Diocese of Chichester

This page is particularly dedicated to wellbeing for clergy and their families. For information more generally on mental health and wellbeing please visit this page.

Counselling/Psychotherapy – we offer short term individual, couple and family therapy (6-12 sessions) within the Diocese of Chichester. Once you have completed a referral form (Adults Self-Referral Form, Couple's Self-Referral Form and Under 18's Referral Form) please email: wellbeingforclergy@chichester.anglican.org and you will be invited to meet with a therapist to discuss your concerns.

The WCF use a therapist directly employed by the DOC (Laura Steven) and a bank of fully qualified and registered therapists to deliver individual, couple and family therapy. All therapists are monitored and supported by the WCF service, hold professional liability insurance, a standard DBS certificate, are registered with a professional body related to their therapeutic modality and fully comply with GDPR legislation (Diocese of Chichester ICO registration numberZ6601913v) and the DOC confidentiality policy.

Please note that the WCF is not able to provide a service to people who are at risk of immediate of harm.

The Diocese of Chichester is committed to promoting and sustaining the Wellbeing of our clergy and their families. Laura Steven, Head of Wellbeing for Clergy and their Families (WCF), is employed by the DOC to provide the WCF services for clergy and their families.

We provide:

Other Support for Clergy Wellbeing

An RPG is not the same as a therapeutic group (though members do experience it as therapeutic to have a place to share local challenges!)

If you feel, before or after joining an RPG, that you and/or a close family member would benefit from one-to-one counselling regarding personal issues, please complete a referral from link You can still participate in an RPG, if you wish.

For further information, or if you have any queries, please email: wellbeingforclergy@chichester.anglican.org

In an emergency:

  • If you are concerned about an immediate risk of harm - either to yourself or someone else - then phone 999.
  • Go to your nearest hospital with an Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department. In some hospitals, this will be called the Emergency Department. There are staff on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, who will be able to assess you and give you the appropriate help.
  • Samaritans – Telephone 116123
    Provides help and support to people in a crisis 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The Stay Alive app is a pocket suicide prevention resource, full of information which we hope will help you stay safe. You might find it useful if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide. The app includes a safety plan, customisable reasons for living and a life box where you can store photos that are important to you. You can download it for free on Android and iOS. It has been produced with Grassroots Suicide Prevention, a charity that supports communities to prevent suicide.

Traumatic Event Debriefing

If a member of the clergy has been impacted by a traumatic event, we offer the opportunity to ‘offload’ with a trained debriefer. This is considered most effective when accessed as soon as possible after the event.

Email: wellbeingforclergy@chichester.anglican.org indicating that it is urgent. This could be followed up with counselling if required.


To provide a responsive and inclusive service, we have locations in mid, east and west of the Diocese where we can meet with you and we use non-church premises to help protect your confidentiality.

Application Process

To access professional counselling funded by the DoC’s Wellbeing for Clergy and Families service, it would be helpful if you would answer the questions on the appropriate referral form(Adults Self-Referral Form, Couple's Self-Referral Form and Under 18's Referral Form). Based on the information you provide, Laura Steven (Head of WCF) will assess your requirements with the aim of matching you with a counsellor as soon as possible, for up to 12 sessions. The WCF service commissions independent therapists, all of whom are monitored and supported by the service, hold professional liability insurance, are accredited members of a professional body related to their therapeutic modality, abide by the ethical principles as required by their membership and have monthly clinical supervision.

Please email the form to Laura Steven at wellbeingforclergy@chichester.anglican.org
(do not post/deliver forms to Church House).

Laura works part-time for the diocese, so you can expect a response within around 7 days. The speed with which you can start counselling will depend on your requirements, your availability/location, and the availability/location of a counsellor. Following your initial appointment, upon mutual agreement with the counsellor you can continue accessing up to 12 sessions (maximum) funded by the WCF service.

If you prefer to pay privately for your own longer-term counselling, these search directories may prove useful www.acc-uk.org/find-a-counsellor/search-for-a-counsellor.html and www.psychologytoday.com/gb/counselling and www.bacp.co.uk/search/Therapists

WCF Service Counselling Testimony

“I found that my sessions in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) were very useful in shining a light on unexamined and unhelpful patterns in my thinking (and consequently behaviour and emotions) , and then providing a practical way forward in changing them. To begin with, it was helpful to realise that problems with anxiety, depression, certain areas of belief, relationships and other aspects of ministry life, were influenced and made more difficult by patterns of thinking resulting from unexamined experiences in my past than I realised.

It was then encouraging to understand that there are ways forward in changing this. The bible encourages us to train our minds to think well (Philippians 4:8,9) and I found that CBT helped me to see what stops me from doing this, and then provides practical ways of beginning to change. I would recommend that all clergy don’t wait until moments of real stress and crisis before they look into the counselling services the diocese offers, but rather to approach those times well prepared by taking advantage of the provision offered now.”

The Revd David Garratt
Chaplain at St Catherine’s College