About Us

Sometimes we just need
someone to talk to

What do we Offer?

  • A free confidential service.
  • A safe and private place to talk about whatever is on your mind.
  • A trained listener who will not interrupt, advise or judge you.
  • Opportunities to find your own way forward.

Who are the Listeners?

  • We are ordinary people who have volunteered to help provide this service.
  • We have all undertaken professional training courses in listening.
  • We all hold current clearances to ensure confidentiality and safety.

Who do we Help?

You can share anything that is on your mind. Nothing is too trivial or too serious.
A skilled listener can help you explore the dilemmas you may be facing and help you find a way to deal with them.

Is all this In Confidence?

In the vast majority of cases our service is absolutely confidential. However, there are some circumstances where we are required by law to pass information on to a third party. In this unlikely event, we would always discuss it with you first.

Our Story

When two members of Salisbury Methodist Church attended an Acorn Listening Course in 2001 the result was inspirational.

The Healing Ministry Team at the church had been praying for a way to make holistic healing of body, mind and spirit available for people in Salisbury and the surrounding area. That ministry needed to be ecumenical in principle, free, non-evangelical and available without appointment. The ‘Acorn’ training programme for Listeners seemed to fit the bill and after further investigations SMc Leadership Team set up a Development Group.

It took 3 years of preparations and Training courses to build the protocol, management structure and a team of Listeners, all acceptable to the Church Council. Permission was granted. The Listening Place opened in September 2004. Three sessions a week were provided to cover early evening, midweek morning and weekend morning. A minimum team of 3 comprising 2 trained listeners and a supporting ‘associate’ were to be on duty at each session. ‘A ministry of availability’ had been formed.

Our work is ‘labour intensive’ and we currently have a team of 23 Listeners and Associates. The Management Team has 7-8 members and there are others who help with fund raising and publicity. Our team of skilled, loyal and dedicated volunteers ensure that the work of The Listening Place fulfils the vision of the original pioneers.

After 16 successful years of operation, the pandemic 2020-22 forced severe limitations on what could be offered but a telephone service was available as an interim measure; we are now restored to a full service providing face-to-face listening experiences for all.

A Listening Session

What happens?

There are usually three Listeners on duty and you will be greeted in the foyer/Welcome area of the Methodist Church. If you have booked a session you will be taken to a private room where you can talk in confidence to your Listener. If there are no Listeners available for you immediately, we can have a chat with you and book you in for a future date.

When you are settled in a private space, the Listener will invite you to tell your story. The Listener will give you their undivided attention. As you share whatever is on your mind, the Listener will check from time to time that they have heard you correctly. You will be supported to reflect on your situation which may enable you to think through whatever is troubling you and maybe find a way forward.

Our Listeners are volunteers who have been trained to a high standard and they will not interrupt you, preach, judge or advise you. Only first names are used and we do not take notes or keep records about you.

Confidentiality is offered within the scope of the law (If you tell us anything that is illegal or puts people at risk we would have to report it). There may be some times when it may be helpful to consult another member of the team but this would not be done without your permission. Your identity would not be revealed in any discussion with others.

If you need the help of specialist agencies, we can signpost you to them.

Sessions usually last for a maximum of one hour. If you feel you would like to come again, then you can book another session.

Listening sessions are free of charge, but if you wish to make a donation, then it will be gratefully received.

Please note: In order to keep our volunteers safe, they will not listen to anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or who is aggressive. The session will be ended should the content become offensive or inappropriate.


“This service is excellent and much needed”


“I went away feeling much happier/better”


“Being listened to allowed me to work through my thoughts and feelings in a safe environment”


“It helps to have an emotionally uninvolved person to listen”


“I was surprised at how tearful I felt, but after talking and the Listener being so attentive, I felt the burden lift enormously”


“Being listened to clarified the issue for me and I felt strengthened, calmed and encouraged”


“Although working within a church environment, TLP offers an impartial service without judgement or pushing religious beliefs on those who are not comfortable with them”