On 6 August 2023 I was licensed to serve as Priest in Charge (vicar) of the ‘Riverside’ group of parishes near Darlington (Middlton St George, Hurworth, Girsby/Sockburn and Low Dinsdale), in the Diocese of Durham (Church of England). Prior to that, on 30 June 2019 I was ordained in Durham Cathedral, to serve as curate of St Paul’s Church, Spennymoor, and Whitworth Church, also in the Diocese of Durham. From 2016 to 2019 I trained for ordained ministry in the Church of England at Cranmer Hall in Durham.
Previously I was a university researcher in astronomy, but that drifted towards computer software, first astronomical computer software, and then freelance web development. I also spent a fair bit of time trying to support Christian postgraduate students, partly through involvement in Faith-in-Scholarship and Transforming the Mind.
I bought this domain name back in 2002, and haven’t yet persuaded myself to give it up. Initially it was just a few static (and tasteless) HTML pages with a bit about myself and lots of links, but it became a non-blog on 24 April 2006 (using WordPress). I don’t have a particular purpose for the (non-)blog, but I enjoy writing from time to time, and I like to delude myself into thinking that I have something worthwhile to say. I tend to focus on Christian-related topics, but you’ll see occasional posts about astronomy, computing, music, green issues, politics, current affairs, random thoughts and random trivia. (Posts of a more technical nature are tagged under astronomy or computing.) Comments welcome!
Life in brief…
- 1980 born in Hertford
- 1984 moved to Hitchin (Samuel Lucas School, The Priory School)
- 1998 Organ Scholar at Southwell Minster
- 1999 Jesus College, Cambridge: Organ Scholar and BA in maths
- 2002 Sussex University: MSc in cosmology. Less organ playing and more singing.
- 2003 Associate Worker at Calvary Evangelical Church, Brighton
- 2004 Sussex University: DPhil (PhD) and postdoctoral research in astronomy
- 2011 moved to York to get married, continuing work in astronomical computer software
- 2013 moved to the Wirral, freelance web development work
- 2016 moved to Durham to study theology at Cranmer Hall
- 2019 ordained to serve as curate at St Paul’s Spennymoor & Whitworth Church (Diocese of Durham)
- 2023 licensed as Priest in Charge of the Darlington Riverside Parishes: Middleton St George, Hurworth, Girsby/Sockburn and Low Dinsdale (Diocese of Durham)
Despite having been in church services most weeks for all of my life, by the time I was ten I was a firm atheist and thought this religious stuff was a load of nonsense. But I think I wanted to believe, not least because I was getting very keen on church music and playing the organ. When I was 15 I started going to the youth group of a local Bible-believing church. On 2 March 1996 this church held a youth service. The preacher’s text was Luke 9:23: “Then he [Jesus] said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’” He encouraged us to commit our lives to God, and I did so, out of a real sense of God drawing me to himself.
It was quite a radical change, and I now see my life as fitting into God’s big story for his whole creation, which is summed up nicely in this video (embedded below).
It’s been a varied journey since that time. Significant influences on my thinking and spiritual formation, past and present, in approximately chronological order, have included: The Church of England, Hitchin Church of God (Hitchin Christian Centre), John Stott, Evangelical Times, Answers in Genesis/Creation Ministries International and Ken Ham, JI Packer, Francis Schaeffer, CH Spurgeon, CICCU and UCCF, Cambridge Presbyterian Church and Ian Hamilton, Roger Carswell, Calvary Evangelical Church (Brighton) and Philip Wells, Stuart Olyott, L’Abri (England) and Andrew Fellows, Proclamation Trust and Dick Lucas, Larry Crabb, Graeme Goldsworthy, Christopher Wright, Ellis Potter, Mike Reeves, NT Wright, Word Alive, John Piper, David Field, Henri Blocher, Kurt Wise, Jubilee Centre, Andrew Basden, Roy Clouser, Al Wolters, WYSOCS (West Yorkshire School of Christian Studies, now Thinking Faith Network), Jonathan Chaplin, Stephen Neill, Bob Goudzwaard, James KA Smith, Paul Avis, Peter Leithart, Alastair Roberts, Cranmer Hall (Durham), Richard Briggs, Simon Oliver, Augustine, C John Collins … and more!