Biography - A bit about me

 

I am Naturally drawn towards novelty, new people, and new ideas; to explore, debate, and uncover the heart of the matter, what drives and motivates us at our deepest level: I’m interested in the nuance, the unspoken, the passions for which we live, which ignite us, and make it all worthwhile. My calling in life is to stand at the intersection, and open people to the possibilities of life. It is my passion and my pleasure to serve at the Ipswich Unitarian Meeting House as their congregational minister. My great loves in ministry include worship leadership, preaching and teaching, and pastoral care. I have been in post since March 2016.

Before entering Unitarian ministry, I moved a great deal, in terms of where I was physically located, but also in terms of my churchmanship. I was born in Glasgow, Scotland (though you would struggle to tell given my Transatlantic accent). I spent several years in Houston, Texas. And as such, I have always felt a deep affinity for the United States. Subsequently, my family and I moved to England, where I went to a traditional all-boys Catholic boarding school. Every morning at that school all the boys shuffled into chapel, and the Head Master gave his thoughts and prayers for the day.

It was in that chapel I began considering questions of religion and spirituality meaningfully, but it did not come close to scratching my very deep itch. In Six Form College, finally given the freedom to roam without constraint, I discovered and entered a warm Pentecostal Church. Being part of that community, and entering the religious conversation, I felt inexorably drawn towards Church ministry, and therefore reoriented my life in that direction. The theological heavy lifting began for me at the London School of Theology (formally the London Bible College) where I did my first degree. While there I debated my fellow pupils endlessly into the night and began to appreciate that my theological inclination lay in a broader and more inclusive direction.

At first this found expression within the Anglican Church. I trained for ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge, and was subsequently ordained and took up my title post in the Diocese of Portsmouth. While at Cambridge I discovered and fell in love with the Unitarian movement. I deeply appreciated the incredibly warm, open, and generous spirit of Unitarian Spirituality. I felt at home amongst them, and was comforted by the fact that my theological wanderings and musings could never fall outside the bounds of the acceptable, as Unitarians are non-creedal. As such, there is never a yardstick against which one’s spiritual journey is measured within Unitarianism. This allows for a far more natural embracing of the other. There is never the sub-text that, given appropriate time and space, you need think and act as I do. We come to Unitarian places of worship as ourselves, with our own thoughts, ready to be opened and challenged by one another.

I have heard it said that you do not become a Unitarian, you simply discover that you have always been one. And I can certainly testify to that. As a Unitarian minister, I am at the helm of an incredibly warm and all-embracing community, which affirms people of every race, creed, and sexual orientation. I self-identify as a white, heterosexual male, and am married to my wife Catherine, and we have two cats Pod and Daisy.