The SpiDir Network in Berks, Bucks and Oxon is a network of spiritual directors who offer to accompany you as you explore your personal journey. Our spiritual directors come from a variety of denominations and traditions.
The Network is ecumenical with links to the Diocese of Oxford and the Church of England as well as Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic and United Reformed Churches and Quakers. It is independent and peer-led. Our website is www.soulfriend.org.uk.
What is spiritual direction?
It is an ancient ministry, sometimes called Spiritual Counsel, Prayer Guidance or Soul Friendship. It is about taking the time to meet with another person to 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 into which we do not have to bring anything. There are no expectations, and no 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.
- We will email you the SpiDir list of spiritual directors, with contact details, if you submit a request through our contact 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 for spiritual directors:
- ‘Food for the Soul’ – an on-going programme of CPD-type workshop days – some specifically for spiritual directors but others for anyone with an interest in spirituality. For more information about these events email: email@example.com
- An initial training course in spiritual direction, a 24-day course over a year.
- ‘Watering the Garden’– refresher/deepening course arranged every 18 months or so for spiritual directors.
- Training courses for supervisors.
- Mutual support and nurture.
Find out more from the Soulfriend website …