The Vicar of St. Johns

I was born and raised in south east London. After leaving school, I went to Bristol University where I studied Chemical Physics. Following my degree, I stayed on at Bristol and undertook a Ph.D. in ‘Crystal related arthropathies’, i.e. gout, osteoarthritis etc. in conjunction with the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Towards the end of my Ph.D. I was encouraged to carry out an experiment at a relatively new facility at Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire. Within hours of my arrival I was hooked. I soon began post-doctoral work at Manchester Biophysics department and Daresbury, investigating bone formation.

Two years later, I moved permanently to Daresbury Laboratory as a research associate in biological physics, investigating muscle structure and function. This was without doubt the high point of my scientific career. I loved the lab, my colleagues, my research, in fact everything. At that time, I also met and married my wife, Judith, and in the next few years Becky and Milli were born.

But the Lord was working in my heart and gradually directing me away from science towards a ministry within the church. I cannot say when or even how it began, or how it was that I could be so fulfilled in my work and yet walk away from it, to undertake something for which I felt totally inadequate and unprepared. Yet by God’s grace that is exactly what I did. I handed in my notice at work and a year later moved to Wycliffe College in Oxford to begin training for ordained ministry in the Church of England. I was thirty-five. Whilst in Oxford, Abi was born and so we began our first curacy at St. George’s, Hyde with three young girls. Four years later, on completion of my curacy, I moved to St. John’s to take up the post of Priest-in-charge. I think God must have a sense of humour returning me to a parish not 2 miles from the laboratory where I once worked.

In September 2002, I became the part-time chaplain at Sir Thomas Boteler CofE High school in Latchford.