A service with a heart

independent | professional | completely confidential

The Bethel Centre’s professional counselling, pastoral care, and education service offers quality care and support for congregations, individuals, and families within or connected to the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria & Tasmania. We support reconciliation and healing for hurt experienced as a consequence of church life.

Our professional counsellors Julie McDonald and Wendy Driscoll are delighted to offer traditional counselling sessions, as well as brief wellbeing check-ins. To suit your needs, we will connect by face-to-face, by ‘phone, or online (Zoom or Skype).

To see how we can help, call …

03 9859 8700


Our resource pages include many links to support services.

What we do

  • Counselling with qualified experienced counsellors, in person, by telephone, or online.
  • Support groups for identified issues.
  • Peer support groups for ministers.
  • Tailored workshops for small or large groups.
  • Consultation to presbyteries and congregations responding to issues of concern.
  • Conflict resolution.

We work with

  • Ministers
  • Lay ministers
  • Church Council members
  • Congregation members
  • Volunteers

We help with

Issues of power in the church, including :

  • Self-care to support wellbeing and resilience.
  • Conflict and communication difficulties.
  • Resolving mental, emotional, physical, sexual, or spiritual hurt, stress, or trauma.
  • Providing a space to explore your spirituality in relationship to the hurt.
  • Support for those who have been accused of perpetrating abuse.

Our aim is to offer support at the earliest opportunity to minimise unnecessary distress.

What people say about us

“It’s been really helpful … I had not thought about self-care for myself in all of this.”

“It’s been wonderful to be in a safe space to talk honestly about how I am travelling … A week ago, I thought I’d fall into a heap, and today things are so much better.”

“I would not have been able to do this without you. Having you there as a sounding board and your presence have helped me get through necessary but very difficult conversations. I didn’t have anyone else who could have provided me with this support. I cannot thank you enough for what you have done. Please pass this on.”

“My experience at Bethel is always a safe one … I can say that, without a doubt, I have never felt judged, but rather welcomed each week.”


We welcome self-referrals, or referrals from concerned others.


  • Onsite in our welcoming comfortable rooms.
  • Online via Zoom or Skype.
  • By phone.
  • Other, by negotiation.