by bus, ending up watching Leeds United playing Everton. The match was a draw, 1-1, but on that day he became a lifelong Leeds fan. Apparently when he was in his 90’s he was invited onto the pitch to meet all the team.

The exhibition finished with a short film and the final speaker said he was still alive only because he had been saved by the actions of a Gestapo Doctor. So there is hope in the darkest situations. I felt that despite the demonstrable horrors of the Holocaust there was a lack of bitterness in the exhibition. It is well worth a visit, open Monday – Thursday. Lots of information on the website, and appropriate for young people aged 14 and over. We intend to make sure our grandchildren go to see it. It will soon pass out of living memory and so these stories must be preserved.’

Jean Whitworth

Mediation Skills Training Programme Spring 2022

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“Absolutely inspirational! A truly engaging, enjoyable course”

This was said of the Accredited Mediation Training Course recently run for Volunteer Mediators with Smile Mediation Burnley. The course begins with an exploration of the ‘landscape’ thinking about why and how conflict and disagreement happen and how in far too many situations it becomes negative, discouraging and destructive. Participants then learn of the role and place of mediation in working in conflict situations, creating opportunities for positive and mutual ways of resolving disagreements and disputes, through creative and curious communication strategies and skills. Key to the training is an understanding of a core mediation process, which participants are encouraged to know, use and develop, being mindful of their own experience, innate skills and abilities.

“During the training course I went on a journey, not only to learn about mediation but also about myself”

A key objective of the training is development in self-awareness and confidence at handling difficult and challenging conversations. Part of this is being more aware of the impact we can have on others, through our behaviour, and communication, helping participants to understand how we can be part of a positive response through the way we manage ourselves. It was brilliant to see people really engage with this and grow in confidence.

“It has given me the confidence and the process to feel I can implement it in the workplace”

The training takes place over 6 weeks – a combination of in person days, half day zoom sessions, pre-recorded webinars which people can watch in their own time and can come back to, as well as a full in depth manual. 

“Thank you so much for being such a good trainer – you have the absolute perfect blend of information from methodology to empathy and I feel very fortunate to be on your course. Thank you and I promise I will work on the areas of development you’ve suggested together with the areas I find difficult.”

A key part of the training is to have opportunities for skills practice, gradually building skills and understanding, interspersing them with content. There are feedback opportunities via voice calls on WhatsApp, as well as written observations of practice and a final one-to-one trainer/trainee tutorial.

“I’m so glad the training is fantastic (if on zoom) and much more organised than the volunteering I’m trying to do elsewhere. Feel excited at the potential of it.”

Smile Mediation offers this training to recruit volunteers of a high calibre to work for the service, offering mediation and conflict coaching in communities and workplaces. They work hard to support their volunteers, providing networking and supervision opportunities, and refresher training events. We are delighted that a new cohort of mediators have now been trained.

Relating to Sikhs and Sikhism – Review from the 5th February 2022

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We gathered at the Blackley Centre for a brief introduction to Sikhism and to clarify arrangements for our visit to the gurdwara. Then we set out for the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Huddersfield where we were made very welcome by Jas, the Education Officer. Our visit started with a visit to the Punjabi School which is held each Saturday morning. We met three young people who each gave a brief presentation about different aspects of what it meant for them to be Sikhs. It was great to chat with them and we had some interesting discussion about baptism in Sikhism and Christianity. It was a high point of the day. Then we toured round the school meeting three different classes of children and their teachers. We visited the large prayer hall where we saw the Sikh sacred scripture, which is the Guru Granth Sahib, which was on a low platform covered by a canopy. There are no chairs and worshippers sit on the beautifully carpeted floor.

We had a lovely lunch provided for us in the large kitchen and dining area, where quite a few Sikhs were also eating. This was followed by a powerpoint presentation on Sikhism with many questions and much discussion with Jas before concluding the visit. It had certainly fulfilled the aim of enabling us to understand Sikh beliefs and practices and understand the role of the Gurdwara. Those on the visit all found it very helpful, commenting, ‘it was fun and informative’, ‘an eye opener’ and ‘enlightening’.

Relating to Sikhs and Sikhism

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Do you…
• have Sikh neighbours?
• work with Sikhs?
• employ Sikh staff?
• have a Sikh Gurdwara nearby?
• have a curiousity about Sikh beliefs and practice?
Would it help you to understand Sikhs and Sikhism better?

If so, come to…

Relating to Sikhs and Sikhism
10am to 4pm Saturday 5

th February, 2022
An introductory day for Christians, church groups and

people of all faiths and none
The aims of the day are for participants to:
• gain a working understanding of Sikh beliefs, practices and festivals
• visit and understand the role of a Sikh Gurdwara
• meet and chat with a Sikh
• identify common ground
• ask questions
• become more informed and confident in relating to Sikhs and gurdwaras

Admission free, donations appreciated

The day starts at the Blackley Centre and concludes at the

Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Huddersfield

Measures will be taken to be as Covid safe as practically possible,

so places must be booked in advance with Peter

admin@blackleycentre.co.uk
Centre Office Tel. 01422 646803
The Blackley Centre

Prospect View, Blackley, Elland, West Yorkshire HX5 0TD

(Near Junction 24 of the M62)
www.blackleycentre.co.uk

Holocaust Memorial Day

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As Holocaust Memorial Day approaches 

A Visit to the 

Holocaust Exhibition 

& Learning Centre 

Huddersfield 

Schwann Building Level 2 The University of Huddersfield HD1 3DH 

People of all faiths and beliefs who wish to remember and  learn more about the holocaust are most welcome 

3.00pm Sunday, 16th January 

Meet outside or in reception 

Organised by Revd Andy Williams 

Blackley Centre Director for Inter Faith Relations 

As part of the Centre’s Inter Faith Programme 

Free admission 

(Recommended donation of £5 to £10) 

Measures will be taken to be as Covid safe as practically  possible, so places must be booked in advance. 

To book, please email admin@blackleycentre.co.uk 

Or call the Centre on 01422 646803

Let’s Talk about Conflict

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Conflict is a key cause of isolation, unhappiness and division in all sorts of contexts. It impacts our work, our homes, our neighbourhoods and our faith communities. 

‘Let’s Talk about Conflict’ sessions have been created to help us skill ourselves to handle conflict more effectively so that we create more cohesive and harmonious communities, families and places of work. 

Let’s Talk About Conflict: 1

Three introductory sessions:

Session One: Understanding the nature of conflict – why it happens!

Session Two: Why relationships suffer?

Session Three: Exploring how good communication can transform conflict – what can we do about it!

These sessions are ideal for individuals to attend, or to come with 2 or 3 people from your church or organisation, so that you can build on the learning in your own context.

These sessions will be delivered virtually on Zoom over 3 evenings (7.00 pm – 9.00pm)  or alternatively they can be done as an in person away day, held at the Blackley Centre (9.30am  – 3.00 pm.)

Let’s Talk about Conflict: 2

Three further sessions

Three follow-on sessions that take the same themes as LT1, but go into greater depth. Participants therefore need to have done LT1. These sessions are ideal for faith leaders, charity trustees, employers and others in positions of responsibility: people, for whom the management of themselves in conflict, together with an understanding of conflict in organisations, will have a transformative impact on their communities.

These sessions will be delivered over 3 sessions 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm

Autumn Programme

Course/Workshop Date and TimeVenue
Let’s Talk about Conflict:1
Full Course: Sessions 1 – 3
Sat 2nd October
9.30 am – 3.00 pm
Blackley
Centre
Let’s Talk about Conflict:1
Session 1
Wed 6th Oct
7.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Zoom
Let’s Talk about Conflict:1
Session 2
Wed 13 th Oct
7.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Zoom
Let’s Talk about Conflict:1
Session 3
Wed 20 th Oct
7.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Zoom
Let’s Talk about Conflict:1 Full Course: Sessions 1 – 3Sat 6th November
9.30 am – 3.00 pm
Blackley Centre
Let’s Talk about Conflict: 2
Session 1
Wed 17th November7.00 pm – 9.00 pmZoom
Let’s Talk about Conflict: 2
Session 2
Wed 24th November7.00 pm – 9.00 pmZoom
Let’s Talk about Conflict: 2
Session 3
Wed 1st December
7.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Zoom

Costs: Let’s Talk 1 and 2: £90.00 per person (organisationally 

funded for CPD/CMD)

£75.00 per person (individually funded)

£200 Group rate for 3 people. 

Additional people at £60 per 

person.

To book contact Peter at admin@blackleycentre.co.uk or ring 01422 646803