A minister who last year had been struggling with their own faith, recently shared their experience of spiritual accompaniment:

“It’s been a place where I’ve been able to explore my faith, and my personal relationship with God. So often I’m pulled in a million different directions, and I have to be constantly attentive to other people’s faith. I realised I’d not managed to prioritise my own personal growth as a Christian for several years. I think most people just take it as a given that my personal faith is unwavering. But the weight of the office had really started to nudge me towards a bit of existential crisis. I needed to talk through that stuff with a wise companion.”

It can be difficult to delineate the unique qualities of the different provisions offered by Ascend. A Minister in regular pastoral supervision, for example, may find similar spiritual fruits available in that particular space. What this minister has been able to name though is that a space, which is not necessarily about their work but focused on their faith journey, can be precious.

There are many provisions available through Ascend, but one that can be overlooked is Spiritual Accompaniment (or Spiritual Direction). Primarily, this provision has been promoted to those in their first five years of ministry. Although there is specific funding available to that group, there are many spiritual accompaniers who are available to work at either a reduced cost, or for free.

If you feel this may be something that you would like to explore, but aren’t sure where to go with it, please feel free to contact pastoralsupport@churchofscotland.org.uk to discuss, and you can also read more at https://ascend.churchofscotland.org.uk/services/spiritual-accompaniment/