Leach and Paterson (2010, p.1) define Pastoral Supervision as: “a relationship between two or more disciples who meet to consider the ministry of one or more of them in an intentional and disciplined way. … Pastoral supervision is practised for the sake of the supervisee, providing a space in which their wellbeing, growth and development are taken seriously, and for the sake of those among whom the supervisee works, providing a realistic point of accountability within the body of Christ for their work …” Pastoral theologians Jane Leach and Michael Paterson, in discussing the supervision of pastoral practice, draw on Mark 6: 7, 30-32 as follows: “He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two … The apostles gathered around Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves”. Leach and Paterson point out that “… the ministry the disciples exercise … is the ministry of Jesus himself: … their accountability is made concrete in their willingness to discuss with Jesus what has been going on” (p.8).
I am an Ordained Minister in the Moravian Church, and an APSE Senior Accredited Pastoral Supervisor (https://www.pastoralsupervision.org.uk/). I have been offering Pastoral Supervision to Clergy for over ten years. I currently supervise Clergy from different Christian denominations and with varying roles – from Bishops, Priests and Curates in the Anglican Church; to District Chairs, Circuit Superintendents and Presbyters in the Methodist Church; from Accredited Pastors in the Baptist Church to Moderators and Ministers in the United Reformed Church. I also supervise Chaplains in the University, Hospice and Healthcare sector.
The theoretical framework that underpins my practice of supervision integrates insights from some integrative models (e.g. Carroll, 2001; Hawkins & Shohet, 2000; Page & Woskett, 2001) with the practice of Person-Centred Supervision (e.g. Bryant-Jefferies, 2005; Mearns, 1997; Merry, 2002; Tudor & Worral, 2004). I am very committed to my supervisees. This is a commitment which both challenges and supports the supervisees. I try to be appropriately congruent so that perceptions and insights can be revealed and used therapeutically. I aim to facilitate a non-judgemental and non-threatening supervisory relationship, for only then will the supervisee feel safe enough to take risks. I also aim to be empathic in order to facilitate a deep understanding and reference with the supervisee.
Hawkins & Shohet (2000) also describe an agenda for an effective supervisory relationship that underpins my work as a supervisor. Their seven-eyed ‘process model’ of supervision enables focus to be placed on the following (in the context of Pastoral Supervision):
- reflection on the content of the pastoral encounter or issue being explored,
- exploration of the responses, strategies and interventions used by the supervisee,
- exploration of the process and relationship involved in the issue,
- focus on the Minister's process,
- focus on the supervisory relationship,
- focus on the supervisor’s own process,
- focus on the wider (or organisational) context.
In my supervisory relationships, we move between these ‘modes’. I am therapeutically and theologically supportive of my supervisees. It is the service of their well-being and the wellbeing of their ministry to others, that are the primary reasons that we meet regularly to ensure.
My fees are usually £75.00 per month for an hour-and-a-half session (or £50.00 per hour) but I do offer some free or reduced-rate Pastoral Supervision too. Pastoral Supervision is offered in both Crewe and Chester, or by Zoom.