The diocesan Vision for Growth 2020-2025 focuses on the credal profession of faith ‘We believe in One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church’; holiness being one of the marks of the Church. It says: ‘We want to see our life flow out of prayer and worship, rather than see these things as one amongst other activities that we do.’ Seeking growth in our spiritual lives must be at the heart of our vision and activities.
Since the earliest centuries of the church, God has called Christians to offer support to others in their prayer life through forms of spiritual direction. This is a significant Christian ministry that requires a charism or particular gifting from God, rather than being something anyone can be trained in. It is essential that those involved in this ministry are themselves receiving spiritual direction, supervision and ongoing training, including in safeguarding.
Chichester no longer has a diocesan network of spiritual directors, following a significant review undertaken of spiritual direction within the diocese. However, the ministry of spiritual direction in Sussex continues, but it is overseen and resourced in a different way.
The London Centre for Spiritual Direction is an established and well-resourced Centre who already have directors from Sussex within their Community of Spiritual Directors. They would welcome applications by directors in the diocese who meet their training levels, safeguarding requirements and Code of Practice (https://www.lcsd.org.uk/resources/). They also offer a matching service for those seeking a spiritual director. Area co-ordinators for the Centre within the diocese can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, the Centre offers a three- year initial training course for those whose call to this ministry has been discerned. Spiritual Directors who are part of the Community network are given regular supervision and ongoing training.
A number of clergy, religious and laity exercise the ministry of spiritual direction within the diocese, maintaining appropriate support structures whilst not being part of the LCSD directory. These will often be known by the area co-ordinators (see above for contact details), but it might also be worth seeking the advice of local clergy who will often be aware of those exercising this ministry within a locality. The charism for this ministry within the Church has commonly been recognised by others who have sought their guidance.
Ultimately, it is not us but the Holy Spirit who is the director of souls, ‘God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us’ (Romans 5.5).Our prayer continues to be that more people across Sussex come to ‘know, love and follow Jesus’.
“Finding a Spiritual Director” Seminars for Chichester, offered by the London Centre for Spiritual Direction
Monday 16 October 6pm to 7pm
Tuesday 7 November 11am to 12 noon
Two informal hour-long sessions hosted by Antonia Lynn, LCSD’s Referrals Coordinator and Warden of the Community of Spiritual Directors, providing a friendly space to bring all your questions about spiritual direction. Find out:
- How spiritual direction works;
- What to consider when looking for a spiritual director
- About our Community of Spiritual Directors and what they can offer;
- What the next step might be for you and how we can help;
- Any anything else you’d like to know.
The Community has a number of members based in the diocese of Chichester, as well as many others further afield who can see people online.
Zoom link for both seminars:
Meeting ID: 863 3626 7847
Please contact email@example.com