Counselling service


The primary task of the Diocesan Counselling Service is to enable people to become more effective in their lives. Counselling can be valuable if you are feeling that your professional or personal life, has become out of balance in some way.

Janet Bates is Diocesan Consultant in Pastoral Care and Counselling (for clergy and their families). She leads a team of trained counsellors, experienced in working with people in Christian ministry. They have insight into the particular pressures faced by clergy and their families and can offer help in a wide range of difficulties. The service offered is independent support, outside of and completely removed from diocesan structures - confidentiality is of paramount importance.

Who is the Counselling service for? 

  • Clergy and ordinands in Canterbury Diocese
  • Clergy family members (partners and dependent children)
  • Lay Readers in Canterbury Diocese
  • Lay staff employed by the diocese

Examples of issues brought to Counselling include:

  • the demands of parish life
  • difficulties in managing change
  • conflicts in working or personal relationships
  • bereavement
  • stress or burn out
  • low self esteem or self confidence
  • unresolved issues in your life
  • anxiety or depression
  • sexual or relationship difficulties
  • a recent crisis

The Counselling Team

All the counsellors abide by the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice and are receiving regular independent supervision for their client work.The team of counsellors are located across the diocese.

How much will it cost?

The Diocese gives assistance with the financing of counselling sessions. Your counsellor will discuss this further with you during your first counselling session, but you can also contact Janet Bates (see below) to find out more.

What will happen in my first session?

In your first session with a counsellor, a ‘contract’ is agreed between counsellor and client. This will address details such as length of sessions, boundaries, the therapeutic relationship, availability of the counsellor and the confidentiality you will be offered. You may find this information sheet helpful

The Next Step

If you would like to make use of this counselling service or have any further questions you would like answered, please contact Janet Bates (07872 986505) or Richard Farrant (07554 024776).

Lay staff employed by the diocese should access the service via the Diocesan Secretary and Lay Readers should get in touch with the Warden of Readers in the first instance.