Ministerial Counselling Service
A Service for Ministers and their Households
What is the CMCS?
It is a network of professional counsellors, operating in England, Scotland and Wales. It is sponsored by the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, The Salvation Army, the United Reformed Church and the Free Churches' Group (acting on behalf of other Free Church denominations).
Why is it needed?
Ministry can bring its own stresses, and ministers are not exempt from other problems of everyday life, arising from family or personal circumstances. It is not always appropriate to seek support from a colleague or a senior person in the denomination or organisation, so the CMCS has been set up to provide confidential access to independent help.
Who is it for?
It is not only for ministers in the British Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and some others in pastoral ministry, but is also available to all adult members of their immediate household. It is also open to designated staff of other Christian organisations who become "affiliated bodies". Each denomination or organisation specifies exactly which categories of people may use the Service.
What is provided?
The counselling provided is non-directive, that is it offers a listening ear and special skills that enable the person being counselled ("the client") to reach a deeper understanding of the situation they need to talk about, so that they can make their own decisions about coping and living more effectively.
The CMCS cannot offer long-term therapy, and normally counselling is concluded within a maximum of twelve sessions, usually of one hour per week. Only in exceptional circumstances can counselling be extended beyond twelve sessions.
How can I access the Service?
A number of "Regional Liaison Organisers" (RLOs) have been appointed to be the first point of contact for someone wanting to use the service. A list of these people and their phone numbers can be accessed by visiting the CMCS website at www.cmcs.org.uk . A phone call to the RLO is all that is needed, and he or she will then look for a suitable counsellor reasonably close to you, and after checking that the counsellor can take a new client will give you their phone number and a reference number by which to identify yourself to them. You then make contact with the counsellor to arrange a first appointment.
List of name and telephone number of Regional Liaison Organiser (RLO) for all areas served by the CMCS.
What will it cost?
Counsellors use their skills to earn their living, so have professional fees. Often these are beyond the means of ministers, so each denomination and organisation has agreed to make up the difference between what the client can afford and the full fee. You would be asked, then, at the first session to say what you can contribute - your denomination or organisation will then be billed for the balance, without knowing your identity.
Can I trust the service?
YES! You can trust the quality because the scheme only refers clients to counsellors whose qualifications and experience are recognised by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy or are comparable to their accreditation requirements. You can trust the confidentiality, because only the Counsellor and the RLO will ever know who is being counselled.
For further information contact:
Churches' Ministerial Counselling Service
c/o Baptist House
PO Box 44
Didcot OX11 8RT
Tel.: 01235 517705
Fax: 01235 517715
Or visit the Churches’ Ministerial Counselling Service at www.cmcs.org.uk