Spiritual direction, or companionship, is a process in which any Christian talks to an experienced director about the course of their religious life. It is not counselling or therapy and if these are needed the director has a duty to advise that these be undertaken. It is a one-to-one process with the understanding that God is also present.
Some object to the term ‘director’ which is used through long practise but it might imply instruction on what course to take; modern directors give advice only and their course of action is up to each person: the term ‘companion’ is sometimes used.
The St Asaph College of Spiritual Direction is the diocesan group of people who have been trained in spiritual direction and licensed by Bishop Gregory. There is a convenor ( details below ) who can be contacted and will arrange a meeting with a spiritual director. The purpose of the first meeting is to see whether the two can get on together in a spiritual sense; if either party thinks not the convenor will arrange a meeting with someone else.
The discussions are entirely discreet between the two parties; it is an important principle of spiritual direction that nothing of what has been discussed will be divulged to anyone else.
The benefit arises from talking about difficulties, say in prayer life, or taking decisions on what spiritual path to follow, with someone else who is committed to God’s call. It gives another Christian’s viewpoint when difficulties are encountered and invites the Holy Spirit to take part. Many who experience it receive inspiration which assists their spiritual journey.
Spiritual direction is offered to everyone within the diocese. Please email John Foxlee or telephone number 01352 810677.