Made in whose image? - Woman Alive and BRF

Organised by BRF with Woman Alive

Bookings are now closed.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the conference, we hope you had an enjoyable time. Handouts for some of the workshops can now be downloaded and the recordings of some of the talks and workshops will be up shortly.

Handouts and Presentations

The Image we project to others, Claire Musters - Presentation

How to be a positive role model to younger women, Anne Le Tissier - Presentation

Reflecting God's Image in Difficult Times, Mags Duggan - Presentation

Coping with chainging images of ourselves as we get older, Debbie Thrower - Presentation

Workshop Details

The image we present to others (Claire Musters)

Is the person that people see the real you, or are you hiding behind a persona, projecting what you think they want to see? We can often feel pressurised to conform - why is that and what effect does it have on us? This workshop will look at the areas that have a huge impact on how we relate to others, such as our upbringing, personalities, fear, shame, disappointment, cultural messages - and even our church cultures.

As well as unpicking the reasons why we tend to wear masks rather than revealing our true selves, there will also be a lot of practical encouragement about how we can learn to take those masks off, keep them off and enjoy being who we were made to be.

Coping with changing images of ourselves as we get older (Debbie Thrower)

Who's that person looking back at us in the mirror as get older? Society's attitudes to ageing influence our sense of identity and of the future. How might we cultivate more resilience to meet the challenges of older age? From speaking candidly with people in retirement over many years, Debbie has insights to share about the rapidly ageing population, and the effects on our personal psyche. What is old age for, and how does faith help us weather the changes so we keep on growing spiritually? Anna Chaplains are named after the widow, Anna, in St Luke's gospel. Debbie unpacks the ways Anna, despite her losses, found a new way of being in her later years and was transformed through meeting Jesus. It's a Bible story that speaks powerfully into our contemporary experience of what it is to grow up- to 'mature'- in the best sense of the word.

Being a positive role model to younger women (Anne Le Tissier)

Paul teaches us to encourage younger women to live out their faith in the daily practicality of life (Titus 2:3-5), and a big issue today is, how to bridge the gap between Christian belief and negative messages or demanding expectations that shape self-worth or body-image.
Women have shared with me that merely being given an appropriate bible verse is unlikely to provide a miraculous cure for anxiety, self-hatred, or any other debilitating lack of well-being; and that telling someone, 'You look well', who hasn’t been sick, may be misunderstood as, 'You’ve put on weight!'
So, do join me as we seek God's grace together, to know how to help others who feel that they're just never 'enough'.
And please note, if you are still only in your twenties this workshop may still be for you. For 'Maturity doesn’t come with age; it comes with acceptance of responsibility' (John C Maxwell).

Reflecting God's image in difficult times (Mags Duggan)

What difficulties are you facing right now that push your mind, your heart, your hope, your faith, to breaking point - and beyond? What does prayer sound like in the midst of deep disappointment, stretched resources, and aching weariness? How do we honestly reflect the character of Christ - the perfect image of God - in our difficult times? Is it even possible? In this workshop we will follow Jesus into the Garden of Gethsemane and watch how he handled this awful time, learning from him lessons that can transform our lives even if our circumstances don't change. My prayer is that as we unwrap those moments in Jesus' life, we may be able to lay down the guilt and shame we often feel because of how we respond in our harder times, and be surprised into courage and hope, confidence and strength for our present reality - and what may yet come.

About the speakers

Jo Swinney is an author, editor and speaker, recently starting at CPO as Director of Church Communications. She lives in Surbiton with her vicar husband, their two little girls and an emotionally needy cat. Jo's most recent book, 'Home: the quest to belong' (Hodder and Stoughton) tells the story of her childhood in Portugal and subsequent wanderings and explores how we can make home in a transient world. She blogs at www.joswinney.com, mostly about depression and the spiritual life.

Claire Musters is a writer, speaker and editor, mum, pastor's wife, worship leader and school governor. Claire's books include Taking off the mask: daring to be the person God created you to be, Cover to Cover: 1-3 John Walking in the truth and David A man after God's own heart, Insight Into: Managing Conflict, Self-acceptance and Burnout. She also writes Bible study notes and magazine features. www.clairemusters.com

Debbie Thrower is Team leader of BRF's The Gift of Years, 'resourcing the spiritual journey of older people,' Debbie is a former broadcaster who pioneered the community-based Anna Chaplaincy to Older People that is spreading across the UK. She travels extensively, inspiring and equipping churches and communities to meet the spiritual needs of people in later life, while remaining a part-time Anna Chaplain in Alton, Hampshire. Debbie is an Anglican licensed lay minister (LLM), and a mother-of-two.


Anne Le Tissier is the author of a number of Christian books and has written a variety of bible-study notes and magazine articles. She also speaks at conferences, seminars and Sunday services, with a passion to disciple Christians in their ongoing walk with God.

To relax she loves to read, grow her own veg., hike the hills and when time allows, cook special meals for close family and friends. But she still dreams of becoming a bee-keeper!


Mags Duggan was a missionary in East Asia for over 20 years before returning to the UK and joining the faculty at Redcliffe College where she lectured in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care. A retreat leader and spiritual director she is passionate about helping others nurture their relationship with God, including far-flung missionaries (via the wonders of Skype)! She is the author of 'God among the Ruins: Trust and transformation in difficult times.'

If you have any questions, please contact BRF.

St Aidans Way of Mission
Bible Reflections for Older People - September 2018