Open Door Retreat Training

On Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 May 2018, the Spiritual Direction (SpiDir) Network for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire will be running a two-day training at Douai Abbey in Upper Woolhampton RG7 5TQ for those wishing to lead Open Door Retreats. Leaders work in pairs and you can apply with a partner or, for training purposes, be paired up with someone on the course. Some knowledge of Ignatian Spirituality would be helpful. The cost for the two days is £80. No accommodation is provided, but applicants can contact Douai Abbey privately to see if a room is available. Further details can be obtained from Sue Sheppy (


The Training Group arranges the following training programmes:

Introduction to Spiritual Direction training course

The aim of the course is to increase the skill and confidence of those who find they are already being turned to by others for help on their spiritual journey.  It does not lead to formal accreditation but participants with aptitude are encouraged to practise, to continue honing skills and to use supervision to support their work.

The course aims to:

  • explore the relationship of spiritual direction in the light of our own life experience and of the experience of being alongside others
  • explore Christian understanding of personal growth and fulfilment
  • relate this experience to the Christian tradition of spiritual direction.

This is a one year programme and is usually offered every other year, one day a week, three 8 week terms from September to June. Acceptance on the course is subject to reference and interview by members of the course team.

The next course dates (Tuesdays) are
Term 1: September 25; October 2, 9, 16, 30; November 13, 20, 27
Term 2: January 22, 29; February 5, 12, 26; March 5, 12, 19
Term 3: April 30; May 7, 14, 21; June 4, 11, 18, 25

For full details see copy of leaflet here

Watering the Garden
This is usually a short series of further training days for practising spiritual directors and is offered every other year.  Each day addresses a particular topic relevant to the development of spiritual direction practice. The next series is as follows:

  • Watering the Garden :  January – April 2018 at Douai Abbey
    • 30 January:  Working with dreams in Spiritual Direction led by Nick and Revd. Jo Gallant
    • 6 February:  Whatever Floats Your Boat  led by Dr. Jacki Thomas incorporating her recent research with hospice chaplains
    • 13 February: Who am I for God today? led by Fi Ivin
    • 20 February: The Challenge of the Call to Conversion led by psychologist Dr. Stephanie Thornton
    • 20 March: Spiritual Direction as Vocation led by Dr. Lynette Harborne based on her recent research on good practice and the role of spiritual direction
    • 27 March:  A Holy Week Quiet Day led by Revd. Mieke Gaynor

   All days will be 10.30am – 4.00pm at Douai Abbey, Woolhampton, Reading RG7 5TQ.

To book online please go to

For further details see Watering the Garden 2018

Supervision Training

This is a course for experienced spiritual directors who wish to offer supervision and is offered when there is sufficient demand.

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