Profiles of Anam Cara Members

Sarah Brookman

In seeking to live a contemplative life, with time for stillness and reflection, Sarah draws rich inspiration from the Christian contemplative tradition. At the heart of this has been the challenge to find a balance between being and doing, and to cultivate more soulful ways of living. She finds a particular gift in engaging with the arts, using creative writing and art-making as a way of paying attention to and deepening her inner life. Sarah is interested in the potential that these creative practices have to contribute to wellbeing and spiritual growth.

Sarah enjoys facilitating quiet reflective worship, and has experience accompanying individuals during times of retreat, as well as offering spiritual accompaniment from her home near Evesham.

She offers a confidential, supportive setting for anyone wanting to explore and develop their own spiritual practice.

Sue Coates

Sue offers individual accompaniment to those wishing to explore and understand the nature of spirituality and the place it holds in their lives. Her interest in the connection between spirituality and deep psychology underpins her approach. The work together is held in God's love.

She has many years of experience in listening to and facilitating individuals and groups during their chosen journeys.  Supervising the work of spiritual directors is also a key part of her skill practice.

Sue works from home in a peaceful, confidential environment.

Her training and background is eclectically rooted in nursing, health education,  psychotherapy, dramatherapy and spiritual direction. Sue's training and management consultancy of 20 years explored change and transition in a variety of settings. It also fostered her appreciation of the need for compassion, support and personal spiritual renewal during these challenging times.


Nigel Groom

What is my background?

Born and raised in the west country, my working life and study has led me through printing, voluntary work on the Catholic Missions in Africa during the Biafran War, life in a religious community as an Augustinian friar, a teacher of Theology, Philosophy and Music,  and as a Jungian Psychoanalytical Therapist and Supervisor over thirty years in private practice.

My journey?

As a gay man now entering my 70th year, the personal and spiritual path has been creative, painful, challenging, humourous, joyous and full of surprises taking me through Methodism, Anglicanism, Paganism, the Peace Movement, Existentialism, Catholicism, Christian contemplation and meditation, the Theology of Liberation, the Gay Liberation movement, a personal Jungian analysis and training, Gnosticism, Mysticism and Quakerism.  Music, art, poetry, travel, food, wine, friendship and conversation are some of the joys of life that have fed me and continue to sustain and nourish me.

My faith?

I  have now reached a point on the journey where I value all of this and "worship" everywhere and no-where. I embrace everything as belonging in God, all in all, across and beyond denominational and institutional religion and boundaries. I am excited by the future and trust in seeing that each day brings something new and wonderful - "the gate of heaven is everywhere" as Thomas Merton says.

What can I offer?

A safe space as a Soul friend and spiritual accompanier. I will sit alongside you, support, listen, nurture and challenge you, and hopefully enable you to  discover in your own way who you are and who you are most meant to be. I am open to accompanying all who desire, all who yearn from the heart to be awakened, to engage compassionately and lovingly with themselves and with their Life Quest. I see clients at my home currently in Malvern.


art website:

Kate Hill

Kate has a small private practice in Great Malvern, Worcestershire. She offers both spiritual direction and counselling.

Kate is a lay member of the Anglican Church, and joint head of counsellor training at The Lyttelton Well Christian Counselling Service in Great Malvern.

She offers a comfortable study in her own home in which to meet; complete confidentiality and the benefits of her many years of experience working closely with individuals seeking to address life's complexities. An initial meeting will help you to discover if spiritual direction (or counselling) might be helpful to you.

Kate is also a pianist, singer and a member of the Jubilate Group of Composers.


Jeff Matthews

Jeff is a qualified coach, with over 25 years experience. In spiritual direction he is able to offer support in both personal and work related issues. He is particularly interested in how the Christian life is lived in the context of organisations and the challenges of 21st century pressures. Confirmed comparatively late in life, he is an active member of his local Church. He is particularly skilled in life / work balance issues and working on issues of direction and discernment.

He has wide experience, working freelance in organisational settings. He has his own coaching practice, The Madison Group.


Penelope Swan

Penelope was born in India, grew up in the Far East and Africa and has lived in Worcestershire since 1978.  Following many years as a prison visitor, she is now an Anglican member of the multi-faith Chaplaincy team at HMP Long Lartin.

Pilgrimage has played an important part in her faith journey, as has the discovery of meditation and contemplative prayer in the Christian tradition. She also finds a real sense of balance of body, mind and spirit through the ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi.

She seeks to encourage others to become who they are and live a full life in Christ through spiritual accompaniment in the peaceful environment of Holland House Retreat Centre.