Over the centuries, people have sought out wise people of faith, lay or ordained, often monks or nuns, to help them deepen their own unique relationship with God, and the ministry of spiritual direction (accompaniment/friendship) has developed.

Spiritual direction is ‘help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship’. (William A Barry and William J Connolly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction)

What happens in spiritual direction?

In spiritual direction, you meet with your director and talk about your journey of faith in a prayerful context. Your spiritual director will help you to reflect on your life and experience and explore how you might become more open to God.  Meetings are confidential, take place regularly (often every month or two), and usually last for an hour.

Why seek spiritual direction?

People seek spiritual direction for many reasons.  Often it arises out of a desire to grow more deeply in their faith. Sometimes it is because they find themselves struggling in their faith and seek others’ wisdom and insight. People exploring vocations to lay or ordained ministry in Southwark are expected to have a spiritual director.

Who are spiritual directors?

Spiritual directors are men and women, lay and ordained, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds who share a calling to support others on their journey with God. Most will have undertaken appropriate training, and will be in direction themselves.

What will spiritual direction cost?

Some directors charge a fee, while others offer this ministry as a gift.

How can I find out more?

To find a spiritual director, talk with your vicar or chaplain, or contact the London Centre for Spiritual Direction or SPIDIR spiritual direction network.

If you are interested in training as a spiritual director, the London Centre for Spiritual Direction and SPIDIR both have training courses, and St Augustine’s College of Theology offers an MA programme in Christian Spirituality.

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