An inspiring initiative to support people on their faith journey is underway in the Diocese. Ananias

Training by members of the Pre-Discipleship Team is equipping parishioners in the “art of spiritual accompaniment”. Named after the disciple who played an important role in accompanying St Paul on his journey to Christ, Ananias Training was recently developed by the Catherine of Siena Institute in the United States, which also originated the Called and Gifted process. The training is designed to form parishioners as Ananiases, who will travel alongside their friends, family and work colleagues during their spiritual journey. 

Since last autumn the team have been training people in the parishes of Abingdon, Hook, Winchester and Farnborough as well as the Avon Stour pastoral area. Already around more than 100 lay Catholics across the Diocese have taken up the call to be Ananiases.

Being an Ananias is about building trust with a person and listening lovingly to their real questions and opinions about God in order to guide the discovery of how God is present in their life.

“Some people lack confidence and we help them to be more intentional about accompanying their friends and family,” said Clare. "It’s about breaking the cultural silence that tends to exist around Jesus, giving parishioners the tools to accompany others in their journey to a meaningful life in Jesus.”


The evocative artwork which has been adopted as the “logo” for Ananias Training.

“Our desire is to train many parishioners in accompaniment which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of another, and relate to them more intentionally and prayerfully.” Ananias Training can be given in a parish or home setting and it includes scripture reflections, video, and small group discussions.

The Ananias Team spoke at the recent Annual Conference of Diocesan Deacons at Marwell Conference Centre near Winchester, giving them a flavour of Ananias through four sessions delivered over a weekend.

Part of the training is a six-hour retreat called The Great Story of Jesus, presenting the history of salvation and giving time for participants to make a personal response. The team will be running this day on June 8 at St Bede’s in Basingstoke, primarily for catechists and local parishioners.

Anyone who would like to find out more about Ananias should contact Clare at: