Step Up


A one year discipleship programme which has expanded to include five churches in three hub locations in the Ripon Episcopal Area is hoping to expand next year so that more people can take part.

Step Up is now in its third year, and currently a record forty-two adults are taking part in discipleship courses centred on Wetherby, Harrogate and Brompton on Swale/Catterick. As well as deepening their understanding of the Christian faith, the programme aims to equip church members who take part with new skills as they respond to God’s call to new opportunities and challenges.

Dan Hetherington, the Step Up team course coordinator, explains the thinking behind Step Up. “At the heart of the one year programme are two questions – ‘What is God saying to me?’ and ‘What shall I do about it?’. Step Up is everyone and anyone who wants to commit to a year of intentional discipleship.”


(Pictured above – members of the Step Up leadership team (l to r) Revd Yvonne Callaghan (Brompton on Swale/Catterick), Revd Dan Watts (Harrogate), Revd Mark Carey (Harrogate) the Team Leader, Dan Hetherington (Harrogate), Val Lumsden (Wetherby))

Participants meet in five groups each week for around sixteen weeks and also meet together for retreats which allow for more reflection and sharing. Recently all the groups came together at St Mark’s Harrogate for a retreat around the theme of ‘calling’.

Bishop James Bell, the Area Bishop of Ripon, has backed Step Up. “I warmly welcome the Step Up scheme”, he said,”and commend it as a way of exploring calling, developing gifts, enriching spirituality and getting a good grouping in biblically based theology”

Now the Step Up organisers are hoping that more churches will get involved – and is encouraging church members across the area to think about taking part in the next course from September 2016.  Anyone interested in finding out more can visit the Step Up website here or contact (01423) 560558 or email


A comment from Simon, our team rector – ‘I warmly commend Step Up, not least because it will be a great way of addressing the ‘Growing Disciples’ priority that we have made part of our Mission Action Plan. I am expecting that if folk from St John’s and St Luke’s want to take part, I will helping deliver parts of the course.’