Meet the Tutors
I am a retired Anglican Priest, living in the small parish of Minchinhampton, near Stroud.
I am divorced, but have six married children and ten grandchildren. I began life as a Roman Catholic but brought my family up within the village church that happened to be Anglican.
During the second half of my life I was introduced to contemplative prayer and a call to work with the children of my church - and this led to ordination in 2001.
I was trained in the work of Spiritual Direction on the Gloucester Course. I look forward to having a more contemplative life-style, between course days and times spent in hospice chaplaincy.
Siobhan Smith is a retired GP, married to Ian, mother of 5 young adults and with 2 small grandchildren. Drawn to a training course in spiritual direction in 2006, the transformation of my faith through those 2 years brought a deep joy and a commitment to companioning others. I was surprised to be invited to join the course in Gloucestershire as a facilitator, delivery of which has challenged and delighted me ever since. I am from a Roman Catholic background but am increasingly excited by new discoveries and the integration of an eclectic mix of spiritual understandings. Contemplative practice is an anchor in my life.
What a delight and privilege it is for me to join with friends and colleagues for the Gloucestershire Course in Spiritual Direction.
A past participant of this course, I am keen to see this vital ministry flourish to provide refreshment and renewal for those who wish to deepen their prayer life.
I am married with 4 adult offspring and 2 grandchildren. I worked for over 30 years in the NHS as a nurse before undertaking a degree in Acupuncture, and am now in private practice, combining energy medicine techniques with deep listening.
For the past 21 years I have joined with Friends in Cheltenham Quaker Meetings for Worship. Being rooted in Silence and stillness, these meetings have allowed me time in comfort (and discomfort!) to seek ways to pursue peace and presence in that which is Eternal. My daily intention, though not always easy, is to try to follow George Fox's encouragement to "come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone".
I live in Brockhampton, a small village between Hereford and Ross on Wye, where I moved from Cambridge 3 ½ years ago. Many years previously I had lived near the Malvern Hills and looked forward to coming back once I no longer had to commute to London.
As a young woman, I spent several years in a contemplative Benedictine monastery; even though I left, the hunger for, and practice of, contemplative prayer has never left me. After pursuing studies in ecclesiastical history and years as a freelance writer and singer, I moved into pharmaceutical marketing. Throughout, I continued to be conflicted by the need for the desert and struggled to reconcile a high-pressure career and the call of the inner space. The result was a long dark night, but one fortunately punctuated with glimmers of light. Once freed from the toils of wage-slavery, I took up a place on a two-year training course in spiritual direction, run by the Carmelites of Boar’s Hill, Oxford, and based on the mystical writings of Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and the other great Carmelite saints.
At the end of my training, I responded with great joy to an invitation to become a facilitator on this course. I now spend my time singing early music, learning the tenor viol, and have a small but growing group of directees, and I look forward to helping others discover the deep wellsprings of their own prayer.
I live in Malvern, Worcestershire with my husband and daughter. I have 2 grown-up stepdaughters.
I was brought up in Poland in a Roman Catholic family. I have journeyed through various expressions of my Christian faith. These include a charismatic Anglican church, a Quaker meeting house, where my love for silent and contemplative prayer started, and various Buddhist retreats, where I learned about meditation. I now balance involvement with my local Catholic church with a close connection to an Anglican Benedictine monastic community where I am currently a novice oblate.
I have been working as a psychotherapist for over 10 years and in the recent years I find my work to be more psycho spiritual in nature.
I completed the Companion’s way Spiritual Direction course in 2019 and I am a very excited new member of the team.