Peter Hewitt

Peter Hewitt

Peter Hewitt

Born in London, England, Peter's childhood was greatly influenced by the ravages of World War II and especially the constant bombing by the German aircraft. A deep faith grew from these circumstances and they have constantly shaped his life.

On July 4th 1951 the Royal Air Force sent Peter to the United States of America where he was attached to the British Embassy and worked in Air Intelligence during the Korean War.

A taste of American life, and marriage, convinced him to become a citizen. Peter's two daughters have provided him with four grand children. His wife died in 1983. As a citizen of the United States Peter became the Assistant Curator at the Washington Cathedral. This proved to be the beginning of a 45 year career in religion. He considers his years at the Cathedral as a very special life experience.

Subsequently Peter moved into the world of religion publishing, serving all aspects of Christianity, from conservative Protestant to High Anglican and Roman Catholic. He developed a broad understanding of many faiths. This stood him in good stead when he was employed by the Westiminster Press (the publishing arm of the United Presbyterian Church in America). It was at this time that Peter became a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Religious Public Relations Council – now known as RCC.

His citizenship ceremony took place in December of 1962. He thanks his studies for the citizenship interview as perfect preparation to co-chair the 1976 national convention of RPRC in Philadelphia. That experience, combined with the Washington Cathedral and a life-long personal love affair with the theatre, produced a memorable and diversified RPRC celebration of the U.S. bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence.

His citizenship must have sat well on his shoulders as Peter again rose to the challenge when the Philadelphia Chapter hosted the 1989 convention, celebrating the bicentennial of the Signing of the Constitution. Trust a naturalized citizen to welcome each attendee with a fifty-one item quiz on the constitution. He is not giving away the number of people with high scores on that quiz.

For ten years Peter became a consultant to the religion publishers across the country. In that capacity he convinced the Publishers Weekly magazine that they were overlooking a vast and growing market by ignoring religion publishers. He took them to a Christian Booksellers Convention and convinced them to begin coverage of this market. Peter became the first Religion Editor for Publishers Weekly.

He ultimately finished his career working for the National Publishing Company for twenty seven years. He comments, somewhat wryly, that he earned his first money as a choir boy during World War II and used it to purchase a Bible: and that he finished his career editing and producing Bibles in many languages and versions for use across America and around the world.

In retirement Peter lives within the Pennsylvania Chautauqua in Mt. Gretna. For the past thirteen years he has hired organists and presented concerts for the public each summer. He deeply appreciates his relationship with RPRC/RCC and the many wonderful people with whom he has worked and played.

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