Mentors

Each seminary teaching group is accompanied over two years by a team of volunteer mentors. Each mentor is an experienced minister who is available to support the student minister on his or her journey of discovery. Click the names to read more from each mentor’s profile:

Second Year Mentor Group:

Browne, JoanJoan Browne

Looking back, it seems I’ve been on a spiritual journey for many years. This led me to live and work abroad in Venezuela, Brazil, Angola and Spain. At the time I thought this search for meaning and for myself was “out there” – in a different country where I could be more expressive, speaking and learning Spanish and Portuguese, and basking in cultures where I felt more at ease. Originally from Trinidad, I arrived in the UK with my siblings at the age of 9. I thrived on what was new and different. My love of discovering new places – especially in natural surroundings, had been awakened. I would later find out that some of those new places were internal – as well as external. Anyway, I studied, was teacher trained, studied some more and worked at a Uni for a while, before making a break for freedom into freelance life in 1991. Much of my training and consultancy work has been around diversity, but also career development including mentoring and coaching. My path to OneSpirit was initially via funeral celebrancy training, after which, on switching on the computer one day, I came across OneSpirit’s website, attended an Open Day where I felt like I’d “come home” and the rest is history – still in the making. Ordained in 2011, the journey continued as I was privileged to join the mentor team for the 2011-2013 group. And once again, I am happy to be of service as a mentor. I am married, and live and in Essex, from where I continue my ceremonial work.

Deakin, NigelNigel Deakin

I was ordained in 2013 after two wonderful years with OneSpirit, followed by a further year of study on the Mystery and Mastery course. I have been actively seeking for many years and have followed a particular meditational practice since 1987. I am very interested in non-duality. For several years I preached and led services for the Methodist church and still lead contemporary style services. I enjoy the challenge of staying true to myself whilst contributing within that community. I value contact with MROP (Men’s Right of Passage) group, for whom I have done some spiritual counselling. I am married with four children; two at University and two still at home. One of my passions is community and I run a drop in centre for homeless and vulnerable adults. My background is as an electronics/software engineer which I have now happily left behind. I feel a gratitude for, and am excited by, the ever unfolding expression of life as it dances it’s dance in all its beauty, order and chaos.

 

Graham, Stevenson - croppedStevenson Graham

 

 

 

 

Grant, Frinny - 2015Frances Grant

What I love about interfaith work is its holistic understanding of all faiths – including those with neither a name nor a God. Ordained in 2013, and with further study and qualification in 2014, I most of all love encouraging people to their deepest spiritual expression beyond the more formal terms of a particular religion. Especially in end of life care, and also in conflict management, I’ve found this uniquely unifying; but I’ve seen it too as a celebrant at funerals, weddings and other significant times. I began counselling part-time in 1976 (my paid career was directing and writing for BBC TV current affairs; later I copyedited with the Dictionary of National Biography). But in 2004 I turned full-time, training and facilitating educational methods for spiritual development. Now mentoring with our small groups here, I am inspired by the altruism, good will and transformation I see so often in this field. My spare time is spent with friends and family (including four wonderful grandchildren!), writing and gardening.

 

 

Sarah MMacDonald, SarahacDonald

I have always aspired to living an integrated life, where my work, my practise and my family and social life are congruent and support each other, and OneSpirit has been a powerful tool helping me keep coming closer to this ideal. I started practising T’ai Chi when I was just 16, and was fortunate to be with a teacher who introduced me to Buddhism and meditation, to the Tao and to other powerful teachers in the Taoist practises of T’ai Chi and Qigong. I have been a serious student and committed practitioner ever since, now teaching and leading workshops. I am privileged to use my practise in my work for Penny Brohn UK (formerly the Bristol Cancer Help Centre), leading groups and courses for people with cancer and helping pioneer an approach to health that truly values Spirit. I ordained in 2014 and have followed my practise and my calling into mentoring this year. I am blessed with a family of three teenagers who help me practise every day!

 

 

Napier, Kate - 2015Katherine Napier

I was ordained in 2013. Having been raised and stayed, active, within the Anglican Christian tradition, I had found myself loosened from it, and so over a number of years without a spiritual home, and without a clear comprehension Spirit or of my relationship to her. Gently pursued by loving folk who felt that there was a home for me and that I needed to locate it, and watching a dear friend work through his OneSpirit training, it was finally clear that this had to be done, in spite of significant internal resistance. The gears finally meshed well into the second year, so the opportunity to continue with OneSpirit and take the Deepening into Mastery and Mystery third year was a gift. Daughter, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, teacher, theatre maker, celebrant, the encompassing Oneness which OneSpirit has brought me to informs every aspect of how I am in the world. Mentoring distills, demands and gives of all I know to be journey and service.

 

van Zomeren, Nicole - B&W 2016Nicole van Zomeren

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Year Mentor Group:

 

bradley-derek-cropped   Derek Bradley

 

 

 

 

 

fairbrother-peter-own-2016-v2Peter Fairbrother

Throughout my life I’ve felt called to spiritual exploration. My journey began with Catholicism; the religion I was born into and grew up with, and continued through my twenties and thirties with expeditions into Protestantism, the earth based traditions, New Age philosophies, and Spiritualism.  It was within Spiritualism that I first experienced a deep sense of connection to faith-based community. In 2006 I joined my local Spiritualist church and began development as a spiritual healer. I served for eight years, latterly leading services of mediation and healing.  In Spiritualism I thought that I had found my spiritual home, but as time passed I continued to hear the calling to further exploration. Eventually I found my way to OneSpirit and to training for interfaith ministry.  The training has had an enormous impact on my life. It has inspired me to look afresh at how I am with myself and others. It has challenged my understanding of healing and what it is to be a healer. And it has gifted me with a revitalised awareness of the importance of loving myself more as the starting point to manifesting love in the world. Subsequently, I’ve come to recognise my lifelong calling to spiritual exploration as a calling to love, a calling home.  As a newly ordained minister (2016) I feel honoured to begin my OneSpirit ministry as a mentor. It’s a huge delight to accompany the students embarking on their own explorations into love, healing, and homecoming.

 

flynn-sarah-2016Sarah Flynn

Spirituality has been a part of my life since I was a teenager.  My parents studied Sufism and as a child I often spent time at the Sufi community.  As I grew older I began attending the evening teaching sessions and gradually became involved in studying Sufism myself and continued to be involved with the Sufi community until I was in my forties.  It was shortly after the teacher of the community died that I first came across a leaflet about the OneSpirit training (then called the Interfaith Seminary).  As soon as I saw it, I knew that the training was for me and I enrolled in 2001.  It was a wonderful and challenging two years which took me on a journey that changed my life.  After I was ordained it took me quite a long time to pluck up the courage to become a wedding celebrant.  I have been writing and conducting weddings for about seven years and love it.  It is such an honour to be asked to be part of such an important day.  I also do spiritual counselling which I find very rewarding.  My other hat is working as a kinesiology practitioner, helping people with health problems and even that has been influenced by the OneSpirit training because I see my clients in such a different way from when I first started practising.   I am excited that I have taken on the role of mentor – it is wonderful and such an honour to have the opportunity to support others through the training that has made such a difference in my life.

 

hill-rosalie-croppedRosalie Hill
I was ordained in 2013 after two amazing years with OneSpirit and then did a further year in 2014 with the Mystery and Mastery course.  I had been actively seeking for the meaning of my life since my teens, reading and exploring many other faiths.  I was a Presbyterian during all my childhood in New Zealand, but, when I left school I had questions that I found the Christian church did not give answers that I felt were satisfactory. I trained as a registered nurse and worked for many years, married, had my family of four children, divorced and came over to the UK in 1993.  Since I have been here I have absorbed as much as possible of all the different spiritual aspects of life. I am a teacher for the Diana Cooper School; am a Colour-light practitioner; an NFSH practitioner; an Angelic reiki practitioner; a member of the Eldermothers and interested in promoting the feminine energies.  I am very honoured to be accepted as a mentor for OneSpirit and continuing my journey with their philosophies and teaching over the next 2 years.  Presently I work as a nurse in the community for 3 days a week and was a District Nurse for many years.  The OneSpirit training has enabled me to slot all aspects of my life together and know that where I am is the right place for me to be.

 

ralphs-tim-lid4-croppedTim Ralphs

I have spent many years acting as a wedding celebrant, helping those who did not feel adequately served either by registry office weddings or traditional religious services. Then in 2009 my Aunt’s suicide and the incredibly moving funeral conducted by the reverend showed me the depth and power of effective ministry. It made me realise that “minister” is, first and foremost, a verb rather than a noun. OneSpirit seemed like the perfect answer to the calling I was beginning to feel, a place where I could learn and grow authentically, even though I felt like I lacked any sort of religious tradition of my own. I was ordained in 2013 after two years that saw enormous changes in my life and what felt like radical growth.  I found the experience with OneSpirit to be profound, both in terms of my own journey but also in the honour of witnessing all my fellow travellers. I see this course as a great crucible and feel enormously privileged to be coming back to hold and participate in the human alchemy that takes place on this training.  Away from ministry, I have been working as a storyteller since 2007, adapting traditional myths and folktales for live performance. In 2014 I became a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and I’m on a continuing path of deepening my spirituality within that tradition.