Adult Formation


Dates: Wednesday 2 December or Saturday 5 December 2020
Times: 11.00am – 1.00pm
Level: Open to all
Summary: An introduction to the Gospel of St Mark
Tutor: Brian Purfield
Invited contribution: £20 (more information)
Venue: Online using the Zoom app
Register: Register for Wednesday 2 December OR Register for Saturday 5 December

The Gospel of Mark was written to be heard, not read, by those eager to experience the good news of Jesus as the Christ. And it was meant to be heard as a whole – not read silently in little pieces. The First Sunday of Advent (29th November 2020) marks the start of a new liturgical year for the Church. On most Sundays in the coming year we will listen to selections of readings from the Gospel of Mark. This online session offers an introduction to the gospel and highlights some of its main themes and characteristics. The session is designed to help participants read, and more importantly hear, Mark’s Gospel more perceptively and more powerfully during the Liturgy of the Word at Mass in the coming year.

Preparatory reading

Before the online session, participants are encouraged to read and reflect on this article:

Peter Edmonds SJ, The Voice of Saint Mark: Year B and the Gospel of Mark


Dates: Wednesday 9 December or Saturday 12 December 2020
Times: 11.00am – 1.00pm
Level: Open to all
Summary: A reflection on the interrupted life for the Advent season
Tutor: Brian Purfield
Invited contribution: £20 (more information)
Venue: Online using the Zoom app
Register: Register for Wednesday 9 December OR Register for Saturday 12 December

Thinking back to the start of 2020, we may have envisaged a year very different to the one we have experienced. We may have had plans and projects we were looking forward to, people and places we were looking forward to seeing. All that changed when our lives were interrupted by the Covid-19 virus. During this Advent season, take time to reflect with Mary, Joseph, Simeon and Anna whose lives were also dramatically interrupted. Can their stories offer us encouragement and hope this Advent as we seek to respond when our lives and our plans are interrupted?

Preparatory reading

In preparation for this session, participants are encouraged to read and reflect upon the following bible passages:

Luke 1:26-38
Matthew 1:18-25; 2:13-15; 2:19-23
Luke 2:25-38


Webinar dates: Wednesdays (7.00-8.00pm) 13, 20, 27, January and 3, 10 February 2021 OR Saturdays (11.30am-12.30pm) 16, 23, 30 January and 6, 13 February 2021
Webinar times: The webinars are live at 7.00pm for the Wednesday course OR 11.30am for the Saturday course
Level: Open to all
Summary: An introduction to the Bible – what it is and how it has been interpreted – for beginners or those with a little knowledge
Course tutor: Brian Purfield
Invited contribution: £50 (more information)
Venue: Online using the Zoom app
Register: Register here for the Wednesday course OR Register here for the Saturday course

Course overview

The Bible is a great treasure of the Christian world, and source of revelation of God’s word. While we may have our favourite passages, the language and the images behind those words may be foreign to us. And even if we work through the process of trying to understand a biblical book, we may not really believe that it has something to say to us today.

Listening to the Word of God and reading that Word is not a simple task; but it is not an impossible task. This course introduces some key elements to understanding the Bible and explores some of the traditional preconceptions we have about the Bible itself which can block our understanding of the text.


Week 1
Wednesday 13 January / Saturday 16 January 2021
How the Bible Came to Be – from Oral Traditions to Written Documents

Week 2
Wednesday 20 January / Saturday 23 January
How the Bible Was Written – Understanding Inspiration

Week 3
Wednesday 27 January / Saturday 30 January
Did It Really Happen? – History and the Bible

Week 4
Wednesday 3 February / Saturday 6 February
Reading and Interpreting the Bible – The Senses of Scripture

Week 5
Wednesday 10 February / Saturday 13 February
Reading and Praying with the Bible – Some Practical Suggestions

How this course works

This course runs over five weeks.

Once you have registered and been accepted onto the course, you will be sent a link to a password protected webpage. On this webpage you will find the videos, reading, questions for reflection, and the Zoom link for the webinars.

Each week there is a recorded presentation which you can watch at any time that suits you. A new presentation will be added each week.

There is also recommended reading for each week and questions for reflection and research.

Each week concludes with a live Zoom webinar led by the course tutor. Webinars will last about an hour. To benefit fully from the webinars you need to have watched the video presentation, done the assigned reading, and spent some time working at the questions for reflection. The webinar discussion will be based around the questions for reflection.


Course tutor

Originally from Birmingham, Brian Purfield STL MA studied philosophy and theology at the Gregorian University, Rome and later gained a Master’s Degree in Franciscan Studies from St. Bonaventure’s University, New York. He has given retreats and courses throughout the UK and Ireland, North America, the Far East and Australia.

He taught at the International Franciscan Study, Canterbury and at Campion House, Osterley before joining the Mount Street Jesuit Team when it began in 2004. Brian also taught at Heythrop College on the Foundation Degree in Pastoral Ministry.

His particular interest is in opening up the Scriptures to people, young and old, at a level that they can understand and seek to apply to their daily lives. Brian is married to Deborah who works for CAFOD. They live in Buckinghamshire.

Click here for details Agency for Evangelisation October Bulletin

London Jesuit Centre courses

  • We are launching two new opportunities for prayer each month, an hour’s Guided Prayer on first Thursdays at 7pm and Saturday Retreat on second Saturdays 2.00-4.30pm.
  • Theology and Covid – a series of three online panel discussions from the Catholic Theological Association, with audience participation, on the impact of Covid on the life and practice of the Church.
  • Retreat in Daily Life – each month we are offering an online retreat over the course of a week.  Theses retreats are individually guided with optional workshops on prayer.
  • Theology and Poetry – an online course with Kate Banks on the ways in which theology is expressed in poetry, with practical examples and exploration.
  • LJC Book Club – continues with a new book and discussion session each month.

You will find information on these and other LJC courses and events, regularly updated, on our website:

Reflecting with Saints and Blesseds of Catechesis
As part of our development of ongoing formation and support of  catechists, we are initiating a
short online monthly prayer time together via Zoom, reflecting on saints of catechesis. The time will
consist of prayers, scripture, a short biography of the saint and a question or two for reflection, perhaps
some music. We’re trying 7.30pm – 8pm to begin with but if there’s a feeling a different time would be
more convenient, it can always change. See below for information about the opportunities between
now and Christmas. As you can see, the day of the week will change, running in a cycle of Monday to
Thursday inclusive to hopefully suit as many as possible. Running alongside these virtual meetings,
eventually there’ll be a recorded presentation version and a downloadable printed resource. Please be
patient with the latter two aspects!

Bible Timeline Course –  Mauro Iannicelli offers an online Special Introduction for Parishes to the acclaimed Bible Timeline – the Great Adventure, on 8th October at 7pm.  To register for this Special Introduction, please contact Warren Brown at The Introduction will be followed up by a 12-week online course.  For further information see website:   

Maryvale Certificate Courses
All courses with Maryvale are now conducted online, at least until July 2021. This has meant that
courses will now begin this Autumn, rather than March. Apologies for the late notification of these
dates: we only received them this week! we are waiting for a reply to the query if it is possible to begin
the CPMM after the first study day as it is fast approaching. Should anybody wish to undertake any of
these courses, here are the dates of the study days for 2020-21:
Certificate in Parish Ministry and Mission (CPMM)
Saturday 10th October 2020 (Modules 1 &2)
Saturday 17th April 2021 (Modules 3 & 4)
Maryvale Certificate in Catechesis
Year 1: Saturday 24th October 2020 (Modules 1 & 2)
Saturday 8th May 2021
Year 2: Saturday 31st October 2020 (Modules 5 & 6)
Saturday 22nd May 2021 (Modules & & 8)
Catechesis in Marriage and Family
Saturday 14th November 2020
Saturday 13th March 2021
All study days are 10.00am – 2.00pm.
For further details, go to
or contact Anna
Bursaries are available from the Agency for Evangelisation.