How spiritual direction works

Who are the Spiritual Directors?

In the Bath & Wells Diocese, many people offer this ministry – men and women, lay and ordained – from a wide variety of backgrounds and Christian denominations.   However, what they all share are a common calling to support others in responding to the invitation to know and love God, to walk alongside others on the journey of growth in Christ and an acute awareness of the riches of spiritual wisdom in scripture and our Christian heritage.

Many church leaders offer spiritual direction and accompaniment in their local context.  Alongside this, we have a list of Spiritual Directors across the diocese, who feel a particular call to this ministry and have chosen to join the Bath and Wells list so that their ministry is available through our referral process.  They have all undertaken relevant training in Spiritual Direction and safeguarding, hold an enhanced DBS certificate and receive regular Spiritual Direction and supervision themselves.

How do I find someone?

As well as local clergy who may have suggestions, within the diocese there are three others who can help you find a Spiritual Director:

They will, through thought and prayer, try to match you with one of the listed Directors, offering you an initial conversation, either by phone or face-to-face, to help you find the best match. This will include your own preferences and a chance to ask any questions, such as: 

  • Would you prefer male/female, ordained/lay, close to home or further afield?
  • Is there a particular spiritual tradition you would like your Director to follow?
  • Are there any particular areas in which you would like help? 

The referrer will then offer you an introduction to a potential Spiritual Director. If the match does not work out, either side may withdraw without embarrassment.  We can then offer further suggestions to enable you to find the best guide for you. This is a very personal relationship and so it may take time to find the right person. 

How often and where?

People usually meet in their Director’s home, but many also offer on-line meetings or telephone calls if that would be more accessible and safer.  

The frequency of meetings can vary, and this is something that needs to be discussed and agreed at the first meeting with your Director, but every 6-8 weeks is common.

Do I have to pay?

This varies. For some who offer this ministry, it is their livelihood, and they may ask to be paid while others offer it free of charge.   It is important that this is discussed and agreed at the outset so you could ask the referrer first.

Who to contact

Catriona Galbraith is the Bishop’s Adviser for Spiritual Direction. This honorary and volunteer appointment was put in place to provide oversight of the ministry throughout the Diocese. Email Catriona

If you are either a Spiritual Director or you feel that you might be called to become one, Catriona would be delighted to hear from you.