A network of spiritual directors to accompany you as you explore your personal journey
The SpiDir Network in Berks, Bucks and Oxon is an independent ecumenical network. Our spiritual directors come from a variety of denominations and traditions, and the network is independent and peer-led. Our website is spidirnetwork.org.uk.
What is spiritual direction?
It is an ancient ministry, sometimes called spiritual counsel, prayer guidance or soul friendship. It is about taking time to meet with someone and talk together about your spiritual journey, prayer and search for God. Many people find that this pattern of reflective companionship can be a significant help.
What can I talk about?
The important thing is that this is a ‘sacred space’ into which we can bring anything but do not have to bring anything. There are no expectations or judgement. It is a listening and accepting space.
- Sometimes you might have a sense of something happening in your life and needing to make sense of it in a spiritual context: ‘Where is God in this for me?’
- Sometimes you might have a particular spiritual issue you want to work through.
- Sometimes it is as simple as: ‘How can I pray?’
- Sometimes it is an individual’s awareness of God inviting them to ‘something more’, and needing help to work out what that is really all about.
So the answer to the question is: ‘Anything that impacts on your relationship with God.’
The person offering this ministry will be a person of prayer who makes the commitment to accept you as you are and where you are. The companion or guide’s role is to support the discernment of God’s activity in your life.
People usually meet face to face, normally in the accompanier’s home, but other arrangements can be made if, for whatever reason, this is not possible.
It can vary from every few weeks to twice a year. The length of the meeting also varies according to individual need. However a very common pattern is to meet about once every six weeks for an hour or so.
Does in cost anything?
For some who offer this ministry, it is their livelihood and they need to be paid, while others can offer it free of charge.
How do I find someone?
This is a confidential and very individual relationship; it is important to pray about it, take your time and ask advice in order to find the right person.
- There may be someone whom you already know whom you would like to ask; if you do so you may well find that they offer this ministry and that others have asked them before you. But do not ask a friend or someone who is part of your day-to-day life, because this may diminish your freedom to explore.
- A parish priest can often suggest someone or make connections that are helpful.
- For a list of SpiDir spiritual directors and their contact details please visit the website and fill in the enquiry form. Anyone on the list will then be able to help you explore how spiritual accompaniment could work for you.
The SpiDir Network in Berks, Bucks and Oxon also offers training and support for spiritual directors:
- An initial one-year training course in spiritual direction
- Watering the Garden – opportunities for refresher training for spiritual directors
- Mutual support and nurturing.