Spiritual Direction

“My job is not to solve people’s problems or make them happy, but to help them see the grace operating in their lives.”

Eugene Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor, p.5

Spiritual direction is listening for God. Sometimes called spiritual accompaniment, it offers an opportunity to reflect upon questions such as these:

  • What are my deepest values; what matters to me most?
  • What do I want the direction of my life to be?
  • What are God’s desires for me?
  • What blocks me and how can I be free from these blocks?

An important aspect of this conversation may be to discuss spiritual practice or prayer life, work, and relationships. However, there is nothing that cannot be talked about in spiritual direction. The spiritual direction conversation also offers a space to articulate realistic visions for your life and explore how they may be grounded in practice.

Spiritual direction is the act of paying attention to God, calling attention to God, being attentive to God in a person or circumstances or situation. A prerequisite is standing back, doing nothing. It opens a quiet eye of adoration. It releases the energetic wonder of faith. It notices the Invisibilities in and beneath and around the Visibilities. It listens for the Silences between the spoken Sounds.

Eugene Peterson, Under the Unpredictable Plant, p.181

Spiritual direction is sitting in the room together talking about what no one can say, but in-between the words, in the cadences or the rhythms or the intimations, that everyone understands what is being said. You understand it because you’ve tasted it, and you’ve tasted it because it’s your destiny, it’s your nature.

James Finley

See what the Retreat Association says about spiritual direction. Other takes on spiritual direction can be found in an article by Gerald May and at the Annunciation Trust.


N.B. I am not currently accepting new people for spiritual direction.

I offer spiritual direction at home.

  • There will be an initial interview for us to see whether working with me is right for you.
  • Place: I am available to see people in Middleton-in-Teesdale, Co Durham DL12. I am also happy to work on Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, or by phone, and to alternate meetings face-to-face and online. I am occasionally available in London.
  • Times: sessions with me last about 1 hour and take place every 1 to 3 months, depending on what suits you.
  • Confidentiality: what you say will not be disclosed to anyone else (subject to legal, moral and professional duties).
  • There are regular opportunities to review the process and its rightness for you.
  • Cost: I ask for a donation to the Annunciation Trust of between £65 and £90. This can be Gift Aided.
  • I offer the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius in Daily Life – the so-called ‘19th Annotation’ Retreat.


I am experienced at giving residential, ‘individually-guided’ retreats. I have worked at Campion House, Llannerchwen, Loyola Hall, Noddfa Spirituality Centre, Pleshey Retreat House, and St Beuno’s Spirituality Centre.


Talking in a stone circle
Photo by Michelle Harden