The Revd Andrew de Smet (pictured) is the Diocesan counsellor. He is a BACP (British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy) accredited counsellor and can offer counselling (general, stress management, depression, anxiety, bereavement, spiritual issues), or a one off confidential space to talk something through.

He can also offer short term supervision to reflect on difficult or challenging work or pastoral situations. This service is available to clergy (including NSMs) their families, diocesan employees and readers; strict confidentiality is kept.


In parish and work situations there are occasions when relationships sour. When conflict seems to be going beyond what can be settled between two parties then it can be helpful to get an impartial third party to help those involved to work out an agreement. This is a voluntary process and involves the mediator initially seeing the parties separately to see if they will engage in mediation, hear their perception of the situation and explore possibilities for resolution. This is followed by a joint meeting which is organised to feel safe for both parties and helps them reach an agreement.

Andrew de Smet has training in mediation, as does General Manager of Wydale Hall Mark Rance (01723 859270;

Bridge Builders ( are a Christian organisation with wide experience in this area (please contact Andrew De Smet to discuss funding). There's a leaflet you can download below with more information.

Work consultancy/mentoring

At times of change or stress it can be helpful to reflect on the pattern or direction of one’s ministry. A work consultant has the insight and skills to facilitate this process. Please contact Andrew De Smet for details.

The Life of the Spirit

There are many opportunities to explore matters of faith and spirituality. There are retreats and conferences held throughout the year at Wydale, the diocesan retreat house, and at St Oswald’s Pastoral Centre, Sleights near Whitby. Regular quiet days and an annual retreat are recommended for anyone in ministry, and are beneficial for spouses.

The Retreat Association signposts retreat houses across the country at You can apply to your Archdeacon for financial assistance for retreats or conferences.

The Quiet Garden Trust has several gardens in this area, some of which can be used for quiet days. Your Archdeacon or Andrew De Smet will give you details if you are interested, or go direct to the Quiet Garden Trust web site.

Spiritual Direction

Also strongly recommended for anyone in ministry – and beneficial to any Christian – is having a spiritual director or soul friend. The following people coordinate spiritual direction in their respective Archdeaconry:

You can download the leaflet below which has more information on finding a spiritual director.


The Archbishop’s Coordinator and Adviser in Pastoral Care:
The Revd Andrew de Smet at or 07583 279459.

Alternative contact for counselling arrangements: Elizabeth Harland, or 07855 074594.

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