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Petertide ordinations: ‘Travelling alongside’

10 July 2015

AFTER growing up in a Protestant church in Switzerland, Cécile Schnyder discovered the Church of England after arriving in London in 2004. She “immediately felt at home”. She has an MA in Jungian art psychotherapy, and is trained as a supervisor, group analyst, and spiritual director.

“I strongly believe that, being created by God, we all have a creative outlet,” she says. “I used art on my own, for prayer and for reflection, and art psychotherapy helps people who are not able to access a verbal therapy. I felt it was much more accessible in that sense.”

She is also a long-term member of the L’Arche Community. “I think we are called into community: we are communal beings. I can’t see my own faith: I need someone else to tell me what they see. At L’Arche, I discovered myself much more than I had ever done before.”

Both this community, and her training as a therapist, have taught her “to travel with people and just be with people. We have a society which is desperately solution-based and wants answers, but often life does not have straightforward answers; so it’s about travelling alongside people. We are in the same boat, and God is there.”

A keen iconographer, she is also looking forward to finding ways to use this art as a tool for mission.

Cécile Schnyder was ordained deacon in Southwark Cathedral on 27 June. She is serving her title in the Sutton Team Ministry.

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