The National Spirituality & Mental Health Forum operates under the Charity Commission England & Wales and in association with stakeholders such as the UK government, the NHS, national mental health initiatives and religious institutions. The Board of Trustees meets at least twice a year to plan the role and work of the Forum and to address governance matters.
Arthur Hawes retired as Archdeacon of Lincoln and a Canon of Lincoln Cathedral in September 2008. His parish ministry began in 1968 when he was appointed curate of St. John’s, Kidderminster. Here he founded KARE – the Kidderminster Association for Rehousing in Emergency.
In 1972 he became the first priest to work at St. Richard’s, Droitwich which was a new housing estate for people being rehoused from central Birmingham. There was no church building and services were held in the local church school.
From 1976-1992 he was Rector of Attlebridge, Alderford and Swannington and chaplain to the Norwich acute psychiatric services where he led an ecumenical team of 5 chaplains. He then moved to be the team Rector of St. Faith’s, Gaywood in King’s Lynn, moving to Lincolnshire in 1995. He is now Archdeacon Emeritus of Lincoln and Canon of the Cathedral.
Mental Health has always featured in his ministry and it began in 1971 when he was Founder Chairman of the North Worcestershire Association for Mental Health, following post graduate work at Birmingham University. From 1976 to 1992 he was Chaplain for the Acute Psychiatric Units in Norwich and from 1986 to 1995 a Mental Health Act Commissioner where he led visiting teams to both Broadmoor and Rampton hospitals and hospitals and Social Service units in East Anglia and North East Thames Regional Health Authorities. He also chaired the Section 57 group of the Commission.
In 1995 he was appointed Chair of the Church of England’s Mental Health Advisory Group and, as a member of the Mission and Public Affairs Council, he has presented two debates in the General Synod of the Church of England on Mental Health issues which are available on the Church of England website. The first debate included the launch of the Parish Pack – Promoting Mental Health: A resource for spiritual and pastoral care. In 1996 he was appointed a Jubilee Patron of MIND and in 1999 was a member of MIND’s National Reference Group.
From 1998-2006 he was a non-executive Director of the Mental Health Trust in Lincolnshire. His particular responsibilities were to chair the Mental Health Act Sub Committee of the Trust and to have a responsibility for managers’ appeals and renewals. From 2003-2007 he was a member of the NHS Confederation Mental Health Policy Committee and from 2003 to 2005 was Chairman of the East Midlands NIMHE/CSIP Regional Development Centre. In 2007 he was invited to become a member of the Criminal Justice Mental Health Research Group at Lincoln University. In 2006-8 he was Mental Health Act Adviser to the Lincolnshire Partnership Trust and from 2008-12 he was Training Consultant to the Trust. From 2003 onwards he has been a member of the National Spirituality and Mental Health Forum and from 2009 to 2011 was co-chairman of the Forum with Dr. Sarah Eagger.
He was a visiting Fellow of Staffordshire University 2009-13 and is one of the two vice presidents of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality. He has published many occasional papers and edited the book ‘The Anne French Memorial Lectures’ and contributed to ‘Jewels for the Journey’ and to 'A Spirituality and Mental Health Handbook' and ‘Spirituality and end of life care’ both of which are published by Pavilion.
He has just edited ‘Crossing the River’, a book to celebrate the work of Professor Peter Gilbert. He is married to Melanie who trained at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London and they have four grandchildren. They recently moved to Norfolk where they live in an old farmhouse.