Dr Rowan Williams to speak at the University

Dr Rowan Williams

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:31:00 GMT

The former Archbishop of Canterbury will speak at both the spirituality in healthcare conference and at the annual Harold Wilson Lecture

Dr Rowan Williams ON a visit to the University of Huddersfield, former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams (pictured left) will – in the course of a single day – provide a keynote address to hundreds of delegates at a special conference dealing with the issue of spirituality in healthcare, and later deliver the annual Harold Wilson Lecture, a prestigious event open to the public.

The 11 July conference is the second to be organised by the University’s well-established Spirituality Special Interest Group, which researches and teaches all aspects of spirituality in health and social care and how it can lead to increased compassion from health and social care practitioners, and higher levels of hope, meaning and purpose among patients.

Top to bottom - Wilf McSherry, Kevin Bond, Fiona Venner When the group organised its first conference, two years ago, it attracted more than 200 delegates from around the UK and similar numbers are expected at the 2017 event, which focuses on the role of spirituality in mental health care.

‌Dr Melanie Rogers (pictured left) , an Advanced Nurse Practitioner and a Senior Lecturer at the University, is chair of the Spirituality SIG and she was delighted when Dr Williams agreed to be one of the keynote speakers.

Dr Melanie Rogers “He is deeply passionate about spirituality and about compassionate approaches to supporting people,” said Dr Rogers.  She added that spirituality was distinct from religious faith, although for many people there was an overlap.

Rowan Williams – who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 2002-2012 – is best known as a religious leader, but is also a noted poet and writer on a wide range of themes.  At the University of Huddersfield conference he will focus on the links between spirituality and compassion in a talk titled Nourishing the spirit: relations, stories, rhythms.

After he was confirmed as a speaker at the Spirituality and Mental Health Conference, Dr Williams was invited by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan, to deliver the 2017 Harold Wilson Lecture.  Commemorating the Huddersfield-born former Prime Minister, the event has attracted a series of famous lecturers from the fields of politics, science and religion.

The Spirituality and Mental Health Conference is open to all health and social care professionals, community and voluntary sector workers, plus service users and carers.  In addition to Dr Williams, the keynote speakers will include Wilf McSherry, who is Professor of Dignity in Care at Staffordshire University; Kevin Bond, the ex-chief executive of innovative NHS mental health provider NAVIGO; and Fiona Venner, Chief Executive of Leeds Survivor-Led Crisis Service.

The conference will also see the launch of a new book titled Spiritually Competent Practice in Health Care, edited by Dr Rogers, alongside her University of Huddersfield colleagues Professor John Wattis and Professor Stephen Curran.  The book has eight chapters from a range of experts and deals with what the editors describe as “the considerable real evidence for the benefit of spirituality and spiritually competent care”.

The publishers state that the book will be “ideal for practitioners, educators, trainees and managers in nursing and healthcare” and it “is also relevant reading for occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and psychologists”. 

Pictured above are keynote speakers Wilf McSherry, Kevin Bond and Fiona Venner

  • More information about the Spirituality Conference and place bookings can be found online or by phone at 01484 472541 or email a.m.armitage@hud.ac.uk.

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