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Book Launch: Stephen Girling’s Beyond the Face

Fri 12 July at 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm

AI-generated Picasso version of author Revd Stephen Girling's portrait

Join us at Bath Abbey as Abbey Missioner, Reverend Stephen Girling, officially launches his first book: Beyond the Face: Looking for the Soul in a Portrait.

All are welcome, with signed copies available for £15.

Looking for the Soul in a Portrait

Our lives are a complex web of relationships with those we most associate with by their face. For some this includes a face of God, imagined or as portrayed by artists. These relationships give us insights about ourselves and others that change how we think or what we believe or value. By focussing on the human face, Beyond the Face explores how portraits can help us relate to other people in an intentional and expectant way. Using a three-step method of noticing, responding, and reflecting they offer a straight-forward way both to read the human face in a portrait and to notice ourselves being read by it. Written in an accessible way, this is a book that will deepen our empathy for friends and strangers in order that we might live in a kinder and more generous way.

Author Bio

Stephen Girling was ordained as a parish priest in the Church of England in 1991, after a short career as a scientist with the Ministry of Defence. He has a long-standing interest in art history and spirituality and has written and delivered short courses and lectures on topics which engage with art, lived experience, personal formation, and Christian spirituality. In 2016 he completed a Masters in ‘Theology, Imagination and Culture’ at Sarum College, Salisbury. As Missioner and Priest at Bath Abbey he curates exhibitions of the Abbey’s own collections and visiting art collections and installations. He is a trained and practising spiritual director. Stephen is married with four children and lives in Bath.


Fri 12 July
1:00 pm until 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Bath Abbey
Bath, + Google Map