Head of Programme
I began my academic career by studying zoology,
and in particular the ecology of birds of prey. In 1989 I changed
careers and trained for the Anglican ministry at Trinity College,
Bristol. I served as a curate in Northampton and then as incumbent
of two parishes near Banbury in the Peterborough diocese.
During my time in ministry I became interested in
how lay people use and interpret the Bible, and began researching
this part time from the mid 1990s. My approach was driven by my
natural science background, and I was drawn to the notion of
gathering empirical evidence as a basis for theological reflection.
This put me in touch with Professor Leslie Francis (then at
Carmarthen and later at Bangor), and I have worked closely with his
team since then.
I moved to Bangor University in 2004 to run the
Centre for Ministry Studies, working with a wide range of churches
to deliver ministry training. In 2007 I moved to York where my
research interests have broadened and developed, but still centre
on the gathering of empirical data and its interpretation in
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