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Kate Atchley
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Celebrant, Counsellor and Officiant in Scotland

Mother, beekeeper, Scot, entrepreneur, sister, financial publisher, lover, confidante, gardener, wife, primary-school teacher, hill walker, home maker, wordsmith, singer … so many roles, so many aspects of my rich life, now and in the past.

Now, as a minister, I am also a celebrant, speaker, counsellor, officiant, creator of ceremony, intercessor, companion to the dying and bereaved. Why this new direction in an already full life?

It was a quiet dissatisfaction with life which drew me, in my forties, to seek spiritual wisdom and solace. Since my teenage years I had been haunted by a profound existential fear of death. I had ‘parked’ my Christianity of childhood and came instead to Zen Buddhist teachings which spoke to me with utter clarity … then and now. In meditation, in mindful practice, in recognition of my ‘monkey mind’ and negative feelings, I learned to embrace all of my experience with greater acceptance and love.

You are a child of God …
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God
that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us
it’s within everyone.
And as we let our light shine
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear
our presence automatically liberates others.
Marianne Williamson

Then nine years ago the business I ran in London failed spectacularly and I found myself with the rare gift of time, time to travel and be in ‘retreat’. This led me to India where I spent one Winter practising Kundalini yoga with a Hindu Swami. He lovingly guided me through another transformative experience, a deep spiritual opening.

It was then, with my spiritual backpack populated largely by Christian, Buddhist and Hindu teachings, that I was drawn to train as an Interfaith Minister. At first I did not know why. At first I did not dare aspire to serve as an Interfaith Minister; that came later. I trained as an Interfaith Minister with the Interfaith Seminary and was ordained in August 2005.

That I was no longer ‘controlling’ my life and choices; that there was a mystery and, at the same time, a certainty about how my life was unfolding … this had become clear for me. I was experiencing a new sense of freedom and trust. I had begun to open my heart and mind to spirit, to allow that still small voice within to reveal what I was here to do.

My mission and privilege is to be of service to anyone, on any spiritual path or none, at any point on their path … to help us open to the peace, joy and wholeness which is our true nature … to lighten our souls’ darkness.

Marianne Williamson spoke of this and is quoted in the box above … I cannot better her words!

Spiritual Journey