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The Diocese of Chelmsford has arrangements with three counselling services for the provision of confidential counselling for Clergy, spouses and family members. 

The three counselling services with whom we have arrangements are accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. They are: RenewThe Stockwell Centre and Counsel for Life.

Why is it needed?

Ministry brings unique and particular stresses. These often impinge not only on the clergy but also on their spouses and families. The resulting burden can lead to difficulties in coping with life and ministry. In such circumstances a confidential, independent and professional service, outside of the church and Diocesan structures, is essential for the wellbeing of clergy, spouses and their families.

The confidential arrangements we have with counselling services provides such help. This means that senior clergy, including Bishops and Archdeacons, and no other diocesan employee need know who is accessing counselling services. Your confidentiality is primary in our provision of these services.

Counselling can also be obtained through the Clergy Support Trust charity. Please contact them direct if you are wanting to use this route. 

Who is it for?

These confidential services are available to licensed clergy and stipendiary lay ministers, their spouses, and their immediate dependent families.

What is provided?

The counselling provided is short-term, solution-focussed counselling and will usually be concluded within 12 fifty minute weekly sessions. In exceptional circumstances the counselling service may be extended beyond 12 sessions.

The counselling will enable the client to talk their situation through, to come to a deeper understanding of the issues, and to find support in making their own decisions about coping and living more effectively.

How may I access the service?

Contact Andy Griffiths (Lead Adviser for Formation and Wellbeing) by email at or Revd David Blackledge (Co-ordinator for Counselling Support) by email at

For more information or to report anything wrong with this page please contact Andy Griffiths