The Annunciation Trust is a Charity (1017702) which was formed in 1993. It supports the work of spiritual direction and the development of individual spirituality. More details can be found on the Charity Commission website.
Those involved in the Trust are available for:
- One-to-one spiritual direction
- Training Days
- Spiritual direction consultations
- Quiet days
I grew up attending Church every Sunday but preferred sermons speaking of something deeper in relationship with God to Sunday School. At 12, God’s embracing presence as I sang the old chorus ‘Jesus take me as I am’ began the intimacy of encounter I had longed for. Since then, life has been years of adding layers of identity and defences that made me less who I was, then recognising the need to let them fall away. Shedding those endless layers is a paradoxical mix of pain and relief.
For over 20 years I’ve worked as a Music Therapist with children with learning difficulties. Family life brings close contact with mental health issues and people of faith within the LBGT+ community. Listening in these settings, and the need to be fully present to do so, drew me towards spiritual accompaniment training in 2011-13.
More recently, following completion of a theology PhD researching the role of silence in Christian women’s lives, in 2016 I set up the Seeds of Silence project to share some of what I had learned. Seeds of Silence exists to encourage and enable people to develop their own practices of silence-based prayer through workshops and other face-to-face support. It also maintains a website that signposts to events, resources and organisations that promote silence as a spiritual discipline.
My spirituality is nurtured by Centring Prayer, inclusive liturgy, feminist theology and poetry. Time in nature and art galleries, the embodiment of 5 Rhythms dancing and the creativity of photography each help me seek the Divine in all things and speak of God, now that voice seems mostly silent.
Alison lives in the Scottish Borders, close to Berwick-on-Tweed.
Tel: 01274 428900
I was ordained into the Anglican Church in 1970, and served for over 20 years in the Diocese of Southwark, in both inner-city and suburban parishes. I was Chair of SPIDIR [1988-93], edited ‘Approaches to Prayer’ [pub 1991], ‘A Time to Reflect’ [pub 1998], and co-edited ‘The God you already know’ [pub 2009] with Roy Gregory. I left parish ministry in 1993 and set up The Annunciation Trust, as a consequence of a sense of call from God. My ministry now is one of offering spiritual direction to individuals, & of working with groups in the area of spirituality and spiritual direction. I have been a member of Spiritual Directors in Europe since its inception in 2000. I started collecting my pension in the summer of 2010, but Sylvia says that nothing much has changed for me on retirement, and she is largely correct! At a time when our churches are in decline, I believe that God is calling us into something new and exciting. I believe passionately that most men & women already know most of what they need to know about God, but that that knowledge lies buried, unrecognized & unaffirmed within them. If we can bring it to the surface, & learn to trust it, then it will lead us on an exciting spiritual journey, in which God will meet us in everyday people & things. I value time to withdraw, and space to be in the natural world, just as I value success for the Spurs football team. I love the Bible, reckon that some of the best theology is found in novels and in poetry, and that there is a rich tradition of spirituality expressed through art.
2 Brook Cottages, Eckington Road, Birlingham, Pershore, Worcs WR10 3DA
Tel: 01386 751 546
I first came to know God as a teenager through an unexpected, un-looked-for experience of feeling suffused by love and warmth. My response was an affirmation that God is – and confusion. I continue to seek to realize and deepen that connection. At university I studied Chemistry, which I taught for 3 years before I shifting into computer programming. On turning 30 I knew something had to change and I went to St Beuno’s in North Wales for a 3-month course in Apostolic Spirituality. I found I loved the process of spiritual direction; this led me to the Ignatian Spirituality Course, which I completed in 1992. Since then my ministry has developed in spiritual direction, and the training and supervision of spiritual directors. I am an associate trainer on the Ignatian Spirituality Course and a supervisor at the London Centre of Spiritual Direction. I have also worked part-time as a hospital chaplain. I believe we are already in God, though the way each of us experiences this may need uncovering and encouraging. I am passionate for a spirituality that integrates the whole of our humanity and creatureliness, and a spiritual practice that trusts the wisdom of the body.
Hampton Wick, West London and Teesdale, Co Durham
I grew up in South Africa where I began attending church and was in the choir. I loved singing and sensed in liturgy there was some encounter with the divine. After finishing school I came to the UK where I did a science degree and then taught maths and computing in a secondary school. It was not for me, and I looked for a new direction. On a church retreat I found myself daydreaming – explaining to a panel why I wanted to be ordained. I was astonished and deeply shaken by this experience, while at the same time knowing I had found my vocation. My ordained ministry began in east London, and then Sheffield. Emotional exhaustion brought be to near breakdown. My spiritual director suggested a guided retreat. The journey of the retreat took me into deeper darkness, before, through praying imaginatively with the baptism of Jesus I heard God say to me ‘you are my son’. This was profoundly transforming and led me on a new journey of prayer, opening up a ministry in spiritual direction. I found my vocation developing into offering spiritual direction, training people in the ministry and developing courses in prayer and spirituality. I’ve published books in the Grove Books series, ‘Soul Spark’, ‘Ignatius of Loyola‘ and most recently ‘Seeking Spiritual Direction‘. I’m passionate about enabling people to deepen the awareness and encounter with God and about encouraging and nurturing spiritual direction that is discerning and enabling of these deeper aspects of life to grow and flourish.
I live in Ludlow, and love the wilder aspects of the great outdoors, music that touches the soul (whether Van Morrison or Beethoven) and red wine!
Although I had been aware of God at an earlier age, my world was different from the moment (at 16) when I sensed God promise to me that “I will be the father you long for; the father you lost” – my father had died when I was 13. Starting work in the hotel trade as a waiter, then a porter in my home town of Cambridge, I had a variety of jobs before being ordained as an Anglican priest in Bradford in 1980. After 18 years of parish ministry in Yorkshire, I retired on health grounds, having contracted a serious illness. I felt bereft and abandoned by God, but I marvel at the way new life has emerged from what felt like the scrap heap. What is blossoming is a new awareness and appreciation of God, and opportunities to offer ministry in one-to-one spiritual direction, work consultancy with clergy, exploring spirituality with groups, creative writing quiet days and training in spirituality and discipleship. I love to encourage others on their journeys with God, and help people ‘lift the stones’ of their experiences to see what life might be teeming there! To relax I enjoy kite-flying, writing poetry, cooking and walking. I also cycle a bit, and am daring to play with colour and acrylic paint!
11 Derwent Avenue, Wilsden, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD15 0LY
Tel: 01535 958 939
I was born on a farm in Somerset where I spent four years before moving to Sussex. There I grew up with the sea and the downs as my constant companions, and have felt always a deep connection to the earth and the essential beauty of all living things. It is through these, in contemplation, walking, gardening etc. that God is made real and speaks most powerfully to me Although valuing my roots in the Brethren, Baptist and Anglican churches, midlife experiences, both physical and spiritual brought release from a pre-programmed mindset into a knowledge that I am loved and the freedom to trust the God within me. In November 1995 I became a tertiary in the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis. I completed the SPIDIR course in 1993-5. I offer spiritual direction as part of my ministry of prayer and “being available to people”. I am interested in all that can heal, deepen and enrich our relationships with God and each other. So I am concerned to express an holistic spirituality and one that honours the feminine face of God. I believe many women entering the crone/elderwoman stage of life have a wealth of experience and wisdom largely untapped or valued, and I would like to explore this subject more deeply.
2 Brook Cottages, Eckington Road, Birlingham, Pershore, Worcs WR10 3DA
Tel: 01386 751 546
Part of being human is that innate but almost indefinable sense of experiencing something which is both other and beyond ourselves. After qualifying in medicine, exploring this sense took me to live within a religious community for many years, and more recently to live as a solitary religious. Increasing our awareness of how we relate to ourselves, to other people and to the world around us, and to that sense of the Divine – whatever name we may give it – we can take our place within creation and live abundantly as the people we were created to be. This is about learning to be human: to be able to experience and move through the joys and sorrows, the muddle and mess as well as the glorious beauty and fun of life. My work involves walking alongside others in this process of discovery, as I continue to seek and learn through the walking. I offer one to one spiritual direction and am available to lead retreats, quiet days and to facilitate group work exploring spirituality and other issues. I also have an interest in working with those who suffer chronic pain. My own journey is rooted within a framework of daily prayer and worship and I receive regular spiritual direction and supervision. I work with those of all faiths and of none. I am a harpist and play the organ. I am also passionate about enabling others to find their voice.
31 Kirkwood Close Peterborough PE36BL
Tel: 01733 569 748
Former members of the Trust
From a young age I have loved art, and enjoyed a successful career in the commercial art world for the first 20 years of my adult life. In my mid-30’s the question ‘There must be more to life than this?’ came along, and I began exploring the possibility of God in my life. After some struggle and still with many questions I became a Christian. Just a short time later, and much to my surprise, I sensed a call to ministry as a Church Army evangelist, trained in Sheffield and was ’commissioned’ in 2000. (Church Army is an Anglican mission order that seeks to help those outside the church on their spiritual journey).
Part of my journey has led to a deep appreciation of contemplative prayer, the art of listening and being listened to, and how much the creative arts can be a catalyst and aid to spiritual formation. I also began to paint my own sense of the Divine in the world around me. Since 2009 I have lived and worked in Cornwall amongst the artistic community. I currently have a studio at our home in Falmouth.
My work has two main elements: painting and exhibiting; and creating safe places where other artists can join me in conversation about the Sacred in their own lives. I exhibit my work in galleries, cathedrals, churches, and other community venues; also run workshops, lead seminars and discussions about art and spirituality.
Tel: 07964 736 635
I was born in London in the middle of an air raid! I had no experience of church until converted in a Billy Graham crusade in my early twenties and I have spent ever since trying to work out what happened! My journey has meant I have learnt to appreciate the insights of many different faith traditions. I lectured in engineering and have been a part-time pastor of a free evangelical church for most of my adult life. I have an interest in how faith works out in everyday life, particularly for those outside of the church. I have a special interest in psychology and a few years ago took an MA in Psychology of Religion at Heythrop College, London. I am involved in pastoral work in my local church in addition to running workshops in the fields of education, spirituality and personal development. I work as a spiritual director and supervisor locally, and have a role as a Tutor for Christian Sprituality for the St Albans Christian Study Centre based at St Albans Abbey. I was for nine years part of the Greenbelt Soul Space Team (which is where I met Henry and Julian). I also worked with Henry on the Approaches to Prayer website and developed and maintain this one. I like walking, swimming, reading and am fortunate enough to support Chelsea FC. I am always interested to talk to anyone about their faith journey and the way they have found God.
We ask for individual donations to the trust rather than having a fixed fee. Rates for work with groups are negotiable.
The trustees meet several times a year to administer the Trust’s finances and to offer support to us. Our Patrons are
- Bishop Michael Whinney
- Bishop Edward Holland
- Bishop Jack Nicholls
If you are interested to know more about the work of the Trust or its ministry email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to make a donation or leave a gift in your will to support the work of the Trust, please email our Treasurer at email@example.com.