Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Wanting to draw closer to God? 

  • Who will help me?
  • Who will walk with me?
  • Who will listen to me and listen with me?

A spiritual companion or director could help

Many people find a spiritual companion or director of very great value.

Talking one to one with a spiritual companion or director can help you to:

  • listen to God
  • notice and name what God is doing in your life
  • celebrate the gifts God has given to you 
  • discern who God is calling you to be
  • grow in your faith journey
  • deepen your prayer life

people talking and listening

What is Spiritual Direction or Companionship?

A Scriptural Model

The exemplar of spiritual companionship or spiritual direction from the Scriptures is the story of Jesus meeting the two disciples on the Emmaus Road. The two disciples walked along the road together. The ‘direction’ is about where they are walking to. It is Jesus himself who is their guide. He came to where they were on the road and walked with them, listening, encouraging and challenging. It was Christ himself who opened the Scripture for them and made himself known in the breaking of the bread. In spiritual direction or companionship one disciple acts as a ‘life servant’ to the other and holds the sacred space so that Christ can come and meet with them both.

Who are spiritual directors or companions?

They are mature Christian men and women of all denominations, who, with the Church, have discerned this gift which God has given and who then are specially trained and have the experience to listen to you and encourage you. They may be lay or ordained, or belong to a religious order. They will hold you in prayer not only when you meet together but day by day.

Spiritual direction or companionship is for anyone, of any denomination, who wants it. There is no one lay or ordained, whose life would not be enriched by it. Perhaps this is for you?

a group of women chatting over coffee

How can I find a spiritual director or companion?

A spiritual guide can be found through one of the area co-ordinators (see below). He or she will offer to talk with you about this ministry in more detail. They are happy to explain anything you are uncertain about. They will help you to find the right person for you and will give you contact details.

The next step after that is for you to arrange to meet with your prospective director or companion. The purpose of that meeting is for you both to discern if this might be a fruitful relationship. If you decide to go ahead, the two of you would decide how often you will meet. This may be monthly, or every two or three months. Each meeting is usually for about an hour.

Spiritual direction or companionship is usually free of charge. Some guides to ask for a donation but they will make this clear at the outset.

Some questions to reflect on before making contact with a coordinator.

You may find it helpful to reflect on your answers to the following questions in thinking about the sort of person you would like for a spiritual director or companion:

  • Would you prefer to talk with a man or a woman or perhaps you do not mind either?
  • Would you like your spiritual director or companion to be lay or ordained or a religious brother or sister or perhaps this is not an issue for you?
  • Would you like someone the same sort of age as you? Or someone older? Or younger?
  • Would you like someone from the same denomination as yourself or who has a similar faith /church experience to yourself?
  • Would you like someone with a particular area of experience in prayer? e.g some people feel they would like to experience more about Ignatian ways of prayer.
  • Is there anything about your own gifts and experience which you feel needs to resonate with a spiritual guide? e.g. some musicians pray through music and want a spiritual guide who understands this or perhaps does the same.
  • Would you like someone who lives close by or are you happy to travel?

Spiritual Direction Co-ordinators

Chair of Co-ordination Group
Revd Ann Coleman
01277 821366
Send Ann an email

East London Boroughs & West Essex

Teresa Young
01708 747126
Send Teresa an email

Gill Hopkins 
Send Gill an email

South Essex

Brian Devine
01702 472848
Send Brian an email

Sandy Southee
01245 475456
Send Sandy an email

North Essex

Revd Hilary Davey
01799 542717 
Send Hilary ann email

Laura Garnham
01255 886210
Send Laura an email

For more information please contact Ann Coleman
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