Firstly, What is it?

With the term “supervision” being weighted with multiple meanings and inferences it is important to clearly define what we mean by “pastoral supervision”.

Pastoral Supervision offers a regular, intentional and boundaried space in which a practitioner skilled in supervision (the supervisor) meets with one or more practitioners (supervisee) to look together at the supervisee’s practice. It is a relationship characterized by trust, confidentiality, support and openness that offers you freedom and safety to explore issues arising in your work.

Pastoral Supervision as a Foundation for Ministerial Support

For many in the caring professions, be they counsellors, social workers or health professionals, pastoral supervision is seen as the norm and in some contexts it is a compulsory element of practice. It is recognised that relying on the initial training received years ago is not enough. There is a need to be continually learning, to be developing the self as our most vital resource. This involves receiving continuous support from those who understand and are sympathetic to our goals and vision. One of the priorities in augmenting this support will be providing further development opportunities for those who support others, whether through a particular role in the Presbytery’s administration or as a Presbytery Chaplain.

Pastoral Supervision and Reflective Practice

Since the Ministries Council report of 2000 that highlighted the need to focus, among other things, on reflective practice in training, little has been said about the ongoing support of reflective practice in ministry. Being a reflective practitioner is one way of ensuring that learning and doing continue to go hand in hand. The more reflective the practitioner, the more will be gained from supervision as the supervisee develops an ‘internal’ supervisor that prevents reactivity under stress.

How can you access Pastoral Supervision

Making it possible for every Minister to receive supervision is a goal for the Ministries Council, but this will take some time to implement. In the meantime, two steps are being taken. Firstly, those who have a supervisory role themselves are being encouraged to receive supervision. Secondly, those who are in training or in the early years of ministry are a priority and are being encouraged to have regular contact with a supervisor in order to be supported as they develop good practice in themselves.

A further step is in providing supervision for those in the more remote locations in the Church of Scotland, whether by face to face meetings or through video conferencing.

If you do not fit into the above categories but you are interested in receiving Pastoral Supervision please do get in touch with the Pastoral Team to discuss this further or contact one of the supervisors directly to make your own arrangements.

Our Supervisors

Alison Orr


Alison lives and works in Linlithgow where she is an active member of St John’s Church. Alison has been involved in the pastoral supervision of individuals in ministry within the church and other Christian organisations formally for the last 5 years and informally before that. She has worked with ministers, missionaries, youth workers, pastoral workers and those with other leadership roles.

Originally trained as a doctor, Alison worked as a GP until 1997 when she left due to family commitments. Alison retrained as a counsellor and have been an accredited counsellor with the Association of Christian Counsellors from 2004 and a member of their Professional Standards Authority Accredited Register since its inception in 2015. Alison has recently successfully completed a Cross-Professional diploma in Creative Supervision and Reflective Practice.

To contact click here.

Andrea Wigglesworth


Andrea has worked for Crossreach as Director of the National Counselling Service where she developed Christian Counselling training and planted a Federation of Counselling Services. More recently she was the Director of Counselling in St Mungos’s Church with a responsibility for emotional and spiritual health in the Church. She now is the Director of Vital Connexions which offers supervision, training and teaching consultancy and she also works privately as a Psychotherapist, Couples Therapist, Cross Professional Supervision and is a certified Life Plan Coach. Andrea holds a M.Sc in Health Promotion, a M.Sc in Counselling Studies and a Post Grad Diploma in Supervision.

To contact click here.

Blair Robertson


Blair offers Pastoral Supervision to ministers, deacons, chaplains, parish workers – anyone who desires to intentionally reflect upon their work for the benefit of those they serve. Supervision was important to Blair in his role as an NHS Healthcare Chaplain and the manager of a large team of Chaplains for a Scottish Health Board. In these roles, Blair made a priority of supporting his colleagues in their professional development and practice and has supervised chaplains, ministers and students.   Blair holds a Diploma in Pastoral Supervision from the Institute of Pastoral Supervision & Reflective Practice, is a Senior Accredited Pastoral Supervisor with APSE and believes that supervision can unlock new vision and energy for pastoral practice.

Supervision by phone or Skype is possible – as are ‘pastoral breaks’ in the Guest House he now runs.

To contact click here.

Canon Robin Paisley


Robin is a recently retired Scottish Episcopal/ Methodist Cleric with an Irish Presbyterian background and Sector Ministry experience in Healthcare Chaplaincy and School Chaplaincy. Robin is currently studying for the Diploma of the Institute of Pastoral Supervision and Reflective Practice. Robin is also a former Senior University Lecturer in Adult and Continuing Education and Engineer/Educator/Trainer in the Public & Private Sectors.

Robin has a particular interest and experience in Spiritual Care, Discernment of Vocation, Formation for Ministry, Local Collaborative Ministry, Ecumenism, Models of Mission, Leadership. Robin offers Pastoral Supervision in Glasgow (City Centre) or via Skype/FaceTime Video calling.

To contact click here.

Dr Lisa Curtice


Lisa is Director of the Craighead Institute of Life and Faith, an Ignatian Institute which offers courses, consultancy and research focused on a faith that does justice through work that is experiential, participative and transformative. At the heart of Lisa’s work is enabling those who live on the margins to find their voice and have their contributions valued. She has supported frontline NHS and social care staff to be reflective and person centred practitioners.

Pastoral supervision has energised and sustained Lisa in her work.  As a supervisor she desires to connect with what matters most to each supervisee in their ministry, so that they can act out of their own sense of God’s loving presence to keep hope alive in others.

Lisa is a lay member of the congregation of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow and is studying for the Diploma in Supervision and Reflective Practice. She has lived her own faith as an academic researcher, third sector manager and advocate for inclusion and human rights.

Supervision and reflective practice is offered to individuals, groups and by Skype.

To contact click here

Elizabeth White


Elizabeth accompanies clergy in pastoral supervision, spiritual direction and through a reflective practice group called Pithead Time for Pastors. She holds a diploma in cross-professional supervision and is also trained in the supervision of spiritual directors. She is passionate about good supervision – or reflective practice – being a confidential opportunity for transformational learning which can resource and support all in helping roles.

Elizabeth offers her work through Reflective Spaces and, alongside this, coordinates the Diocese of Edinburgh’s adult learning programme. She is Scottish regional contact for the Association for Pastoral Supervision and Education.

Sessions in north Edinburgh, and by Skype.

To contact click here.

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