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

A group in the diocese, together with ecumenical friends, has worked on issues related to spiritual direction. Enquiries should be directed to that group regarding

  • Who is Spiritual Direction for and what is it?
  • How do you get a Director?
  • The course in Spiritual Direction
  • Where is God in Your Life
  • Supervision
  • Future Events
  • Reference Sources
  • Links  

Spiritual Direction in Essex and East London

After a number of years being 'directed' some may feel called to look at becoming a spiritual director themselves. There are a number of courses available in the South East: 

The Essex and East London Course in Spiritual Direction is an ecumenical course for mature Christians. It is a five term course with twenty participants and a core group of six. These twenty six people are from different strands of Christianity, both lay and ordained.

The present core group come from the Baptist and Anglican churches. The course has been running, with different core groups, for over thirty years with the aim of developing Christian souls to the point where they can act as Spiritual Directors and help others discern where the Holy Spirit is leading them. The course aims to cover all areas of spirituality and is experiential, requiring a high degree of openness and willingness to share.

A New Course in Spiritual Direction

An experiential learning opportunity for those who listen and pray with others from September 2019 - April 2021 at The Chelmsford Diocesan House of Retreat, Pleshey, Essex.

Spiritual Direction is a one-to-one ministry of prayer and listening. The Course in Spiritual Direction is an ecumenical one, sponsored by the Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops of the diocese, which has been adjusted and developed over the years. It is open to lay and ordained Christians of all traditions. It takes place at the Retreat House in Pleshey, a quiet place, offering space for prayerful reflection and spiritual renewal.

The Aim of the Course is to provide an opportunity for course members to grow in spirituality and personal development. Through shared experience, participants will be challenged to a deeper awareness and effectiveness as they help others discover what God is doing in their lives.

The Course Members will be a group of up to twenty people who are engaged in one-to-one prayer or listening. They will be open to growth, willing to share at a deep level and ready to accept supervision. They should have a mature faith, be emotionally stable and be prepared to bring responsible and wholehearted commitment to the Course.

Applications for the next course in Spiritual Direction are now invited. Please apply by 15 March 2019. For all enquiries & requests for an application form please contact our course administrator Valerie Thompson. The aim of the selection process is to discern whether the course is appropriate for the candidate at this time. Courses start in September and run for eighteen months. They also include three residential periods. Course Days are usually on the first Thursday of each month. The day begins at 9.30 am and ends at 4.00 pm

Methodology Prayer, reflection, discussion and discernment will be used alongside input and practical exercises in this experiential course.

The course will explore:

  • The nature of Spiritual Direction
  • Individual faith journeys and spiritual pilgrimage
  • Listening skills
  • Images of God
  • Different traditions of spirituality
  • The interface between spirituality, gender, personality and human development
  • The practical skills needed in Spiritual Direction

The Course is planned and facilitated by a Core Group who bring the experience of having previously participated in the course. More information is available on the Course in Spiritual Direction website.

The present course fees are £1200 but are under revue. Ministerial grants may apply. Fees include all accommodation, food and refreshments. If you have any questions these can be discussed confidentially with the Course Administrator, Valerie Thompson.

Consultants to the Core Group: 

Visitor The Revd Canon Philip Banks Precentor at Bury St Edmunds Cathedral

The Revd Ann Coleman Spiritual Direction Coordinator Chelmsford Diocese and Trustee of the London Centre for Spiritual Direction 

'Being a Spiritual Companion - First Steps'

A new Taster course in Spiritual Direction will be taking place on 6 Monday evenings in January and February at the Chelmsford Diocesan Office in New Street, Chelmsford CM1 1AT. 

(Monday 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th and Feb 6th and 13th 6.00pm - 8pm pm Cost £40)

Facilitators Ann Coleman and James Monger

This is an opportunity to 'dip your toe in the water' and explore whether God might be calling you to the ministry of spiritual direction. To find out more or to book a place contact

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