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Clinical Pastoral Education Courses
for people from all faith traditions, and walks of life.

Providing pastoral care training in Canberra and the wider region: Canberra, Goulburn, Tilba, Wagga Wagga, Young.

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The Pastoral Education Centre

(Canberra and Regional Centre for Spiritual Care and Clinical Pastoral Education Inc.)
Admin Michelle Ace
Hours Monday, Tues (AM),
Wed (AM) & Thursday
Phone (02) 6244 2261
Postal The Canberra Hospital,
PO Box 11 Woden ACT 2606

Michelle Ace

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Welcome to the CPE Centre

The CanberraCentre

provides world wide recognised training for pastoral carers.

Developing skills needed in pastoral care include abilities to develop relationships, listen and discern possible issues or concerns that may be important for a person, and which may be sensitively explored with empathy.

Taking Intentional Friendship and Care into the World 

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Did you miss going to ???


Reflective Practice workshop

‘Managing Sudden Death

in the Emergency Department’

Friday 18 November 2016

10am to 2pm

Facilitator and Clinical Supervisor - Barbara Hall.


at Canberra Hospital


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>> See more about our motto




Musings in This Season

in the Southern Hemisphere

Mary Waterford - Director

As the rain softly touches the earth outside my window I contemplate winter as a place of vulnerability. In the world of nature survival takes on another dimension beyond the abundance of spring and summer. In this magical, vulnerable season – winter – reflections are birthed in the personal world of my deliberations. 
These contemplations offer entry into an innermost landscape where I am able to tap my resilient inner strength – the dormant energies that pause silently in the vulnerability of ‘winter’. In this silent solitude, at a fundamental level, there is acceptance that we all are emotional, vulnerable, and feeling beings. This reality embraces the idea that the art of spiritual care is to provide a bridge of empathy between us and others. This is the heart of spiritual care.

If you gaze at this picture for a while – you will get to know what is important to the woman in blue. To “gaze” at another in this way is the spiritual care approach. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is the training that grows you into how to respond to what you see and experience – judgment giving way to wonder and awe.

The stark profile of the “winter” trees hibernating beyond my window draws me to understand how this wonder and awe moves me beyond a tempting romanticism, and changes from brief curiosity, into the beginning of a process. This kindles a desire to enter into relationship with the world of the other; a process not completely known yet embedded into spiritual care at a basic level.

‘Woman in Blue Reading a Letter’
St, Johannes Vermeer. (1663–1664)


This way of paying attention, gazing at the other - creating learning and growth opportunities available in the CPE training process - is understood beautifully through Feynman’s words in a 1958 essay titled “The Value of Science” where he writes: 

The same thrill, the same awe and mystery, come again and again when we look [gaze] at any problem deeply enough. With more knowledge comes deeper, more wonderful mystery, luring one on to penetrate [gaze] deeper still. Never concerned that the answer may prove disappointing, but with pleasure and confidence we turn over each new stone to find unimagined strangeness leading on to more wonderful questions and mysteries — certainly a grand adventure!

The sound of soft rain falling has led me into a peculiar orientation of mind and spirit which could be titled “The Value of Not Being Certain”!

On your grand adventure as a CPE intern may you always allow your creativity to hold tenderly the vulnerability of the uncertainty of not-quite-knowing through all the seasons of your transformation.

And may the season of winter, currently with us in the southern hemisphere, hold you in the still, vulnerable, and wise place of your solitude.

Go Gently

Mary Waterford
 July 2016




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