Lifeways 2020

Course Availability: Short Courses and Workshops

Lifeways is an annual event, a week long experience of workshops, activities and music, suitable for men, women and children.

People of all ages explore, create, and dream in a variety of sessions throughout the week based on a common theme.  Children engage in a variety of experiences including camping, clay work, food preparation, painting, and cooperative games.

The new programme will be available from February 2020; sign up to be amonst the first to receive it (for an example of the kinds of activities Lifeways offers you can see the programme from 2019 below)

Lifeways 2020 will take place from Sunday 26 July to Saturday 1 August 2020. 

Read more about Lifeways in this blog post "Lifeways Week in England, A Heartwarming Experience for All Ages". For any questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Making Space To Listen



As we walk through the woodland we may be so preoccupied with our own thoughts that the surroundings pass us by. We tread a path we know well and find no reason to look up. Then we hear a movement in the bushes ahead, we glance to catch site of a deer and all of a sudden we are aware – a breeze moves in the trees, a bird settles nearby, a squirrel scuttles through the branches overhead. 

As we walk along our life’s path it is much the same, so much surrounds us but it is easy to get caught up in daily routines and tune out from all the noise. With so much clambering for our attention, what should we listen to? At Lifeways this summer we will free ourselves of workaday tasks and enjoy an open space for individual experiences and achievements where we can delight in the art of listening in its many forms - to others, to ourselves and to the world around us.

You will have one morning workshop and one afternoon group throughout the 5 workshop days. First and second choices should be indicated on the application form with the appropriate number or letter. Every effort is made to honour your choices but they cannot be guaranteed.



For adults – exploring the theme of the week through focussed study, discussion and practical exercises.

  1. Listening as an Art Form with John Meeks

The art of listening may seem to be one of the most natural gifts that we possess. But like all arts it requires practice. We will actively practice the different forms of listening which life challenges us to develop, some of which are: discovering our inner voice, listening to poetry, listening to music, listening to the sounds of nature, and even: listening to the stars. To practice this last enigmatic activity, all who so wish may engage in a bit of star-listening in the later evenings.

  1. Clowning and Silence with Vivian Gladwell

Through listening to what is living in ourselves and between each other we give birth to our creativity and imagination. Working with warm-ups, games and on the empty stage, we will find our inner clowns through improvisation, play and welcoming everything that emerges from silence and from listening. 

  1. Listening to Indigo with Vija Docherty

If we painters listen to what colours are saying, we can learn to work in partnership WITH them as opposed to simply manipulating them according to our whim. Indigo can teach us about loving. In these painting sessions we will use natural indigo pigment and egg tempera on paper to explore paintings on the theme ‘A Loving Embrace‘. Other colours from natural pigments will be added after we have allowed indigo to set the scene and inform us of the next colourful arrival. We will work towards an exhibition of work to share with the wider Lifeways community.

  1. Making Useful Baskets               with Nick Vane

Active listening requires us to make space for the accumulated wisdom of others and traditional crafts provide opportunities to develop skills for life that have been handed down from earliest times. In this workshop we shall be making useful baskets by hand using natural willow. Suitable for beginners and those wishing to build on basic skills. 

*There is an added charge of £15 to cover material costs.

  1. Storytelling: The Art of Listening with Ashley Ramsden

"If you want to tell stories then learn how to listen." That was a piece of advice I've never forgotten. Come and discover how the secrets of silence underpin all great storytelling (and a few other things as well).

Ashley Ramsden is the co-founder of the School of Storytelling, (1994) the longest running centre of its kind based at Emerson College. He has run countless courses around the world and continues to tour with his colourful performances.

  1. Doll Making: Listen - Touch - Transform with Katie Zienko

Space to make a cloth doll, aka a Waldorf doll: a companion that can be held and felt. Listening to what shapes itself out of the cotton jersey cloth, the stuffing (sheep's fleece) and thread. Participants can choose to either make a doll with limbs or one with a simpler construction. Some sewing experience will be useful!

*Please let the organisers know if you prefer other stuffing material. 

*There is an added charge of £10 to cover material costs.


AFTERNOON GROUPS (*Adults only, ** Children only, ***Adults and Children) 

A* Wittering, Whittling and Listening with Philip Lovemore

Learn to carve with a knife while listening and exchanging stories. 

  No experience needed. 

         *There is an added charge of £10 to cover material costs.

B* Listening as a Path of Spiritual Development with Sue Peat
We will be working together with some of the 'listening' exercises Rudolf Steiner outlined in his book 'How to Know Higher Worlds'. By developing our listening skills and exploring our response to sounds and speech, we can enter into a deeper understanding of our spiritual nature and the nature of the spiritual world within which we live.

C* Creating the Space to Listen with Arthur Dyer
Do you find yourself getting swept up by the furious pace of modern life? With so much noise, it can become difficult to listen. Through working with Bothmer's archetypal movements, playful games and exercises, we will explore how to create space within, allowing us to listen and connect more deeply to ourselves and the world around us. Who can say what may arise in such a space?"

D* Listening in to our 12 Senses with Melody Brink
What are the 12 senses that Rudolf Steiner brought to our attention and what happens when we start to notice them? With imagination, practice and inquiry as our guides, we will explore each of the senses as a doorway into a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.

E* The Creative Word with Geoff Norris
In this workshop we will explore the mechanics of the voice and the power of speech. By carefully listening to both the sounds and our own bodies as we make them we will enter into the mystery of the deep meaning and creative force of words. No previous experience of speech work needed - just bring along your ears and your voice.

F*** Listening to the Language of Colour with Nick Vane
We all have preferences for certain colours because each has its own character and mood and like us, they either get on or clash with others. In this workshop we'll be using watercolours to quietly explore these qualities and relationships through the patient technique of veil painting. Beginners welcome. Children age 13+ welcome.

G** Clay Digging and Modelling (6 – 11 yrs) with Stuart Purdy 

H** Woodland Crafts (8 – 10 yrs) with Louis Lines

I** Simple Woodwork (11 – 14 yrs)                                                              

J** Candle Dipping & Decorating (8 – 14 yrs) with Ted Prestbury 

K** Strum ‘n’ Hum (8 – 12 yrs) with Juanna Ladaga

Playing with sound through games and creating our own ukulele songbook. 

For all levels of ukulele skill.  

Please tell us with your booking if you can bring your own ukulele.

L** Energetic Outdoor Games (11 – 14 yrs) with Milly Woodrow

M*** All aboard the singing train! with Sarka Kubschova

Singing and listening games, singing with ukulele, making a magical song wheel. 

For children age 5- 7 yrs with a parent    

N*** Pick ’n’ Mix Crafts Creative experiences for parents and children.                                           

For children age 6 yrs and under with a parent   

Contact the Conference Secretary if you need further information about afternoon groups. 




The following crèches are available each morning from 8.50 – 12.10 

Parent & Toddler Group for 0 – 3 yrs

Here the youngest Lifeways participants can enjoy a peaceful environment. There is plenty of time for nursery rhymes and stories, play, walks and the occasional sleep if needed.

Playcamp for 4 – 6 yrs

In this group the children will paint, draw and enjoy simple craft activities. There will be stories, circle games and songs as well as a daily walk and plenty of time for creative play.

Daycamp for 7 – 8 yrs

This is a morning group with slightly more challenging craft and outdoor activities for the older child.


There is a choice of activities for all children. Please see previous page. Children age 6 yrs and younger need to be with a parent in the afternoon (workshops M and N are suitable for parent and child).

Please do not forget to bring sunhats and wet-weather wear including waterproof boots.



We offer a camp for children age 9-14 years. The camp is divided by age (9-11 and 12-14 years) for sleeping location and bedtime, and some activities. Morning and evening programmes will include games, crafts, helping with meal preparation, and other activities. After lunch the children join the afternoon groups. All are expected to bring a tent, sleeping bag, blanket, towel, strong shoes for walking, waterproof clothing and boots, swimming gear, old clothes, a torch, and eating utensils (plate, bowl, cup, knife, fork, and spoon). Tents may be shared but NOT by children in the different age groups.  No mobile phones, tablets, mp3 players, computer games, laser pens or any other electrical device are allowed on site.  Apply early to ensure a place for your child and remember to fill in the appropriate box on the application form for both afternoon groups and meal options.



Book and pay your deposit by 29th March 2019 for our Early Bird Fee.


  • Course Fee
    • EARLY BIRD £245
    • Full Fee £275
  • Accommodation
    • £90 single or £75 shared, if available - in most cases shared accommodation will 
    • mean a single room with a mattress on the floor.
    • £55 camping in your own tent
    • £30 rent a tent
    • £10 per person to rent mattress and bedding for camping 
  • All Meals £110
  • Lunch Only £65

Children Age 0-5 yrs Age 6-8 yrs

  • Course Fee
    • EARLY BIRD £50 £75
    • Full Fee £60 £90
    • *children 0-3 attending parent & toddler go for free as this course counts as an adult course
  • Accommodation £30 £30   
  • All Meals £40 £60
  • Lunch Only £35 £50


Camp Age 9-14 yrs (inclusive of all meals and other fees)

  • EARLY BIRD £200
  • Full Fee £235

All children on the camp need to have their adult carer on campus.

Financial assistance: If you seriously wish to attend this course but are prevented because of costs, you may apply to the Conference Secretary for the possibility of assistance. Every consideration will be given to such requests. Please send details of the amount you are able to contribute with your booking form. 

Local children and adults

If you and your family intend to participate in the full programme, but without accommodation, you can book any time and you are entitled to receive the Early Bird fee.

Part-time participation

If places are available, local adults and children can join on a part-time basis for crèches, morning or afternoon workshops. Provided there is space, we will also accept local children aged 9-14 on the camp (without their parents). The costs are:

  • Adult morning workshop £160 (workshop 1-6 and Parent & Toddler)
  • Adult afternoon workshop £120
  • Children crèche (morning) £60
  • Children afternoon workshop £40
  • Camp - Age 9-14 yrs (inclusive of all meals and fees) £235

Please note that we can only accept bookings if you can attend each day of the week. You can send us your booking form at any time and we will put you onto the waiting list. We will confirm bookings for local children and adults by 1st June. No booking needed to attend evening activities. No Early Bird fees. 



Registration on Sunday 2.30–5.00pm followed by supper at 6.15pm and conference opening (adults only) at 8.15pm. The camp children will set up their tents in the afternoon and will have their own programme.


Saturday after lunch (around 1.15pm)



Special programme on Saturday with “Harvest of the Week” and an exhibition.


7:00 – 8:00


8:15 – 8:45

Singing together

8:50  – 12:10pm

Morning Workshops

12:45 – 1:45pm



2:30 – 4:00



4:00 – 4:30

Tea on the lawn

5:00 – 6:00

Market Place:

sharing our life ways




8.15pm – Events each evening for adults. Please bring your musical instruments, poetry, drama and other talents so that we can create an evening event together.

10.00 – 11.00 pm - Stargazing with John Meeks. This is weather dependent and will be announced daily. 

Babysitters will be on duty free of charge in family accommodation from 8-10pm (please pre-book and make sure that your children are in bed by the time you leave for the evening programme). 



All meals are provided at the college. They are vegetarian with a vegan and gluten free option. Most of our produce is biodynamic or organic, locally sourced and grown in our own vegetable garden and from Tablehurst and Plawhatch, the neighbouring farms.



Smoking is not permitted inside college buildings or campus accommodation. An outdoor smoking area is available.

All adult participants are asked to bring a torch, wet weather clothes and soft indoor shoes.


Lifeways is organised by Florrie Cassell, Louis Lines, Yvette Dellsperger, Sue Peat and Ted Prestbury.

Cover Design by Vija Docherty        Conference Secretary Naamah Pinkerfeld