What is Spiritual Accompaniment?
Spiritual Accompaniment (sometimes termed Spiritual Direction) is an ancient and well-tested practice for which members of the core team and some of our volunteers have engaged in recognised training. It is based on the premise that God, the Mystery, the Source of All, is present and active in our lives, and that we can become more sensitive to this Presence through reflection, engagement and prayer.
Anyone who wishes to reflect upon his or her life, including their spiritual journey, with a trained accompanier might find spiritual accompaniment helpful. Engaging in such a spiritual practice can help the individual to notice and appreciate the Divine Presence within each of us whether this be in challenging and difficult times or in joyful and encouraging times. Spiritual accompaniment can help to awaken us to a deep knowledge of being beloved of God, and to respond to this Presence with a growing sense of freedom and commitment.
The accompanier’s principal role is to listen to the person sitting in front of them and to be conscious of the Presence within that person, within themselves, and between themselves and the other person. The accompanier will often respond to what is being heard during the session and might suggest some resources or practices, such as certain ways of praying or meditating, to help the individual deepen into his or her relationship with God. The accompanier is not there to give advice or to say how the individual ought to be, feel or proceed. Whilst some members of our team are trained counsellors, spiritual accompaniment is not psychological therapy or counselling. There are some similarities between the practice of spiritual accompaniment and counselling, for example with respect to confidentiality, and the accompanier will say more about this during the first appointment.
Please get in touch with us if you would like to find out more about spiritual accompaniment or arrange to have an initial, no obligation appointment. An initial consultation would normally be conducted on a face-to-face basis, and would last about an hour. It is offered as a time to explore individual needs, to answer any questions, and to establish whether the enquirer wishes to proceed further by meeting on a regular basis. Our fee for this initial consultation, and any future appointment, is £25.00. However we are happy to negotiate a reduction in this fee in certain circumstances, so please do raise this matter with us if it would help.
‘May you recognize in your life the presence, power and light of your soul.
May you realize that you are never alone,
that your soul in its brightness and belonging
connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe.
May you have respect for your own individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique,
that you have a special destiny here,
that behind the façade of your life
there is something beautiful, good and eternal happening.
May you learn to see yourself
with the same delight, pride and expectation
with which God sees you in every moment.’
By John O’Donohue
Spiritual Accompaniment Charge
Spiritual Accompaniment is available for individuals by members of the team who have completed recognised training in this ministry.During your retreat here we ask you to contribute £15 per session (max 1hr) for spiritual accompaniment. This is a reduced rate. Please book this in advance if possible. We are willing to help you plan your retreat framework. If you wait to request spiritual accompaniment until you have arrived here we will do our best to provide at least one session, but being a small team, it may not always be possible for us to meet your request.
For non-residents the charge is £25 per session. Retreat resources and facilitation for small groups may also be available, – please email us with your requirements.
We do not want anyone to be prevented from coming to stay with us through lack of funds, so if this is a major concern, please contact us to see what may be arranged; equally, if an individual is able to make a donation above this tariff, it will be most appreciated and will enable us to continue to offer the widest access possible.
Financial support might be available through a grant award or bursary from certain organisations such as The Society of Retreat Conductors and The Association for Promoting Retreats.
Supervision is available for those engaged in the ministry of Spiritual Accompaniment, for clergy and for pastoral workers.
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