“Her need was greater than my ethical dilemmas”

Pastoral, Theological Education


  • John Foskett Association for Pastoral and Spiritual Care
  • Declan McConville Poole Hospital




Learning, ministry, pastoral care, role play, supervision, verbatim


Pastoral supervision is growing in importance as an essential part of the ministry of pastoral care and counselling. Pastors, lay and clerical, learn the art and science of care and counselling as much through their experience of ministry as through formal education. The verbatims of conversations and events in ministry area fertile resource for learning both for the individuals, who produce the verbatim, and for those in the supervision group learning from one another. The following verbatim is an example of one chaplain's work and of the dilemmas and demands placed upon him. The record of the interview is enlarged by the supervisee's own reflections and the reactions and comments of the group who role played the verbatim.

Author Biographies

  • John Foskett, Association for Pastoral and Spiritual Care

    John Foskett is a retired Anglican priest, Health Care Chaplain, Pastoral Supervisor and Consultant; President of both the Association for Pastoral and Spiritual Care (APSCC) and British and Irish Association for Practical Theology (BIAPT) and Fellow of the British Association for Counselling. He has been the recipient of supervision for his work for nearly 50 years and a giver of supervision for nearly as many. He was trained for this at the Richmond Fellowship College and the Tavistock Insitute and at both institutions he was also a tutor. He is Chaplain Emeritus to the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

  • Declan McConville, Poole Hospital

    Declan McConville is the author of the verbatim and Lead chaplain at Poole Hospital. He is a Roman Catholic deacon and was once a mental health nurse.


APSE. www.pastoralsupervision.org.uk

Foskett, J. and D. Lyall (1988) Helping the Helpers. London: SPCK.

Girkin,C. (1984) The Living Human Document. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.

Leach, J. and M. Paterson (2010) Pastoral Supervision: a Handbook. London: SCM Press.

Pattison, S. (1997) A Critique of Pastoral Care. London: SCM Press.

—(1994) Pastoral Care and Liberation Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ward, F. (2005) Lifelong Learning. London: SCM Press.



How to Cite

Foskett, J., & McConville, D. (2015). “Her need was greater than my ethical dilemmas”: Pastoral, Theological Education. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 2(2), 203-212. https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.v2i2.19739