Frequently Asked Questions
Before contacting us you may find it useful to look through our frequently asked questions. We have categorised the questions below – just click a category to read the questions.
What are your delivery charges?
Nobody likes paying for postage, so we offer free packing and second class postage within the UK on all of our products, no matter how small the order value.
I am ordering from overseas. What are your postal charges?
We now offer subsidised postage rates for orders from overseas. Regardless of how much you spend, there is a flat rate of £3.25 for orders to Europe and £4.75 for orders Worldwide. We are converting our course materials to digital format which will appeal to many groups based abroad. If the item you’re interested in isn’t available in digital format yet, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll prioritise this process for you.
I would like delivery to a BFPO address. Will I get free postage and packing?
Yes. When you enter your Shipping Address at the Checkout please make sure that you select UK as your Country and your BPFO address will qualify for free packing and second class postage.
Can you tell me more about ordering digital downloads?
We suggest that you read our Digital Audio and eBooks Help Guide before ordering: https://www.yorkcourses.co.uk/digital-audio-ebooks-help-guide/ Because downloads cannot be transferred to other group members, each group member should order their own download for use on their own device. We recommend that you activate the email link to download any digital purchases straightaway, although you do have 180 days in which to do this.
When can I expect my order?
We aim to keep all of our course materials in stock. Due to the current Coronavirus situation, please allow up to a week for your order to be processed. Packing and second class postage is free. Our usual option at the Checkout stage of offering priority handling to the processing of your order has been suspended for the time being.
How do I add to my order once I have submitted it?
It’s not possible to add to an order that has been placed. Just place another new order as normal.
How do I know my order has been placed successfully?
As soon as your online order is received by our website an automatic email is generated, confirming the details of your order and giving a unique order reference number. You should receive this email within a few minutes of placing your order. If it does not arrive, this means either that your order has not been successfully placed, or that your email address has been incorrectly entered. (It might also be worth checking your Spam/Junk folder – just in case!) Even if your email address has been incorrectly entered, we should still have received your order safely – it is just the automatic order confirmation email that has gone astray. If you are not sure of the situation, please email email@example.com or ring us on 01904 466516 and we’ll be able to confirm the status of your order.
Can I give you any special instructions when placing my order?
Yes, if you have any special requests or instructions to us in respect of an order for printed items (e.g. you want to let us know the start date of your course) just write us a note in the Additional Information box at the Checkout stage and we’ll do our very best to help.
Can I have items from the same order delivered to more than one address?
No, you can only get them sent to one address. However, you can always do multiple orders, with different delivery addresses for each. We offer free packing and 2nd class postage in the UK and subsidised postage overseas, regardless of order value.
Can I ask you to send my parcel to a different address?
Yes – just fill in the Shipping Address at the Checkout.
How can I pay when I order online?
You have the option of paying via PayPal or by Stripe. Stripe allows you to enter your choice of credit/debit card details. Both are secure methods of payment and mean that we never actually see or store your card details.
I run a bookshop. Do you sell your publications in retail outlets?
We’re very happy to supply bookshops with all of our materials. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org giving us your company name, postal address, telephone number and website and we will be happy to give you full details of our terms for the book trade. Or you can ring us on 01904 466516.
What is York Courses’ policy on copyright?
All of the items that we sell are subject to the laws of copyright. We ask you please not to make copies of our material, with the exception of our photocopyable course The Teaching of Jesus. The A4 Course Notes and Transcript for this course are designed to be photocopied. Please note however that the accompanying audiotape for The Teaching of Jesus should not be copied.
What’s the York Courses’ policy on privacy?
We never sell or give any information we have about you to any other company.
Why should I use York Courses?
There are many good courses in bookshops. However none of these brings so many Christian leaders into your group – albeit via our recorded material. Because we have so many participants, each course has a strong ecumenical element, with different denominations and traditions represented. But don’t just take our word for it! See below : From the Church Times‘ review of Lent Courses (for Better Together?): ‘‘Over the years, the York Courses have proved a huge success, and deservedly so. The format works brilliantly. For each course, an articulate team is called together, and we hear their voices on the accompanying CD. The supporting booklets are crisply written, and don’t duck difficulties. ‘Better Together?’ is about relationships, and the question mark indicates the open-ended approach. On the CD we listen to a sparkling quartet not often in concert together: John Bell from Iona, Nicky Gumbel from HTB, and Jane Williams from Lambeth. They don’t sound as if they’re reading a script (the Archbishop’s wife goes off at a tangent – albeit purposefully – about the palace cat). ‘Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say,’ wrote Shakespeare, and here there’s no intoning of Lenten platitudes. Questions for discussion are genuine – questions to which, in any group not made up of clones, there will be conflicting responses.”
What is York Courses’ Returns policy?
OUR PROMISE TO YOU: We want you to be delighted every time you shop with us. Occasionally though, we know you may want to return items that we have posted out to you. That’s why, under our 7-day returns guarantee, if you’re unhappy with your purchase, for any reason, you can return it to us in its original condition, within 7 days of the date you received the item, and we will refund your payment in full. We would ask you to bear the costs of returning the items to us, unless we delivered them to you in error, or they are damaged or defective. We’re not able to apply this guarantee to Digital Downloads from our website.
How can running a discussion course for groups benefit my church?
As part of a group we get to know other members of our church as real people. We share each other’s stories – and our hopes and fears. Study groups, cell groups and house groups play a vital role in the mutual care we should have for one another. But in almost every church this leaves a large number of people who do not belong to a fellowship group. This is where Advent and Lent come into their own. Many of these people can be coaxed into a small group for four or five weeks. On this foundation we can build. Entire groups sometimes enjoy the experience so much that they decide to keep going. But the experience needs to be positive. It was on this vision that York Courses was founded back in 1997. We started with four clear aims in mind: · We wanted to bring famous, stimulating Christian voices into the group · We wanted to start with personal experience and move from there to questions of faith · We wanted to make life as easy as possible for group leaders – the experienced as well as inexperienced · We wanted to produce material which could be used at any time. Our courses are not ‘Advent/Lent specific’. Everyone can talk about his or her own experience or the experience of a neighbour. Most people enjoy doing this. This means that there are no ‘right’ – and, therefore, no ‘wrong’ – answers. People who feel unsure about their faith can venture comments without feeling foolish. What we look for is an honest exchange of views. The faith of the strong is likely to rub off onto the hesitant faith of the newcomer. The uncertainty of the doubter might temper over-confidence in the self-assured.
Are your courses suitable for virtual house groups?
Yes! Various software programmes allow virtual group meetings. Zoom is very popular and many people already have the software installed. The Group Leader should ‘host’ the meeting (and so would logically control the audio element too – although this could be ‘farmed out’ to a confident volunteer).
How do I share audio on Zoom?
If you have the course CD: Mute everyone else and play the CD as close to your computer microphone as possible.
If your computer has a CD player or you have the downloaded course audio on your computer: At the bottom of the screen click on the ‘Share Screen’ icon, then at the top of the next screen click on ‘Advanced’, then click the option ‘Music or Computer Sound Only’. The first time you try to share audio you may be asked to ‘Install Zoom Audio Device’; follow the instructions to install. Play the audio track on your computer using your preferred media player and everyone will be able to hear it. To stop sharing audio, click ‘Stop Share’ at the top of the screen.
We suggest the Group Leader checks the audio set-up with a helpful friend before hosting their first virtual meeting.
Do you offer Advent Courses – or courses for other seasons?
EXPECTING CHRIST came out in 2013 and was our first 4-session course. We produce a new 4-session course every autumn – just right for the 4 weeks of Advent, although they’re not Advent-specific and so can be used at any time of year. Any of our 5-session courses can also be adapted for use in Advent, as they are not Lent-specific.
Are you producing a new course for this coming Lent?
Yes, we produce a new course every Lent – available for purchase in the previous autumn. If you’d like to receive details of our new course by post when we send them out each autumn, please email your name, address and postcode to email@example.com. If you’d like to subscribe to our emailing list, please click on the Subscribe button which appears on the right hand side of each page. You can unsubscribe from this list at any time. Although Lent is traditionally a time for house-groups to meet, our 5-session courses are not Lent-specific and so can be followed at any time of year.
I am a new Group Leader. Can you help me?
Many Study Groups have inexperienced Leaders. This is one of the reasons why our audio material is such a key element. It gets the meeting off to a good start. And the wide range of questions in the course booklet ensures that Leaders do not flounder if discussion dries up. Below you will find a few practical tips drawn from wide experience which will, we hope, be of help to all groups. We aim to let our material do most of the work for group leaders. But careful planning is still important and many group leaders find the transcript very useful. Because it shows the entire conversation on the recorded material at a glance, a transcript greatly reduces preparation time. Please click on the link below to download an organiser’s checklist in Excel format, that you can personalise to suit your own requirements.
How much time should I allow when planning a session
Good question! If you have plenty of time and you are meeting in a comfortable room with coffee, I would schedule about one and a half to two hours. But it is possible to meet for an hour and still get something useful out of the time. If the latter, you might consider spreading the material over 2 weeks. But of course the best groups from our point of view are those that meet for a whole day, do all 5 sessions in one go, reel home exhilarated if exhausted – and then order another course!!
How to use our course materials
It helps enormously if each group member has their own personal copy of the course booklet. There is no need to consider all the questions – a lively exchange of views is what matters. There is no prescribed formula for when to play the audio material. Some groups will play the 14 minute piece at the beginning of the meeting. Other groups will prefer to play it at the end – or to play 7/8 minutes at the beginning and the rest halfway through the meeting. The track markers on the audio files will help you find any section very easily, including the Closing Reflections. Or you can ignore these markers altogether, if you prefer. A transcript is available for each course, setting out the words as spoken on the recorded material. Group Leaders may find this helpful as they prepare. In addition, reading the transcript can help some group members feel more confident about joining in the discussion, while others may wish to go over the recorded material at leisure after the session.