I spent the first 25 years of my life in Birmingham and have been trying my best to lose the accent ever since. My main memories of childhood are of loving parents, under-performing at school and being bored at church where I was dragged every Sunday when I would have much preferred to have been playing football.
Football was important; like every other boy in my street I began life supporting Birmingham City until I saw the light at the age of 9 and switched my allegiance to Aston Villa. I thus have a great deal of empathy with the good folk of Newcastle.
I became a Christian at the age of 15, was baptised at 17, and was astonished to develop an overwhelming sense of being called into Christian ministry. I went to Spurgeon’s College in London for 4 years, then spent a year in Dallas on placement as the British minister of First Baptist Dallas, before returning to take up a succession of pastorates in Wembley, Towcester, Leeds and more recently Leicester. In the middle of all that somewhere I drove a taxi for 2 years, and have just memorialised my experiences in the book The Collar and the Cab. I have loved being a minister, and in spite of some painful experiences would not have changed my life for anything.
Lynn and I were married in 1978 and we have 4 children, now out of nappies and married, living in Northern Ireland, Leeds, Berwick and Cumbria. The last 3 years has seen the arrival of 4 grandchildren, and we have discovered why people get so excited about being Grandmas and Grandads. Lynn currently works helping people to quit smoking, and is passionate about her work.
My other contribution to the world of literature is the book “I’m Not Supposed to Feel Like This” – a self-help book for people experiencing anxiety and depression published in 2004 and still going strong.
I am still passionate about sport, and play cricket and golf – both badly, and I also play chess and the piano, not quite so badly.