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Pastoral Supervision

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 work with 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 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):

  1. reflection on the content of the pastoral encounter or issue being explored,
  2. exploration of the responses, strategies and interventions used by the supervisee,
  3. exploration of the process and relationship involved in the issue,
  4. focus on the Minister's process,
  5. focus on the supervisory relationship,
  6. focus on the supervisor’s own process,
  7. 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 Skype (Skype address: drpeter.gubi).