PUBLICATION OF ‘CROSSING THE RIVER’ BOOK AT THE HOUSE OF LORDS
TUESDAY 29TH APRIL 2014
In April we marked a special occasion as we gathered at the House of Lords to mark the publication of the book 'Crossing the River' to mark the unique contribution of Professor Peter Gilbert to spirituality in leadership, health and social care and interfaith relations. The event was hosted by Rowan Williams who spoke about the importance of understanding the contribution of spirituality to human endeavour. Kerry Boetcher, the Managing Director of Pavilion Publications and Arthur Hawes who coordinated the project also spoke at the event.
Ben spoke about the influence of Peter in 'humanising' services and gaining recognition for the important role that spirituality has to play in influencing human endeavour. Arthur Hawes spoke about Peter and the book 'Crossing the River'.
It was a great occasion and we are very grateful to everyone who came to the launch and who contributed to 'Crossing the River'. Natasha has kindly sent the link for Tony Lobl's excellent article in Huffpost Lifestyle. I thought you would all like to see it.
I got to know Peter as a mentor for myself and others as we embarked on some of these challenging tasks. I came to value his wisdom and advice – for many of us he was more than just a mentor – he was – and I use the word freely – a ‘guru’ in every sense. So as we mark his remarkable life through the publication of the book today, what can we reflect on in terms of his unique qualities?
The publication of ‘Crossing the River’ has a certain fairy tale quality about it. It was only last May that Ben Bano and I met here in the House of Lords for the launch of a research project sponsored by the Mental Health Foundation. We were both keenly aware of Peter’s diagnosis and prognosis and wondered how we might celebrate his work. Almost simultaneously we suggested a book and we are here today to launch it.
The hardback publication - Crossing the River honours the incredible contribution that Peter Gilbert made to the world of spirituality. It attempts to capture his life's work and ideas to encourage others to continue, develop and research the role of spirituality in the 21st century. Drawing on the work of Peter Gilbert, editor of Spirituality and Mental Health and Spirituality and End of Life Care, the 16 chapters in this handbook are written by those who personally knew and worked with Peter. Covering key areas of spirituality in health and social care this book aims to reveal the role of spirituality and the way it uncovers a dimension that challenges, humanises and values human life and experience, which was the aim of Peter's work. This handbook provides insight to social workers and social work students, practitioners, commissioners, those working in faith communities, chaplaincy, pastoral care, psychologists and psychiatrists.