Spirituality and Prayer

Spiritual Direction / Companionship

Those going into Ministry in the Diocese are asked to find a Spiritual Companion to walk alongside them and we have a List of Spiritual Directors, men and women, ordained and lay, who are available to them. They give a little profile of themselves, contact details and so on and are scattered all over the Diocese so that there will be somebody in your area should you want one locally. It can be a help to find someone who is outside your parish and your own surroundings. Much spiritual companionship is all happening, of course, quietly and locally within parishes with prayer partners and others and this should continue to be encouraged and nurtured.

For a copy of the list, please contact:



Revd Simon Chesters 01928 718834 ext 256

Jane Hood 01928 718834 ext  257

Spirituality is part of all faith traditions.  Here are some Christian defintitions:

For John Bell "spirituality is the oil which fuels the machinery by which we relate to God, to God's world and to God's people."

For Kathy Galloway, spirituality is "that which ultimately moves you - the fundamental motivation of your life."

For Alister McGrath, "Spirituality ... arises from a creative and dynamic synthesis of faith and life, forged in the crucible of the desire to live out the Christian faith authentically, responsibly, effectively, and fully."

For Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, "Spirituality must now touch every area of human experience, the public and the social, the painful, negative, even pathological byways of the mind, the moral and relational world."

For Philip Sheldrake, "spirituality is the core, centre and axle on which the wheel of theology runs."

Spiritual Direction

Jesus promised his followers the Holy Spirit as a life-giving and love-giving gift.  This gift (and continuous giving) is the basis of our spiritual direction.  Licensed ministers support (and are supported in) the discovery and celebration of spiritual direction.  This support usually comes through the practice of local churches, including their shared prayer, teaching, preaching and liturgy.  Local ministers are able to offer spiritual direction, and their details are usually available on parish websites and noticeboards.

Besides support from local ministers, many people also find a one-to-one relationship with a spiritual director helpful in developing their spiritual direction.  Spiritual directors are also referred to as "soul friends" and "spiritual companions." 


Prayer is an essential part of Christian discipleship. There are as many ways of prayer as there are people. From the disciples’ first asking Jesus about prayer so many methods and patterns of prayer have developed as people have explored their personal relationship with God. Prayer has ranged from contemplative to charismatic, and has used silence, art, study, movement and pilgrimage. Spiritual direction involves developing ways of prayer which can be as simple as the way of prayer taught by Jesus in the “Our Father”, and as regular as the prayer for morning, evening and night  derived from the monastic tradition. Saint Teresa of Avila defined prayer as "spending time with a friend whom we know loves us."


Retreats are for ordinary people at any time in their lives. There are no expectations on anyone going on retreat and you don't need to be a churchgoer.

Retreats offer the opportunity to step aside from life to rest and just 'be' in a welcoming, peaceful place. They can be a real treat, giving time for prayer, reflection and recovery. Jesus gave himself times of retreat and prayer away from others. Retreats are part of the Sabbath provision.

Anyone can go on retreat. There are no expectations and retreatants aren’t all churchgoers. Some retreats are individually guided, taking place in the midst of daily life, or a parish quiet day.

There are also many retreat houses throughout the country, including Foxhill near Frodsham, which has its own programme of retreats, as well as twin-bedded accommodation for those wanting to spend time away on their own. Retreat houses have a rich tradition of hospitality and welcome.

Parish clergy are happy to advise about retreats. There is further information about retreats at the Retreat Association website. 

Ios Olivos Christian Art & Spirituality Retreat Centre is an alternative centre based in the Sierra Nevada national Park in Spain.

Contemporary Spirituality

Here are some links to sites exploring contemporary spirituality:
Blogs and websites that may be worth following as resources for spirituality. Here is a sample:

http://www.moot.uk.net/blog/  - this is the website of a new monastic community authorized by the Diocese of London in which Ian Mobsby is involved.

http://www.thestillpoint.org.uk  - StillPoint is a project based in the Diocese of Oxford which aims to deepen spiritual practice. It is resolutely focused on practice rather than study and is therefore seeking to be experientially based rather than academic.

http://www.home-online.org/blog - Home calls itself  “a progressive, all-age, Christian community of spiritual seekers sharing spiritual practices in the city of Oxford, UK.”

http://jonnybaker.blogs.com/jonnybaker/grace/ - Jonny Baker’s blog is full of grace – and ideas for prayer and liturgy

Jan Richardson is a writer and artist who is based in Florida. She has three helpful blogs:

http://bequietforachange.blogspot.com/ - is designed for “personal transformation through meditation”, and is written by Kelvin Wright, Bishop of Dunedin, New Zealand.

http://www.renovarelife.org/  - The Renovaré approach to spiritual formation draws on six traditions or streams rooted in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. We practice these streams through spiritual disciplines and exercises that help to mature us in our life and faith.


The Bible Society has developed an online resource for small group conversation on the Renovare approach to spiritual formation that draws on six traditions rooted in the life and teaching of Jesus


Cursillo is a method for supporting and encouraging spiritual confidence as we seek to live and work to God’s praise and glory. Small groups meet regularly for inspiration, sharing successes and problems in individual’s prayer, study and witness chestercursillo.org.uk

Page last updated: 1st October 2021 11:42 AM