I offer Spiritual Direction online as well as in person
Presently accepting clients
Canterbury / ChristchurchAdd to favourites
My journey with faith began as a teenager in England in our local parish (Anglican) church. I gained a deep dense of God, encountered in the traditions and liturgies and rhythms of church life, as well as in place and time, through worship in spaces which had stood at the heart of the community for many centuries.
Time at university, however, saw my faith falter, away from my home and community roots and with so many new friends and networks, along with new questions and ideas to explore. Disconnected from church and faith, I found myself drifting in an atheistic world and it wasn’t until a few years later when I experienced a very ‘out-of-the-blue’ encounter, with God speaking directly to me (a ‘Damascus Road’ experience), that my journey back into faith began.
My new-found faith became real for me in the context of a warm, caring and loving community of people in a Baptist Church in London. My (Kiwi) wife and I had a sense of ‘call’ to explore our faith more deeply and to spend time at a Bible College; this was accompanied by our relocation to New Zealand.
Since my time in Bible College, I have worked in both church and secular roles, as a Baptist pastor but also as an educator in the tertiary sector. I have appreciated the benefits of working in a variety of contexts and understanding the importance of faith and how it impacts our lives in any and every role we undertake.
Although now attending a local Anglican church, I regard myself in many ways as inter-denominational, appreciating the benefits that each tradition has brought to our understanding of faith. Over many years I have explored different Christian approaches to spirituality and the so-called disciplines of faith, and have come to value the wisdom of those who have gone before us in encountering God in life. In my own faith journey, I have benefitted especially from some of the contemplative traditions, especially different approaches to contemplative prayer.
Approach to spiritual direction
I see spiritual direction as a relationship of accompaniment of others on the journey of faith, being a sounding board and, sometimes, a marker post, in making sense of the twists and turns in life, noticing the activity of God in the everyday, and discovering where there may be an invitation into something more. Through listening and asking questions, the role of the spiritual director is to aid self-reflection and understanding.
Our faith and our lives are very much an interwoven journey, with faith often needing to grow, deepen or change as the contexts in which we are living change. I don’t believe we can separate our faith and our sense of God in life from what is happening around us. As a result, our faith may lead us to ask questions as we face different (or new) situations. Spiritual direction provides a space to give voice to those questions and work them through as we explore the intersection of faith with our lives.
Many of us experience seasons of questioning and even doubt in relation to aspects of our faith, meaning there can be times when we may find ourselves needing to go through a process of deconstruction and rebuilding. This can often be a confusing (or even painful) process. Accompaniment and spiritual companionship can be important when this happens in helping to maintain perspective, live with tensions and mystery, and searching for a sense of God in it all.