Meet the new Head of Counselling Services


Counselling is available to all in the Diocese of Chester via a team of dedicated counsellors, led by the newly appointed Head of Counselling Services, the Revd Peter MacKriell. Peter is a trained counsellor and says Christians are not immune from mental health issues.



“I feel very privileged to lead a team of dedicated volunteer counsellors. We offer a confidential service to anybody in the diocese who feels like they would benefit from talking things through with someone.  

“Already in my role I've met clergy and ordinands who are facing challenges, asking significant questions about their ministries and about themselves and it’s a huge privilege to be able to support people as they reflect on those issues.  

“Christians are not immune to suffering from mental health problems. We face the same challenges and stresses and life changes as the general population. 

“Unfortunately, sometimes people feel, that as a Christian, they shouldn’t have mental health problems. This can lead to further complications because people don’t feel that they can own up to their own struggles or disclose their struggles to others.  

“We know within the Christian community, people can sometimes feel guilty about things that are happening in their lives and in the lives of others. This can lead to them feeling like they can't discuss things with others. Finding out that they can talk about these issues to somebody can be incredibly liberating.”  


Peter’s CV 

·         Ordained for 25 years 

·         Served his curacy in Hale, and Marple 

·         Vicar at Kelsall in 2011 before becoming Director of Studies in the Diocese of Chester 

·         Appointed Head of Counselling in July 2019  


“Counselling isn't just for crisis. Engaging in a process of supported reflection with a counsellor can help people with their personal development. Often this is a process of increased self-awareness, which I think is critical to people in public ministry. Without self-awareness we can sometimes not be as effective in ministry as we could be.  

“A client once said to me that he realised one morning when he was shaving, that having a mirror is important. That’s exactly what we can offer to people as counsellors: a psychological mirror.  

“The thing that perhaps characterises our service is that we are a Christian service and therefore people feel comfortable talking about faith alongside other issues. Sadly, Christians often find that they aren't received positively by counsellors in the secular world.  

“I had that experience when I began my training. When I did an introduction to counselling at a local college, I discovered that the tutor struggled with accepting anybody that was of the Christian faith even though we were being trained to receive everybody no matter what. 

“Anyone using the diocesan counselling service will be safe in the knowledge that they're working with counsellors who are Christians.”


Next steps 

The diocesan counselling service is confidential and open to all. The service is bound by the ethical codes of the professional bodies that counsellors belong to. 

Contact the Revd Peter MacKriell to arrange an initial telephone assessment. Following this, you will be offered a counsellor to work with confidentially.  


T: 07918 732 806 

Page last updated: 7th January 2020 9:45 AM